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Descartes Mind Body Dualism in 6th Meditation - Essay Example

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Descartes Mind Body Dualism in 6th Meditation

Although his theory was subjected to a lot of challenges and controversies, yet philosophers mutually hold the consensus that there is a certain level of truth in the theory proposed by Descartes because we would never have felt the existence of our bodies had we never had any minds. Thus, existence of mind was fundamental to the human realization of body. This somewhat promotes the view that mind works independent of the body. The thesis proposed by Descartes is frequently referred to as the substance dualism. The thesis derives its name from its underlying ideology that emphasizes that this world is fundamentally made up of two types of substances, one materialistic and the other mental, with the former being mortal and the latter being immortal. The dual substance theory also reflects in the fact that human mind is free of the principles of nature, while all physical things abide by the principles of nature. Human thinking is quite vast. This paper evaluates the mind-body theory proposed by Descartes. Human mind does work independent of the body but with certain restrictions. Yes, the mind can exist independent of the body, though it depends which part of the body is lost. This can be estimated from the fact that some people lose parts of their body like limbs, feet, hands in some accident and some are born with these disabilities, yet it does not decrease their mental ability in any way. In fact, in a vast majority of cases in which people suffer from a certain kind of disability, they are able to optimize on their other kinds of skills. For example, an individual that is born deaf is sharper in learning the language of signs than an individual who can hear and speak. Likewise, people that lose their foot and have to walk with the help of crutches increase their muscular strength because of the constant exercise. Hence, losing some part or parts of the body does not deprive an individual of the natural energy. In fact, the mind has the same amount of energy to exert of the remaining body parts due to which, the individual’s performance in other areas improves. An individual’s mind would keep functioning if he/she receives a bullet in his/her hand, feet or leg. But if someone is shot in the heart, the mind would stop functioning soon thereafter because it will lose its source of blood supply. Heart purifies and pumps the blood to all parts of the body. If heart is lost, life is lost. If heart is intact, there is good chance that the individual would survive. In addition to the heart, another area that is very critical and is fundamental to the sustainability of life is the mind itself. Although human mind is a part of the body like all other parts including hands, feet and chest, yet its function is just as important as that of the human heart. Human mind sends messages to all parts of the body through electrical impulses. Therefore, if the mind is destroyed, every system inside the body would stop functioning and the individual would lose life. Hence, mind can exist independently of the body to some extent, but the body can not exist without mind. Another example that proves the statement that mind can exist without body but to a certain extent is the fact that man can survive both in the space and under water, provided that he is equipped with sufficient supply of air. In the space, body loses all its weight and the man begins to float. Losing body ...Show more


14 October 2011. Evaluation of Descartes’s Mind Body Dualism in the 6th Meditation The mind-body phenomenon refers to the way an individual’s processes and states of mind like cool, anger, thinking and beliefs are linked to his/her bodily features, states and tendencies…
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