Descartes' Arguments for the immateriality of the mind/soul
Descartes is one of the rationalistsÃ¯Â¿Â½, who believed that the only way to acquire knowledge is through reason; as opposed to empiricists, who thought it is possible only through sense experience. This shaped Descartes' view of human nature as dualism. He believed that human mind/soul and body are totally different entities. He defined mind as non-extended entity with notions of thought, sensation and imagination, where body as extended subject, occupying the space. So he based his argument of the immateriality of mind/soul on dualism. Firstly, he made it clear that the mind and the soul is the same thing and it is the self. From this he drew that the self actually exists by asserting that the ability to reason proves his existence. Then he moves to claim that the mind and body are distinct entities and that mind can exist without body.
This would imply the possibility for an after-life, thus the immateriality of mind/soul.Ã¯Â¿Â½
So Descartes starts his argument to prove immateriality of soul by asserting that self exists as mind/soul. After doubting everything in his Second MeditationÃ¯Â¿Â½, that is rejecting the possibility of the existence of extension, movement, senses and bodies, even his own; thus concluding that the only thing is certain that there is no certainty. But if he does not exist, what triggers these thoughts? So if the physical world does not exist, he does not exist as well? But by having all these doubts Descartes must exist. He formed the Cogito argument, involving the notion I am, I exist (Descartes, p.17). He defined this 'I' as the body, mind or soul with the attributes of nourishment, movement, sensation and thinking. He could doubt everything except that he can think and that he...