Descartes on Mind-Body Dualism


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Essay #: 073646
Total text length is 8,703 characters (approximately 6.0 pages).

Excerpts from the Paper

The beginning:
Descartes on Mind-Body Dualism
In Meditation 2, Descartes makes it plain that he believes strongly that he is a thinking thing. The ensuing paper will look carefully at what this claim means and will explore how he employs this claim in his argument for mind-body dualism. At its core, Descartes insists that he is a thinking thing because he does have thoughts that, through careful assessment, he knows to be real; this cannot be doubted for such thoughts are plain enough and real enough even when the reality of everything else is in question. For this reason, Descartes comes to the conclusion that, because the body cannot absolutely be proved to exist but the mind’s thoughts can be proved to exist, it is logical to conclude that the mind...
The end:
.....act causally through the senses and perceptions – but the one thing that truly exists is the mind because the mind is able to think. All other things in the world can be created by a foreign entity that is seeking to deceive the human being – but thoughts, even if they are false ones, are substantially real. However, if the human being is being deceived even in his thoughts, he (or she) can at least not be uncertain about the reality of those thoughts and mental images. Descartes’ skepticism and his doubt are problematic things for the first time reader, but the essential gist of what he is saying is that we can all think, and this is proof that we are all real.
Works Cited
Meditations I and II. Pp.1-7 (additional information not provided).