Descartes Philosophy Of The Mind Essay

946 words - 4 pages

In the second meditation Descartes wishes to distinguish the mind from the body. However, Descartes recognizes that in order for this to happen he must cast away everything, which he doubts, and find one thing that is absolutely certain. The one thing that Descartes finds to be certain is that he is a thinking thing and he does exist (76,2). He arrives at this conclusion after analyzing a couple different issues. First, Descartes questions the issue that there could be some evil spirit whose only motivation is to deceive him. Descartes therefore concludes that if it is worthwhile for this evil spirit to attempt to deceive him, he must therefore exist. Furthermore, as long Descartes thinks that he is something the evil spirit will be unable to cease his existence (75,2). Like wise, later on in the second meditation Descartes believes himself to be a thinking thing because he is able to understand and question matters (77,1). Descartes believes himself to be a non-extended thing. Descartes does realize that he possesses a physical body. However, Descartes does not believe that his physical person makes up whom he is. Instead, Descartes believes that his mind and thoughts make up whom he is. This is best illustrated when Descartes is speaking of the piece of wax; while observing the piece of wax Descartes notices that when the wax is applied to various situational environments, the characteristics of the wax change. However, one thing stayed constant in that no matter what changes the wax underwent it remained to be wax (77,2). So no matter what would happen to his physical body Descartes would always remain to be Descartes. This is why Descartes finds him self to be a non-extended thinking thing.In the sixth meditation Descartes points out that he is closely joined with his body. Descartes says this because he is aware that he and his body work together. One example of how the body and the mind are intermingled is presented to us when Descartes is speaking of the many different sensations he has experienced (81,1-2). Descartes views sensations as a form of thought, but he recognizes that the body produces (or triggers) these sensations. Descartes uses the example of a person with dropsy. The sensation of feeling as if you have a dry throat produces the thought that you must need a drink of water, but doing so will only aggravate the illness. However, the same thought is produced even when you have a dry throat and the disease is not present (86,1). The fact that the body triggers certain thoughts in certain situations illustrates Descartes view that the body and the mind are separate yet intermingled. For if the body were a thinking...

Find Another Essay On Descartes Philosophy Of The Mind

Transcendentalism: The Philosophy Of The Mind

953 words - 4 pages Transcendentalism: The Philosophy of the Mind      Transcendentalism is the view that the basic truth of the universe lies beyond the knowledge obtained from the senses, a knowledge that transcendentalists regard as the mere appearance of things (Adventures 162). Transcendentalists believe the mind is where ideas are formed. The transcendentalist ideas of God, man, and the universe were not all original, but were a

Philosophy of Mind Essay

1134 words - 5 pages Can I doubt that my mind exists? It seems absurd to imagine, but I take the mental journey nowhere nonetheless. Descartes used one of his premises for mind body dualism that he "cannot doubt" his mind exists. Of course, this conclusion does depend on the retort of a few essential questions. What is a mind? I believe the one main component that characterizes a mind is the concept of thought. A mind is an entity, material or immaterial, that

Descartes - Father of Modern Philosophy

2168 words - 9 pages , 1)A famous statement in the history of philosophy was "I think therefore I am" used by Rene Descartes which became the foundational element of western philosophy. This is based on the skeptical ability that could deny all senses as illusions and therefore, all senses are un-trustworthy. It also illustrates precisely the opposite of what one believes to be true about the origins of mind and the relation between mind and body.Rene Descartes was a

The Mind and the World: Descartes Meditations

1194 words - 5 pages C. Santos Professor R. Boeker The Mind and the World Due: October 18, 2013 Descartes presents three skeptical arguments in his meditations which shows he has reason to doubt all of his sensory beliefs. Descartes ultimately aims to free himself from all bad beliefs. His quest for certainty is driven from his belief that our belief system is built on a foundation of basic beliefs, that are not justified, in turn, causing him to believe

Essence of Mind and Body for Descartes

1096 words - 4 pages with his argument for dualism, which is the possibility that the mind was distinct from the body. In Descartes' Mediations on First Philosophy, he is able to construct his arguments for the real distinction of mind from body, by understanding how the physical world operates based on the notions he sets. His claim will eventually be refuted because of his lack of understanding of how a non-extended mind affects an extended bodyDescartes' main

