Rene Descartes Substance Dualism

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The premise of substance dualism as defined by Rene Descartes divides the substance of the physical body from that of the operations of the mind. In Descartes’ point of view, the mind is a separate function of the human experience through the soul. The soul is part of the Creationist view that God has created the universe, and therefore, that God must have created the mind to perceive a higher power. This is an a priori stance in which that presupposes that God crated the human mind, which defines the presence of a soul to perceive the world. However, Descartes also believed in a “materialist” view of the body, which defines a separate state of being. This division define the classic definition of the body/mind division, which Descartes defines…show more content…
Descartes view that the mind is made up of the soul illustrates the lack of neurological understanding of the brain during the 17th century (Damasio 54). Surely, Descartes did not have the technological ability to analyze the brain in the same detail s modern neurologist can with exponentially developed surgical instruments and computer technology. In this regard, I find that reductive materialism provides a good balance between substance dualism and eliminative dualism. Substance dualism makes extremely subjective assumptions about the present of God as the source of all mental states, which cannot be proven as a scientific fact. In contrast to Cartesian dualism, it is evident that eliminative materialism provides no evidence that mental states are without metaphysical properties. Reductive materialism, therefore, provides a balance between substance dualism and eliminative materialism because it allows for metaphysical aspects of the mind to be interpreted. Science cannot answer all of these questions until further technological developments are made, which defines the historical limitations of Descartes’ philosophy. This is also true of modern-day neurology, which also has its limitations. This is why reductive materialism is the most rational argument to describe the differences between mental states and the…show more content…
The ever-changing aspects of substance and mental states supports the contention that there is a soul in a person, but that person may forget who they are as a form of consciousness. Consciousness is the basis of memory, but the soul cannot be lost as a form of permanent state that is part of Nature: “I say, in all these cases, our consciousness being interrupted [by forgetfulness], and we losing the sight of our past selves, doubts are raised whether we are the same thinking thing, i.e. the same substance or no” (Locke 139). In this instance, the nature of forgetfulness describes the inability of the consciousness to remember past lives or previous “selves”, which defines the ambiguity of personal identity as s stable feature of the mind. Therefore, the idea of “consciousness” is always in question because of the limited aspects of the memory that defines who a person is or is not. Locke is aware of the consciousness as a primary foundation for personal identity, since memory is the only facet of mental states that exist over periods of time as “our consciousness is interrupted” (Strawson 187). In this manner, Locke believes that the underlying aspects of memory define a state of consciousness, which is always in a state of change or flux. Locke also believes that the substance of a body also undergoes this series of changes, which

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