Dualism's Mistake

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Rene Descartes’ Dualism Mistake By, Henry Nabea Abstract In his Philosophical Psychology, Rene Descartes conceived human beings as being composed of two independent substances, i.e. body and soul. But a critical analysis of this dualistic conception of human nature shows that Descartes claim is false and untenable.


Descartes’ Dualism Mistake The problem of the relationship between the body and the soul is one of the main philosophical problems in the history of Philosophy. Philosophers, since the time of Aristotle up to the contemporary time, are dividend on how really, soul and body are related. In modern period, Rene Descartes is credited for having systematized the debate, and thus provoked a lot of interest in the debate. Descartes conception of the relationship between the body and the soul was perfectly in line with his dualistic conception of reality. In his Metaphysics, Descartes conceived reality has being composed of two substances: Thought and Extension. Descartes defined a substance as, that which can exist on its own, without depending on any other thing for its existence (cRyle, n.d). Following this dualistic conception of reality, Descartes saw human beings as being composed of two substances, i.e., the soul (thought) and the body (extension). However, Descartes understood the essence of human person not as a composite of body and soul, but rather as soul (thought only). So, according to Descartes, the body is not a part of a human nature, but it is necessary united to the souls to help the soul in perceiving external realities. But this dualistic view of mankind has received a lot of oppositions since the time of Descartes. ...
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