Materialism And Dualism: The Mind And Body Problem

1186 Words null Page
The mind-body problem is a debate that has raised questions throughout history and is still doing so today, philosophers argue as to whether the mind and body are one entity or two separate entities. The body is what we perceive to be our physical attributes, things like the head, legs, and so forth, the mind is one that controls our feelings, thoughts, and beliefs. For philosophers there are many ways to explain the mind and body problem but the two main ones include materialism and dualism. In this circumstance one has to come to a conclusion as to if they believe that the mind and body are separate entities, dualism, or they are one, materialism.
The argument of the mind-body is one that tries to understand how mental states can affect
…show more content…
Dualism is the idea that the mind and body are separate entities. Descartes saw the body as matter and geometrical qualities (legs, arms, feet, etc.), and the mind as one with the basic feature of thinking, that occurs in a spiritual realm. He stated that the body could never think and that the mind could not exist physically, in other words mental states could never explain physical things. He thought that the body was associated with matter and could be described as to having an extension, and the mind can not have an extension, or take up space, as it does not exist in a physical world (Leech, Oliver). Advocates of dualism, like Descartes, run into trouble on how to explain how the mental states and physical world interact and communicate. They are unable to provide enough examples as to how the mind interacts with the body to create movement, or having to force oneself to stay awake even though the body is beginning to fall asleep. For Descartes he came up with the idea that the communication happens in the pineal gland of the brain, but his explanation was vague and he did not go into many details, allowing it to simply be an unsolved mystery. Descartes strong belief in dualism would cause him to have an objection to the materialistic views, he might argue that materialistic views could not occur because the mind can exist without the body, and the body without the mind. Gilbert Ryle was a philosopher who argued against Descartes with “the dogma of the ghost in the machine”, stating that the mind-body dualism was confusing the separate entities as being compatible. Descartes argument could be flawed because of the movement of the body, as to be able to cause movement the mind has to think about it and communicate to the body to produce that movement in the

Related Documents