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How Have Dualist Tried To Explain The Apparent Two Way Causal Interaction Between Mind And Body? Which Version Of Dualism Is The Most Plausible Theory Of Mind?

1144 words - 5 pages

How have dualist tried to explain the apparent two-way causal interaction between mind and body? Which version of dualism is the most plausible theory of mind?The theory of dualism is based on the separation of the mind and body into two types of stuff - spiritual and physical. Dualists believe that the mind consists of spiritual stuff absent in the material world, while "the body is composed of ordinary matter" . Cartesian, or interactionalist dualism claim that physical events cause mental events and vice versa, therefore communication between the mind and body creates the need for a two-way causal interaction between the spiritual and material worlds. On the other hand, alternative forms of dualism - parallelism and epiphenomenalism, remove the constraint of causal interaction. In this essay, I shall discuss the various explanations for the apparent two-way causal interaction between the mind and body, as well as justification of Cartesian dualism from that viewpoint. From this I will conclude that Cartesian dualism is the most plausible dualist theory of mind.Founder of Cartesian dualism, René Descartes, believed that interaction between the mind and body took place in the pineal gland, which is located in the middle of the brain. However, modern neuroscience has since disproved that theory, with brain scans showing how different areas of the brain control different mental activities - memory, emotion, speech, consciousness, physical movement, etc. With these discoveries, modern Cartesian dualists have altered Descartes' original theory to state that instead of the pineal gland, "interaction between body and [mind] takes place in various locations spread throughout the brain." Criticisms of Cartesian dualism include the Interaction Problem, where it is questioned "[h]ow can something with no physical properties (Descartes' spiritual mind) push around physical objects (Descartes' limbs)?" The Laws of Physics state that only when a physical force is applied to an object, will it move, implying that thoughts and mental processes have physical properties and are therefore part of the physical world and not the spiritual. The Cartesian dualists' argument of the causal interaction between the spiritual mind and the physical body states that the causality may not be proven by physics, but its existence cannot be disproved. Another argument against the causal interaction between mind and body is the Conservation of Energy Problem, stating that all energy in the physical world is in a closed system. Justification against this problem lies on the determinism of the Laws of Physics; no laws would be broken by causal interaction if they were indeterministic:The problem with closure of physics may be radically altered if physical laws are indeterministic, as quantum theory seems to assert. If physical laws are deterministic, then any interference from outside would lead to a breach of those laws. But if they are indeterministic, might not...

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