Descartes View Of The Human Body

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In this paper, I will explain Descartes’ view of the human body provided in the Synopsis of the Following Six Meditations (SFSM) and To Mesland, 9 February 1645 (M.L) letter, and demonstrate Descartes’ inconsistencies in both texts. In the SFSM, Descartes interest is to demonstrate a distinct idea about the nature of body by comparing body, mind, and human body. On the other hand, in the ML, Descartes interest is to provide an explanation regarding the body of a man, in which he provides a more developed analysis. However, the ideas of human body that Descartes provides in both texts are not consistent with each other and arrive to different conclusions. In the SMSF, Descartes draws a distinction among body, mind, and human body in order to obtain a distinct perception about corporeal nature. Descartes begins by describing the mind and body as substances that are distinct from each other. The distinction is based on the idea that body is only understood as divisible and mind as indivisible. In other words, the mind is not conceivable into pieces in similar manner as the body. This distinction, in Descartes view, demonstrates that body and mind are opposite substances. Additionally, Descartes believes that body and mind are not interdependent. This, according to Descartes, explains that “the decay of body does not imply the destruction of the mind” and opens the possibility of “an after-life” (SFSM, AT 13: CSM 74). Additionally, Descartes believes that physics is necessary

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