The Mind And Body Of One Being Essay

767 Words Nov 10th, 2015 4 Pages
As dualists, many philosophers, such as Descartes believe that the mind and body of one being are fundamentally different from one another and hence, the mind is not part of the physical realm.
However, if this is the case, how can an interaction between these two radically distinctive entities occur?

Mental causation, as an argument against dualism, is defined as "the bringing about of effects, physical or mental, by minds or goings-on in minds" (1). It is modelled around the question how mental causes, for example, the fear of spiders can result in physical reactions involving sweating, a change in blood pressure or even the loss of consciousness. Therefore, it provides an argument in favour of physicalism since it seems to contradict the strong separation of mind and body suggested by dualism.

But does it really disprove the fundamental difference between the mental and physical and is an insurmountable problem for dualism?

First of all the claim, that mental states influence physical behaviour does not yet provide a conflicting counter argument to dualism. Furthermore, Descartes suggested in his letters to Princess Elizabeth in May 1643, mental causation must not be understood like physical forces causing objects to move, but is a far more "primitive" matter. This may be explained in Descartes ' Second Mediation, in which he states that the mind is no physical thing, it has no shape or form and it is "non-extended", and similarly, a body cannot perceive anything or…

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