Analyzing Individuation And Identity In Descartes´ Philosophical View Of The Mind Body Dualism

1292 words - 5 pages

Every since Plato introduced the idea of dualism thousands of years ago meta-physicians have been faced with the mind-body problem. Even so Plato idea of dualism did not become a major issue of debate in the philosophical world until the seventeenth century when French philosopher Rene Descartes publicized his ideas concerning the mental and physical world. During this paper, I will analyze the issue of individuation and identity in Descartes’ philosophical view of the mind-body dualism. I will first start by explaining the structure of Cartesian dualism. I will also analyze the challenges of individuation and identity as they interact with Descartes. With a bit of luck, subsequently breaking down Descartes’ reasoning and later on offering my response, I can present wit a high degree of confidence that the problems of individuation and identity offer a hindrance to the Cartesians’ principle of mind-body dualism. I give a critical analysis of these two problems, I will first explain the basis of Descartes’ philosophical views.

Surprisingly dualism has become synonymous with Rene Descartes that often times it is many just referred to by many as Cartesian dualism, as if this was the decisive line of attack to the issue. The theory behind dualism is that the mind and the body, that mind and matter, are two distinct things. Descartes well-thought-out the difficulty of the location of the mind and came to the conclusions that the mind was a completely separate entity from the body. Descartes stated that he is a subject of conscious thought and experience and thus cannot be nothing more than spatially extended matter. The fundamental nature of the human being, or the mind, are unable to be material but are obliged to be non-material.

This non-corporeal entity may be intimately connected to the body, however the non-corporeal entity is not a material entity as is the body. Descartes has contributed several arguments for this belief , one them was the conceivability argument which necessarily involves a degree of tautology. Descartes states that since the idea of the separate existence of the mind and body is conceivable, that it is then possible. If the possible exist that two things can exist separately , he states, its impossible for them to be identical. The mind is here able to conceive itself and by that logical the mere fact the mind is able to conceive itself as existing separately from the body means that body and mind are two different entity’s. The image that Descartes constructed shows the correlation shared between the mind and body is one that continues to buried philosophy even today.

I'll begin by thoroughly analyze Descartes' philosophy of mind and body by examining the problems of individuation and identity. Before all else, I need to clearly state the issues I am addressing. To be able to fully understand the issues of individuation, one must first understand what the word individuation even means. The word...

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