How Did Descartes Explain The Relationship Between Mind And Body?

2612 words - 10 pages

Across the years, many scientists and philosophers believed that a human being is made up by mind and body (Radner, 1971). Some of them believed that the mind-soul is something different from the body and each of them works by themselves without any interaction between them (Radner, 1971). The other point of view said that body and mind works together as a unity and mutually influences each other and the result is the human being. This view had been held by great figures like the Greek philosopher Aristotle and Aquinas (Radner, 1971). Who argued that there should be a connection between mind-soul and body, because only in this way sensation and voluntary movement which needs both mind and body to operate can be explained (Radner, 1971). Contrary, philosophers like Plato and Augustine held the view that mind-soul and body are two completely different entities. They argue that soul is an independent entity which can work by itself without any help from the body and thus it is not part of it (Radner, 1971). One of those people who dealt with this issue was Rene Descartes a rationalist, nativist and dualist who tried to find the connection between soul and body through his work in 1649 with the title ‘Treatise on the Passions of the Soul’ (Fancher, & Rutherford, 2012).
Rene Descartes (1596-1650) a philosopher and mathematician was one of the biggest and greatest figures in the nativism empiricism period (Wertheimer, 2000). He served his country in the thirty years war in which he saw many things that helps him with his future treatises (Wertheimer, 2000). One day he dreamed that his destiny was to reorganize the knowledge, so, he started to materialize his dream (Wertheimer, 2000). He tried to find out all the things that he will be sure for their existence and he doubted every thing he could possibly doubt even the existence of his own senses (Wertheimer, 2000; Fancher, & Rutherford, 2012). However, the only thing that he was sure was his doubting itself. (Wertheimer, 2000). From the doubting method he managed to convince himself that he exists, based in the fact that as much as he can think he is real so he exists, which led him to the famous quote ‘Cogito Ergo Sum’ (Wertheimer, 2000). Since he was absolutely sure about his existence he wanted to found if the god is real and if the real world is really exists.
After the publication of some of his works like ‘The World’ Rene Descartes focused to publish a work that will be acceptable to the Church, because he did not want to have the same fate as Galileo had from his theory about the world (Fancher, & Rutherford, 2012). So, for many years he was writing about meteorology, optics and geometry a less threatening subjects for the Church. Eventually, in 1637, he published all his work about these subjects with the title: ‘Discourse on the Method of Rightly conducting the Reason and Seeking the Truth in the Field of Science; plus Dioptric, Meteorology, and Geometry, Which are Some of the Results...

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