Are the mind and body connected?

Essay by becci__xHigh School, 12th gradeA+, February 2009

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

When I look at my prompt I do not just see a head in a box, I see a detailed face, a checkered floor, wooden walls, pursed lips and closed eyes. The prompt shows a human head inside which looks like a box with four walls, the fourth wall being our view of the inside. The human head does not seem to be connected to a body and the eyes are closed, which makes me think it might be dead, or thinking. The floor of the box is painted with checkers, like that of a chess board and the head is merely placed on top of this, the hair is swept back and the lips are pursed.

Looking at the prompt inspires me to think about philosophical issues such as; is the body a slave to the mind? Or more substantially are the body and the mind connected? This question led me on to focus on such themes as mind and matter, and the limitations of our thought.

Two perspectives of this issue would be Dualism and Monism and their theories of mind and body.

The first perspective I want to look at is Dualism, which is the view that there are two forms of reality or two kinds of real things. Or more simply, that the mind and body are not connected at all. Descartes is the most substantial philosopher to support this view, although his ideals may be radical. Descartes believed that we are absolutely unconnected to our bodies and that we can exist without it, and this analogy is shared with philosophers such as Plato and Locke. I think the dualistic view for this argument is definitely the weaker of the two, as it shows substantial weaknesses.

According to Descartes a body is an extended thing, and...