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Research Paper - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Date Is There a Relationship Between the Body and Mind? The explanation or the concept of a body is a common topic to every human being in the world. In our day to day activities we come across a lot of bodies and we generally describe them according to their physical appearance…
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The monism argues that the body and the mind make one physical being. This is the basis of this research project. Dualists assert that human beings are a combination of two different units, the mind and the body. Dualists claim that the body and the mind are not connected and therefore, do not influence the working of each other. Dualists argue that after the death, the mind continues to existing on its own but in incorporeal form while the body putrefies or decays (Wingerter, 2011). One such dualist is Rene Descartes, who is one of the most modern philosophers. He believes that the body an the mind are two distinct elements. He formulated the Cartesian dualism theory that was named after him. The theory was put on the method and the meditation. Descartes, in the Cartesian dualism, claims that a human being is made up of two different elements: the body and the mind. This has been used as a proof why the mind has no immortality. Descartes argue that a human being is totally discrete and different to their material body. Descartes believed that the powers of human reason, a faculty of the mind, is the sole basis of knowledge. According to him, faculties of reason through intuition and deduction are natural characteristics of the human mind. Descartes also argues that the body is similar to a machine that is maneuvered by mechanical schemes, and that the mind has nothing to do with the processes underwent by the physical body. Mind and body and not connected to each other, just like the oyster has no connection with the pearl. To further this, Descartes believes that animals are just “automata” and act without the use of mind or consciousness, and are merely driven by mechanical schemes. This mechanical scheme, as discussed by Descartes, furthers the reasoning that the mind is totally independent of the body. Descartes claims that the brain controls the body mechanically by sending fluids through the neurotransmitters of the brain. This analogy reduces the brain and the body to pure mechanical objects and puts into context that the it is possible for the mind to exist without the body, and the body to exist without the mind. He states that while the body is a non-thinking, extended thing, the mind is the complete opposite as it is a thinking, non-extended thing. Descartes has also given more evidence to prove that the body and mind are two different and disconnected elements but working in partnership. He argues that the body is by itself dividable while the mind does not have such divisible capability. “There is a great difference between the mind and the body in as much as the body is by its very nature always divisible, while the mind is utterly indivisible” (First meditation). This was the case in the transplantation of organs. If a person was to receive a heart from another person, where the heart is considered as the key organ for a human being’s body existence, the person does not become a new different person because of this. Transplantation shows how the body can be divided into different parts due to donation of body organs. Descartes argues that a person is made of different molecular structures, a variety of fluids, numerous nerves and body networks. Conversely, if a person dies, we are unable to form a construction of their mind. We cannot detach their thoughts into one part and their personality into another part. This shows therefore, that the mind is not dividable. Critics of this view ... Read More
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