A defence of cartesian dualism from the attacks of modern science.

Essay by scarusoUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, April 2004

download word file, 5 pages 3.7

Downloaded 67 times

Dualism has been given a rough ride. This theory, ascribed mainly to Descartes that the mind is separate from the body, has been justly rejected for many reasons. Descartes theory required the existence of a substance that was mind, as well as a theater in which the mind could view what it internally perceived. As our scientific understanding of how the brain functions to produce consciousness and hence the mind has increased, these two pictures of brain function have been rejected. Some theorist would be content to reject all aspects of dualism along with those which have been shown to be false. This I perceive is analogous to throwing out the baby with the bath water. There are many facets of Cartesian Dualism that are compatible with current discoveries in brain science. This essay will be devoted to the reconciliation of current scientific advancements in brain science with a dualistic version of consciousness.

What I mean by "dualism":

Dualism is the obvious conclusion that people come too when asked what it is like to be conscious. When I describe my conscious day to day life, I describe events happening both internally, in my mind, and externally, in the outside world which my senses perceive and my mind interprets. This natural feeling of there being two worlds, one internal and personal and the other external and common to all is the basis for the more far fetched ideas of Cartesian Dualism cooked up by Descartes. Descartes tried unsuccessfully to reconcile this natural impression of dual worlds with what was currently understood about neurology and physiology.

What I mean by "mind":

Mind is where consciousness is happening. Mind is the scientific way of referring to the Cartesian theater. Mind is what we are looking into or at when we close our...