Descartesview of the relationship between mind and body

Mind–body problem - Wikipedia

These, of course, are the mind and body referred to in his earlier work, was intrigued by Descartes' view of the relationship between mind and body, given his. As for Descartes' view of the mind as a reasoning machine, Spinoza thought that In fact, he suggested, the mind exists purely for the body's sake, to ensure its. Mind and what it connotes is the battered offspring of the union of psychology. At some deep level we dearly love and cherish it and see beh.

Rather, the important point is that, by reflecting on scenarios like dreaming and being deceived by an evil demon, it seems possible to doubt whether any of the external, physical things which we seem to perceive really do exist. What is there, then, that can be esteemed true? Perhaps this only, that there is absolutely nothing certain. Far from it; I assuredly existed, since I was persuaded. But there is I know not what being, who is possessed at once of the highest power and the deepest cunning, who is constantly employing all his ingenuity in deceiving me.

Doubtless, then, I exist, since I am deceived; and, let him deceive me as he may, he can never bring it about that I am nothing, so long as I shall be conscious that I am something. So that it must, in fine, be maintained, all things being maturely and carefully considered, that this proposition pronunciatum I am, I exist, is necessarily true each time it is expressed by me, or conceived in my mind.

Just as an evil demon cannot deceive me about my own existence, he cannot deceive me about the fact that I am being deceived. At this point, you might ask: What does this show about the relationship between the mind and the body?

Descartes is most explicit about this in paragraph 9 of Meditation 6: And although I may, or rather, as I will shortly say, although I certainly do possess a body with which I am very closely conjoined; nevertheless, because, on the one hand, 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, it is certain that I, that is, my mind, by which I am what I am], is entirely and truly distinct from my body, and may exist without it.

So, if he can clearly and distinctly conceive some state of affairs, then that state of affairs is possible. The distinction between possible and impossible situations, and contingent and necessary truths. So, if Descartes is right, we can show that it is possible that x and y are distinct things by clearly and distinctly conceiving of them as distinct.

What he wants to show is that it is possible that mind and body are distinct; so what he needs to show is that he can clearly and distinctly conceive of mind and body as distinct.

But, in a sense, he has already shown this.

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In Meditation 1, Descartes doubted the existence of material bodies; so, he was conceiving of bodies not existing. But, in Meditation 2, he found that he could not doubt his own existence.

Mind–body problem

So, in this method of doubt, he was conceiving of his mind as existing, but of bodies as not existing. So he was conceiving of his mind as distinct from his body. So, if the above is correct, it follows that it is possible that his mind is distinct from his body. How can we get from one thesis to the other? The necessity of identity as bridging this gap in the argument. If I can clearly and distinctly conceive of such and such being the case, God could make such and such the case.

If God could make such and such the case, then such and such is possible. If I can clearly and distinctly conceive of such and such being the case, then such and such is possible.

Descartes View on the Mind Body Problem | Mel Chang -

I can clearly and distinctly conceive of the mind existing without the body. I can clearly and distinctly conceive of a case there the mind the body. Is this argument valid? Can you see how to run a parallel argument to show that particular mental events — like certain thoughts, or pains — are not identical to any material bodies, or physical events?

One way to answer this question is to get clearer on what Descartes thinks bodies are. Descartes often speaks of bodies as extended; part of what he means is expressed in the following passage: Should we conclude from this that Descartes thinks that bodies do not exist in space — that they have no dimensions?

Does this make sense? Does it follow that they are not located anywhere? But this tells us what the relationship of mind to body is not; it does not tell us what it is. In one place, Descartes gives his view of the relationship of mind and body by an analogy: If your mind and its states, such as your beliefs and desires, were causally isolated from your bodily behavior, then what goes on in your mind could not explain what you do. If psychological explanation goes, so do the closely related notions of agency and moral responsibility.

Clearly, a good deal rides on a satisfactory solution to the problem of mental causation [and] there is more than one way in which puzzles about the mind's "causal relevance" to behavior and to the physical world more generally can arise. According to Descartes, minds and bodies are distinct kinds of "substance".

Bodies, he held, are spatially extended substances, incapable of feeling or thought; minds, in contrast, are unextended, thinking, feeling substances. If minds and bodies are radically different kinds of substance, however, it is not easy to see how they "could" causally interact. Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia puts it forcefully to him in a letter: For the determination of movement seems always to come about from the moving body's being propelled—to depend on the kind of impulse it gets from what sets it in motion, or again, on the nature and shape of this latter thing's surface.

Now the first two conditions involve contact, and the third involves that the impelling thing has extension; but you utterly exclude extension from your notion of soul, and contact seems to me incompatible with a thing's being immaterial Elizabeth is expressing the prevailing mechanistic view as to how causation of bodies works.

Mod-01 Lec-10 Descartes: the mind-body dualism; the concept of God and proofs for Gods existence

Causal relations countenanced by contemporary physics can take several forms, not all of which are of the push—pull variety. Freemansuggests that explaining mind—body interaction in terms of "circular causation" is more relevant than linear causation. Many suggest that neuroscience will ultimately explain consciousness: Abstract information processing models are no longer accepted as satisfactory accounts of the human mind.

Interest has shifted to interactions between the material human body and its surroundings and to the way in which such interactions shape the mind. Proponents of this approach have expressed the hope that it will ultimately dissolve the Cartesian divide between the immaterial mind and the material existence of human beings Damasio, ; Gallagher, A topic that seems particularly promising for providing a bridge across the mind—body cleavage is the study of bodily actions, which are neither reflexive reactions to external stimuli nor indications of mental states, which have only arbitrary relationships to the motor features of the action e.

The shape, timing, and effects of such actions are inseparable from their meaning. One might say that they are loaded with mental content, which cannot be appreciated other than by studying their material features.

Imitation, communicative gesturing, and tool use are examples of these kinds of actions. Neural correlates of consciousness The neuronal correlates of consciousness constitute the smallest set of neural events and structures sufficient for a given conscious percept or explicit memory. This case involves synchronized action potentials in neocortical pyramidal neurons.