The Mind Body Problem In Descartes Meditations

1402 words - 6 pages

Many people have tried to explain and interpret cognition over time. One of the earliest such philosophers was Descartes. He wrote many works on the subject, one of his most famous being the Meditations collection. The collection is also very beneficial to theories today, even though it needs to be refined to fit more modern ideasIn the third meditation, Descartes tries to prove God's existence and that He is not a deceiver, thereby allowing us 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 ideas that lead to higher levels of understanding. Each piece of knowledge rests upon some other part of knowledge. Over the course of ones life, a person establishes one piece of knowledge and builds upon that. Descartes goes on to doubt every particular set of knowledge he has.Descartes says that the most basic set of knowledge we have are our senses. He continues that the senses give us false information. For example, when we look at the sun, we cannot tell how big it is because it is only relative in our field of vision and through a well known phenomenon actually appears smaller and larger during the course of the day pending on its current location relative to the horizon and objects along it. The same is true for dreams. Senses appear to be real in dreams, but can we tell whether or not we are dreaming. Therefore, if we can never determine we are dreaming or awake then we can't rely on our senses.He believes that a supreme God has created us and has the power to deceive us. If God is perfect then he cannot deceive us. Consequently, we must assume that an evil demon is the source of our deceptions. Therefore Descartes has reason to deny the validity of his senses.From this, Descartes assumes if there is a deceiver and he himself can be deceived, then he must exist. In general it will follow from any state of thinking, whether it be imagining, sensing, feeling, or reasoning, that he exists. Since he can only be certain of the existence of himself insofar as he is a thinking thing, then he has knowledge of his existence of only a thinking thing.After he has established himself as a thinking thing, he then goes on to argue that the mind is more certainly known than the body. He goes on to say that it is possible that all knowledge of external objects, including his body, could be false as the result of the actions of an evil demon. It is not, however, possible that he could be deceived about his existence or his nature as a thinking thing. This is true because if he can be deceived about anything, then he can be certain, as he is a thinking thing.Even corporeal...

Find Another Essay On The Mind-body problem in Descartes Meditations

The mind-body relation at descartes Essay

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

Mind body problem. Essay

6819 words - 27 pages , most of us do not think about our own solutions to the mind-body problem, and, sometimes, we may use different solutions at different times. In the Middle Ages, the mind-body problem was not even identified as a problem, and, therefore, the "solution" then was completely confounded, meaning that mind and body were thoroughly bound up together in one complex and confusing bundle.What is the mind-body problem? Descartes helped to define it when he

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’ 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

How did Descartes Explain the Relationship between Mind and Body?

2612 words - 10 pages ‘Discourse on Method’ (Fancher, & Rutherford, 2012). In this autobiography he spoke about the rational human soul and his early steps as a systematic doubter. Descartes, like the Greek philosopher Plato, was a dualist and he believed in a mind and body dualism (Wertheimer, 2000; Fancher, & Rutherford, 2012). This point of view was not new because many philosophers and theologians before Descartes had separate these two substances, mind and body

Essence of Mind and Body for Descartes

1096 words - 4 pages but also proves that the essence of mind is real. He then provides an argument that states that since he is possibly non-extended, and no human thing is not non-extended, extension therefore is not essential to his existence. This meant that the mind can be independent from the body. This is also seen in Descartes' statement in his Meditations of First Philosophy; "For since I now know that even bodies are not, properly speaking, perceived by the

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

Exploring the Different Theories Involved in the Mind and Body Problem

2580 words - 10 pages and body problem dates back at least to Plato (b427bce). By some accounts Plato was the first dualist with the first materialist Aristotle(b384bce) close at hand. Descartes (1596-1650) is perhaps the philosopher that most people reference when discussing the mind-body problem, for Descartes there are the two substances mind-matter each substance has a defining attribute in the case of mind it is thought in the case of

The Mind-Body Problem Continued: Functionalism Takes a Stab

1021 words - 4 pages added the causal relationship to input and outputs, as well as examining the mental states that occur in the in-between. As functionalism took both views to another level, to answer arguments such as Jackson's more completely, as well as the qualitative facts and qualia that it brings up, functionalism should not be discounted, but seen as another building block in arriving at the answer to the mind body problem and philosophy of mind.

Comparing Thomas Reid and David Hume on the topic of the mind-body problem

851 words - 3 pages nothing that has perfect identity; everything is constantly changing. The body and mind are different from day to day, as is everything else. There is no impression of the self that is constant, and does not change. Hume called the self "a bundle or collection of different perceptions, which succeed each other with an inconceivable rapidity and are in a perpetual flux and movement". There is nothing consistent and permanent to base the self off of

Descartes' arguments for immateriality of mind/soul based on the notion of dualism: body is extended object and mind/soul is non-extended.

1858 words - 7 pages body would be opposite to mind, which is undividable into parts and is immortal. And given that they can independently exist without any effect on each other suggests that when body dies, the mind/soul continues to exist. Thus this further proves that mind/soul is immortal.BibliographyDescartes, Rene Meditations on First Philosophy edited by J. Cottingham, Cambridge University Press, 2005Garber, Daniel (1998, 2000). Descartes, Rene. In E. Craig (Ed

Similar Essays

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

The Mind/Body Problem Essay

1589 words - 6 pages solving the mind/body problem, we must come to the sad realization that we have not yet solved it; but thankfully, much progress has already been made.Over the course of all the work that has been done, two major schools of thought have been developed, which are dualism, and monism (specifically materialism). Dualism, which was founded by Rene Descartes, and outlined in his Meditations, is based on the fundamental claim that the mind is a metaphysical

Descartes Mind And Body. Essay

2270 words - 9 pages Descartes overall objective in the Meditations is to question knowledge. To explore such issues as the existence of God and the separation of mind and body, it was important for him to distinguish what we can know as truth. He believed that reason as opposed to experience was the source for discovering what is of absolute certainty. The first meditation acts as a foundation for all those that follow. Here Descartes discerns between mere opinion

Descartes On The Mind And Body

834 words - 4 pages comprehend that it has happened. Thus there is a connection between the body and mind. So if matter were to change the mind would sense it. This sensing changes the knowledge within the mind since knows what has happened as it happens to the body. The result is that the mind is therefore affected by changes in matter since the mind understands the changes immediately as they happen. The other of Descartes distinctions is that he feels that