Analysis of Descartes’ Mind/Body Distinction

1174 words - 5 pages In his Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes states “I have a clear and distinct idea of myself, in as far as I am only a thinking and unextended thing, and as, on the other hand, I possess a distinct idea of body, in as far as it is only an extended and unthinking thing”. [1] The concept that the mind is an intangible, thinking entity while the body is a tangible entity not capable of thought is known as Cartesian Dualism. The purpose of

Descartes on the Mind and Body

834 words - 4 pages necessarily distinguishing it from other minds based upon our understanding of. The mind must be a particular according to Descartes since it is the center of man’s own self so it must distinguish us from others; it does not follow that you cannot know yourself. Therefore this distinction between the two must be discredited since it does not follow with the rest of Descartes philosophy. If the two distinctions between matter and mind are false than

The Mind-body problem in Descartes Meditations

1402 words - 6 pages to be sure that we are not deceived when we perceive things clearly and distinctly. In the rest of the meditations, Descartes tries to prove that he himself is a thinking being and also that the mind is separate from the body.In Descartes' first meditation, he goes on to prove that nothing exists meaning that because some of our beliefs are based on false pretenses. He establishes that knowledge is built upon a foundation of lesser and simpler

The mind-body relation at descartes

2861 words - 11 pages , le lipșeste puterea argumentativă pentru a clarifica această problemă. 8Bibliografie:Descartes, Rene. Meditații metafizice. Editura Crater, București, 1993. (trad. Ion Papuc)The philosophical writings of Descartes. Volume 2. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1984. (translated by John Cottingham, Robert Stoothhoff, Dulagd Murdoch).Baird, F. and Kaufmann, W. (ed.), Modern Philosophy, Prentice Hall, 2008Clatterbaugh, K. The Causal Debate in Modern Philosophy 1637-1739, Routledge, 1996Cottingham, J. The rationalist. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1998

Analyzing Individuation and Identity In Descartes´ Philosophical View of the Mind-Body Dualism

1292 words - 5 pages 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 individuation can be derive from the Latin verb dîvîdo, which mean “I separate into parts” or “I divide up,” and the prefix in-, which in this

Mediations of First Philosophy by Descartes

1286 words - 5 pages Mediations of First Philosophy by Descartes In the “Mediations of First Philosophy” Descartes tries to prove the existence of God in the third meditation. He does this by coming up with several premises that eventually add up to a solid argument. First, I will explain why Descartes ask the question, does god exist? And why does Descartes think he needs such and argument at this point in the text. Secondly, I will explain, in detail, the

Similar Essays

Descartes' Views On The Topic Of Philosophy Of Mind

1134 words - 5 pages Descartes' Views on the Topic of Philosophy of Mind Descartes has indeeed made some notable contributions towards the philosophy of mind. It is the aim of this essay to discuss these contributions. Descartes is well known for being an avid dualist. This is the view that the mind and body are understood to be seperate and distinct from each other, but in some way causally connected. Descartes was no exception and

Philosophy Of The Mind Essay

1443 words - 6 pages Philosophy of Mind One can say or try and dissect the brain and try to figure what’s going on inside of it and that’s what Philophers today try to do that. Why is that why must the brain be dissected? This question is raised for the simple fact that Philophers really want to know why whats going on the human brain. This can also go back to “knowing” and believing in something. We will also take a look into emotion with a emphisis on facil

The Importance Of God In Descartes' Philosophy

1299 words - 5 pages expressly for this end, but that my being deceived arises from the circumstance that the power which God has given me of discerning truth from error is not infinite. (, #4)God is seen as being infinitely perfect and not a deceiver according to Descartes' philosophy. Descartes postulated that God could not have allowed deception into the minds of his creation. Therefore man's mind should be

Descartes’ Arguments For The Real Distinction Of Mind And Body

1915 words - 8 pages Descartes’ Arguments for the Real Distinction of Mind and Body Descartes argues has three main arguments for minds and bodies being two different distinct types of substance. These are known as arguments for substance dualism and are as follows. * The Argument from doubt : Descartes argues that while he could pretend or think that he had no body and therefore did not exist in any place, he could not think or