The Mind And The Body Essay

1596 Words Nov 25th, 2015 7 Pages
Descartes believes that the mind and the body are two separate things. However, Princess Elisabeth is skeptical of this claim and asks Descartes how it is possible that our body appears to act as a result of our thoughts, if our mind were to be strictly a thinking substance with no connection to our body. This is the mind-body problem. To further exemplify her point, Princess Elisabeth explains that in her experience, physical things move as a result of another physical thing acting upon it, showing a connection between the thing that is being moved and the thing that is moving it. Because of this, she would expect there to be a connection between our mind and our body. In response, Descartes states that humans are special in that we are the only beings to have mental and physical properties; in other words, a non-physical mind existing simultaneously with a separate physical body. To Descartes, a mind appears to be solely a thinking thing, something that is capable of having experiences with no physical properties. He also believes that humans are the only thing we can be sure of having minds, because we are capable of doubting our existence. A thing must exist, to be doing the doubting. For this reason, Descartes cannot be sure that animals have minds, for we are able to doubt their existence. I do not agree with Descartes’ response to Princess Elisabeth. Stating that humans are special and the only beings with mental and physical properties appears to be insufficient in…

Related Documents