Descartes’ Mind Body Dualism
Rene Descartes’ main purpose is to attempt to prove that the mind that is the soul or the thinking thing is distinct and is separate from the body. This thinking thing was the core of himself, which doubts, believes, reasons, feels and thinks. Descartes considers the body to be an extended unthinking thing; therefore it is possible that one may exist without the other. This view is known as mind-body dualism. He believes that what he is thinking in his mind is what God created and instilled in him. Descartes outlines many arguments to support and prove his claims of his discoveries. He states that because he can think, his mind exists. This is known as the Cogito, which is the first existential principal of
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He has also noted that the physical world does not exist, which might also seem to imply his nonexistence. But since he is thinking and doubting does he truly exist? Descartes pronounces he only knows for certain God has put these thoughts in him because he states, “God or whatever I might all him, who instills these very thoughts in me?”(Descartes 63). Also, Descartes contemplates whether or not there is an evil genius that takes over him mind who is second to God, although not quite as powerful. He says, “But there is some deceiver or other who is supremely powerful and supremely sly and who is deliberately deceiving me”(Descartes 64). Descartes is unsure if the evil genius is making him consider whether or not his existence is truly real. This brings about Cogito Ergo Sum, which means, “I think, therefore I am.” The simple meaning of the phrase is that if someone wonders whether or not he exists, that is, in and of itself, proof that he does exist because, there is an "I" who does the thinking. This forms bedrock for all knowledge because while all things can be questioned as to whether they are from the realm of reality or from some figment of imagination, the very act of doubting ones own existence proves that ones own existence is a reality.
There are often common misconceptions that people make that take the statement as proof that as a human person they exist. However, it is a limited conclusion, which does nothing to prove that one's own body