An Exposition and Evaluation of Descartes' Arguments for the Claim that the Mind is not Identical to the Body

An Exposition and Evaluation of Descartes
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(Name) (Professor) (Subject) (Date) An Exposition and Evaluation of Descartes’ Arguments for the Claim that the Mind is not Identical to the Body In his Sixth Meditation, Descartes presents two arguments for the claim that the mind is not identical to the body…

Introduction

According to Descartes: “It is true that I may have (or to anticipate, that I certainly have) a body that is very closely joined to me. But nevertheless, on the one hand, I have a clear and distinct idea of myself, in so far as I am simply a thinking, non-extended thing; and on the other hand I have a distinct idea of body, in so far as this is simply an extended, non-thinking thing. And accordingly, it is certain that I am really distinct from my body, and can exist without it.” (54) From the argument above, Descartes is trying to say that he has a “clear and distinct” idea of himself and at the same time, he has a “clear and distinct” idea of body. He therefore concludes that his having a clear and distinct idea of himself serves as enough proof that the mind exists, and that his having a clear and distinct idea of body directly implies that his body exists separately from the mind, and is therefore different from it. It is also interesting to note that his clear and distinct idea of himself is “simply a thinking, non-extended thing” and how he perceives the body is “simply an extended, non-thinking thing.” This therefore brings us to the idea that Descartes’ argument of separation of the mind from the body, or of the body from the mind, is simply based on the matter of extension and capacity to think. ...
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