Saturday, 30 April 2011


An example of dualism is Cartesian Dualism proposedd by Descartes. He distinguished the body as having properties of extension, and motion which is subjugated by the laws of physics, whilst the mind is non-material without extension and free of influence by the laws of physics. He believed he could prove this by the fact that he had a clear and distinct idea of himself as a thinking non-extended thing, whilst he had a clear and distinct idea of his body as a non-thinking extended thing. He believed that anything he could think of distinctly, God can create distinctly, therefore meaning that the mind and body are distinct from each other. Since he believed that the mind and body are ontologically different in their nature, he was a substance dualist and believed that the mind could exist separately from the body since it is a different substance from the body and thus does not rely on the body. He proposed that the mind controls the body, which he considered to be like a machine. Nevertheless the body can also affect the rational mind, such as with desires of the flesh. He proposed that this interaction was through the pineal gland in the brain. He believed that only humans had souls, which incumbent the mind, and that this soul lives after the death of the body, as it is not bound by nature, because of this Descartes believed it to be immortal, and to live on afterwards without a body.

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