Descartes Sixth Meditation Analysis

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In the sixth meditation, Descartes postulates that there exists a fundamental difference in the natures of both mind and body which necessitates that they be considered as separate and distinct entities, rather than one stemming from the other or vice versa. This essay will endeavour to provide a critical objection to Descartes’ conception of the nature of mind and body and will then further commit to elucidating a suitably Cartesian-esque response to the same objection. (Descartes,1641) In the sixth meditation Descartes approaches this point of dualism between mind and matter, which would become a famous axiom in his body of philosophical work, in numerous ways. To wit Descartes postulates that he has clear and distinct perceptions of both…show more content…
My perception of my body and matter in general is that it is in its essence divisible (Descartes,1641) This essay here will insert a reference to ‘Leibnitz’s Law’ or otherwise the relatively intuitive principle that for two things to be the same thing, they must share all the qualities of each other. Descartes does not specifically do so, but it is heavily inferred from his argument. Descartes now concludes that since minds are indivisible and bodies are, that according to the Leibnitz’s law they cannot be the same thing and hence: Conclusion: The mind is substantively different from the body and indeed matter in general. Because in this conception the mind is substantively distinct from the body it becomes plausible for us to doubt the intuitive connection between mind and body. Indeed there are many aspects of the external world that do not appear to have minds and yet appear none the less real in spite of this for example mountains, sticks or lamps, given this we can begin to rationalize that perhaps minds can exist without bodies, and we only lack the capacity to perceive them. This essay will now begin the task of laying out the objection to Descartes’…show more content…
Without a tangible “thing” to split, it could be argued that divisibility has no real meaning at all in relation to things that by their nature cannot be split. To wit, Descartes’ argument supposes that a mind divided would result in absurdity, such as two fractions of a greater mind, both with capacity to think, or in other words, two new minds, he takes this as evidence that a mind cannot be divided; but it would seem plausible also to say that this absurdity is the result of applying terms that only have meaning when applied to things with extension. In other words; a mind may well be capable of division, even if it was substantively different and separate from matter and body, thus we may conclude that Descartes cannot prove the distinction between mind and matter by ascribing notions of relative divisibility or non-divisibility to them. Additionally much of Descartes thought regarding the indivisibility of the mind is based on a preceding conception of the mind as non-physical before the argument proves
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