Descartes Mind/Body Problem

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The Mind/Body Problem has been a topic of much discussion for many centuries, dating back to philosophers even before Aristotle. The problem addresses the question that if there is a mind that is immaterial and distinct from the material body, then how can something immaterial control something that is material? How are are the mind and body related? Common theories that arise from this problem are centered around two viewpoints: the mind and body are two distinct entities or they are a single entity. The stance of Dualism in philosophy of the mind is based on the idea that the mind and body are two fundamentally different kinds of things. Dualism includes many subcategories that work to distinguish how the mind and body relate if they are separate. Some of these include the …show more content…

The mind/body problem is a common topic in philosophy of the mind with many different theories attempting to answer a fundamental question about the relationship between the mind and the body. The philosopher that brought this ancient problem to modern philosophy was René Descartes. Throughout the vast number of writings that we have of Descartes’, he talks about many different philosophical questions and the answers that he has for them. Included in his works are many entries that have to do with the mind/body problem. Descartes’ theory about the mind/body problem gave us Mind-Body Dualism and is now placed in the subcategory of Substance Dualism. He believed that the mind and body were two distinct entities or substances, where the mind is an immaterial entity and the body is a material entity. His argument for why the mind and body must be two different things is clearly stated in his Sixth Meditation: “[T]he fact that I can clearly and distinctly understand one thing apart from another is enough to make me certain that the two things are distinct, since they are capable of being separated, at least by God. … Thus, simply by

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