Dualism Thesis Statement By Descartes

1341 Words 6 Pages
The first matter at hand is how the runner is able to perceive the pain. Descartes explains that sensory perception, along with imagination, are modes of the mind. They are not fundamental to him, such that he can conceive of himself without them, but he could not conceive sensory perception and imagination without a mind to contain them. A mind, with intellectual substance, is essential to sensory perception and imagination in the same way that a mode of an extension needs an extension to exist. Thus, sensory perception occurs in the mind.
In the scenario, there is a sensory perception that the body is experiencing excruciating pain. However, given that the mind and body are distinct and this involves a mode of the mind and the body, this phenomena is possible through the interaction between the mind and body.
1
Despite his dualism thesis, Descartes cannot deny that the senses are connected to the body, in such that sensations such as pain, hunger, and thirst correspond to when the body is not doing well. Descartes uses the example of a sailor and a boat, in that the mind is more present in the body than a sailor is in a boat. When the body is injured, the mind, as a thinking thing, senses the pain, but a sailor would
…show more content…
According to Descartes’ philosophy, to be truly happy is to have a mind that is perfectly content and satisfied, which does not take into account the body. This, once again, ties back to the separation of the mind and the body. He explains this with an example in that exercises of the body, such as hunting or tennis, are often physically demanding, but nonetheless still enjoyable. These kinds of activities provide contentment because the mind is aware of one’s skill and talent in pursuing those activities. Thus, the runner is able to feel extreme happiness during his painful recovery, because he knows that he earned the pain from a fulfilling

Related Documents