Putman, Descartes, And Ryle's Analysis

Good Essays
Upon reading Smart, Putman, Descartes, and Ryle’s excerpts, I have come to believe that my mind is a physical substance of me, such as a brain. Your mental process is often called brain processes just as Smart believes through the identity theory. I also agree with Smart in the way that mental states can be physically recognized through pain, which is often called the functionalist view. Lastly, I favor the behaviorism view in which Ryle explains how mental processes are intellectual acts. On the other hand, many people believe the mind is not a physical substance. Philosophers like Descartes believe the mind can exist without the body, this is a dualism view. This view has three parts: interactionism, parallelism, and epiphenomenalism which …show more content…
Philosopher, J.J. Smart often refers this to the identity theory, or the brain process thesis, or the brain-state theory. This theory simply believes that all mental states are identical to physical states. In The Norton Introduction to Philosophy text book, they refer to the example of one’s thirst drive to drink water out of a faucet on Monday, and go buy a water bottle on Tuesday’s (354). You must have a biological brain in order to have a mental life; the identity theory supports this. The identity theory believes that what you see or perceive, such as touch, goes to your sensory nerves and up your central nerve and to your brain. Smart explains this theory through explaining an orange circle that blurry yellow around the edges which he calls a temptation in which he thinks he sees upon a wall. Smart says, “That is, for a full description of what is going on in a man you would have to mention not only the physical processes in his tissue, glands, nervous system, and so forth, but also his states of consciousness: his visual, auditory, and tactical sensations, his aches and pains” (372, Rosen, Bryne, Cohen, Shiffrin). This exact evidence leads me to believe that my eyes see things that my brain, as an actual substance, interprets. This belief goes in hand with my second …show more content…
His famous quote is, “I think, therefore I am.” This view is called dualism, which is also has three versions interactionism, parallelism, and epiphenomenalism. Interactionism is the view that mental and physical states are different but interact with each other, like Descartes believes. Parallelism is the view that mental and physical states occur parallel to each other and don’t interfere. Lastly, epiphenomenalism is the view that physical states can cause mental events but not vice versa. This view opposes all others because Descartes believes that your body consist of your hands, feet, head, etc., while your soul includes nourishment, sense-perception, and actions. Descartes also says, “Mind is indivisible, body is divisible; you can lose an arm and a leg and still have your mind” (362). This supports that one is aware of one’s own self. Descartes also explains the example of how one perceives wax being melted, he explains that this understanding is understood by the intellect. Yet, Descartes cannot explain how or where this sort of “soul” exist, if it is invisible, how does it exist? Physicalists, such as Ryle, Smart, and Putman, say that the mind is just the brain, or the central nervous system, and there is no entity called “the mind.” There are mental processes and states of events but these are just physical

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Theories Of Dualism

    • 1826 Words
    • 8 Pages

    He believed that physical events happening to the material body can be experienced as emotions and thoughts, and mental events also impact the material body. The famous Edward Bradford Titchener was a supporter for both epiphenomenalism and double aspectism. Another popular type of dualism is psychophysical parallelism, which confirms the presence of both the material body and nonmaterial mind but refuse the existence of such interaction between the two. According to psychophysical parallelists, the mind and the body exist independently from each…

    • 1826 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    While our mind is something that cannot be touched or seen. People assume our brain and our minds are the same thing but one is completely physical, like Descartes says, and one cannot be seen or touched-therefore, not physical. A great example of this is mind over matter. We use our minds to overcome something physical. When people say “it is a mental thing”, they are talking about using their mind separate from their body.…

    • 968 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Descartes says that if a foot or a hand were to be cut off then the body would only be affected and the mind would not. He quotes that "Since it is the same mind that wills, that senses and that understands" this means that cannot be considered as dividing the mind into three parts because it is the same mind that does all of those. He then goes onto say that he can easily think of ways to divide the body whereas the mind would give him much difficulty think of a way to divide the mind. Which is another reason as to why the mind and the body are different from each other although it may appear that they are connected as one, they only have a close relationship with each other but are different. Descartes main premise was that if you are a thinking thing than evidently you are thing period.…

    • 1022 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    You and Your Mind: The Relationship Between Mind and Body Is your mind part of your physical body? Or is the human mind something that scientists will never truly be able to understand? Although there are many ideas of how the body and mind work together, two major theories stand out. One theory, monism, claims that the mind and body are the same entity, suggesting that minds are just another part of our physical body (Descartes PowerPoint 34). The second theory, substance dualism, argues that the mind and body are separate, but work together (Descartes PowerPoint 34).…

    • 1796 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The other is the problem of other minds- the objection to Dualism based on the undesired conclusion that if all we can be sure of is our own bodies, we can never know for certain that others even really exist. Dualism still struggles with this. However, Behaviorism dissolves this problem because again, in virtue of its physicalist foundation, it implicitly assumes a consistency among other humans that Substance dualism doubted. Because of this, minds are physically the same and only experientially different and so can be assumed to operate similarly to one another. Because of the physicalism of Behaviorism, it is able to dissolve two long existing problems of…

    • 1262 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The Mind/Body Problem

    • 1183 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Substance dualists fall into several areas depending upon how they think mind and body are related. Property dualists argue that mental states are complex qualities of brain states. Interactionists believe that minds and bodies causally affect one another. Epiphenomenalists offer a compromise theory, asserting that bodily events can have mental events as effects while denying that the reverse is true. Dualism has a very extensive field of explanations to the mind body problem, all different versions of the same basic view, just applied more flexible which the other views do not offer.…

    • 1183 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    It is the brain which has the capability of drawing emotions and carrying out thoughts and all of this is a result of physical changes inside the brain. A dualist provides a list of emotions and sentiments that we experience but fails to provide a logical explanation of the process behind these feelings. This is where materialism comes into play. One can’t just term the whole world of mental experiences as spiritual processes, every feeling and thought has its logical and scientific explanation, as described by Churchland. The phenomena like memory, learning capabilities and dreams are all relevant to processes of brain but dualism fails to provide a justified explanation to any of that.…

    • 875 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In the end, Jackson concludes that physicalism, the belief that the world consists only of its physicalities, is false (1986, p. 295). Another philosopher to discuss property dualism was David Chalmers. Chalmers “Consciousness and its Place in Nature”, sets out to discuss what exactly consciousness is. He states that one is conscious where there is something it is like to be that being (2003, p. 2). This just means that since many people know what it is like to have a(n) emotional experience, painful experience, sensory experience, etc., that all these people are conscious because they are able to sympathize and empathize, and have some understanding as to what other people are feeling and…

    • 1681 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Dualism Argument Analysis

    • 827 Words
    • 4 Pages

    For the first counter argument, I will consider the physical aspect of materialism in regards to the mind and brain. As a response, I will reply, that the human mind and brain are separate, because human beings have free will. In the second opposing argument to dualism, I will present the idealist view that the human mind exists and man’s life is an illusion. As a retort I will submit Descartes founding point of his dualistic theory. In conclusion I will reiterate that the brain and mind are separate from each other, that cartesian dualism is true.…

    • 827 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Ryle rejects the idea that the mind is an inner cause of behavior. He maintains and critizes the views layed forth in what he calls the “Official Doctrine.” It is an attempt to change the view on the works of Rene Descartes. Rene Descartes believed that the mind and body worked together in a dualist system. Ryle challenges that concept with what he referes to Descartes work as the ghost in the machine. He believed that the mind is separate from the body and that Descartes looked at words in referecnce to a thing and not a catergory.…

    • 769 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays