Substance Dualist Interaction Theory Analysis

1101 Words 5 Pages
Assessing Foster's Substance Dualist Interactionism One of the main topics discussed in philosophy involves the mind-body problem. Simply stated, this topic deals with the nature of the relationship between the body and the mind, and seeks to figure out whether the two are related. Philosopher John Foster advocates in favor of a substance dualist interactionism. This is the idea that although the body and the mind represent different entities, a material and immaterial substance respectively, they still have the capacity to influence one another. The main issue regarding this topic is whether or not such an interaction is possible. My belief is that one’s mental can influence its physical state, and vice versa. This stance can be supported …show more content…
Through thoughts and feelings, our minds are able to have influence over our bodies, while our bodies have the power to impact our thought processes. A great example that demonstrates the relationship between the mind and body is fear. There are signs you can look to that show that fear can impact both your mental and physical state. If you are in a state of fear, your body may tense up and your heart rate can increase. On the mental side of things, your conscious will likely cause you to dwell on the fear you are experiencing. It is evident that in this scenario, your body and mind are each responding to fear, despite their differences in nature. This chain reaction between the body and mind also comes into play when considering pain. For example, imagine you place your hand on a burning stove. Almost immediately, due to the pain that you will experience, you will remove your hand. Defining “pain” is difficult in that it is a different experience for just about everyone. Pain is one of those things that cannot be bottled up and examined. Pain is the result of your body telling your mind that something is wrong. Signals are sent from your hand to your brain, followed by an interaction with your mind, informing you that you are in pain. The science behind the mind to body and body to mind interaction is not known, but something …show more content…
Although the actual science behind the communication is unknown, the basis of Foster’s argument is supported in nearly all aspects of our everyday lives. Fear is a great example that shows how our reaction to something can have influence over our bodies and mind. The intangible thoughts that we conceive cannot be held in our hands nor studied under a microscope, but they can interact with our body, causing us to respond to different scenarios based on how we feel. Similarly, some types of pain that we feel initially impacted our bodies before communicating with our minds that something is not right. The glaring weakness in my paper is that I cannot present to you physical proof that the interaction is occurring. Science has not yet been able to explain exactly how this interaction works. In order to unequivocally state that the substance dualist interaction is true, we would have to do further studies into the mechanism behind the interaction. Until that time, we will continue to live our lives the way we are accustomed to thanks in large part to the relationship between our minds and

Related Documents