Cartesian Dualism And The Mind In Rene Descarte's Myth

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Rene Descartes and Gilbert Ryle have very different opinions when it comes to dualism and the human mind. The new information being presented by MRIs and the new information that is destined to come would likely pin these two further against each other. Descartes is a believer in dualism; he introduces and defends Cartesian dualism within his Meditations on First Philosophy, while Ryle completely disputes this theory in his essay Descartes’s Myth. Rene Descartes famously theorized that the mind and the body are two separate things. He believes that the body does not think, and thus, the mind can exist without the body. His argument also concludes that the mind does not follow the laws of nature, and that it is a nonmaterial substance. Descartes theories on the mind, interpreted also as the soul, were understood to work with the body, but also independent of the body. While this theory has been widely disputed, his opinion is highly respected. There is no science to back up these claims, though, which leads fellow philosophers to dispute Descartes theory on Cartesian dualism.…show more content…
He writes of an “official doctrine, which hails chiefly from Descartes” that many great teachers, philosophers and thinkers agree with, even though this doctrine “conflict[s] with the whole body of what we know about minds” (158). In essence, he rejects the dualism described in the official doctrine because it conflicts with the biology that is knowingly true. It is apparent, through science, that the brain and the body are connected; something Descartes would be foolish to disagree with. Ryle goes on to explain the “absurdity of the official doctrine” by introducing what he calls “the dogma of the Ghost in the Machine” (161). Ryle suggests that Descartes theory “represents the facts of mental life as if they belonged to one logical type or category, when they actually belong to another. The dogma is therefore a philosopher’s myth”

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