Dualism Vs Materialism : The Mind And Body Problem Essay

985 Words Dec 8th, 2015 4 Pages
Dualism vs Materialism The mind/body problem, the question of what is the relationship between the mind and the body, is commonly seen as a key issue in the philosophy of the mind (Sober, 2013, p. 204). The two categories of views discussed in Sober’s ‘Core Questions in Philosophy’ that attempt to resolve the mind/body problem are dualism and materialism. Dualism is the theory that the mind and the brain are two fundamentally different substances (Sober, 2013, p. 204). Conversely, materialism says that matter is the one and only fundamental substance in nature, and the notion that mental phenomena are a result of physical interactions follows (Sober, 2013, p. 204). In this paper, I will be discussing various strengths and weaknesses of Cartesian Dualism and the Mind/Brain Identity Theory, concluding with stating which argument I believe to be stronger and why. Rene Descartes’s dualism starts with the general definition of dualism. He added that the mental cannot exist outside the body, and the body cannot think (Sober, 2013). However, he did not deny that interactions took place between the two such that, for example, Advil can be used to treat headaches or desires can make the body move (Sober, 2013, p. 204). On the other hand, the Mind/Brain Identity Theory holds that the mind and the brain are one and the same object. Moreover, it claims that mental events can be correlated with physical events in the brain, such that, for example, headaches are a result of specific…

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