"I can feel the afflictions of my mind."
-so one student wrote as part of his/her proof that a mind exists. Why this rather weak assertion would need proof was not made clear.
One page earlier that student had written,
"Contact between baseball molecules and space is a logical impossibility."
One page after the initial quote, the same student wrote,
"This is an argument against using ... logic to advance any theory of mind. Logic cannot apply to mind ... theory."
-thereby using logic in a way s/he'd said (in the same sentence) was impossible.
[You might think that I'm unfairly taking remarks out of context. On the contrary: I'm being generous by isolating these remarks from an even more confusing verbal environment. You might also think it helps to know which argument "This" refers to in the remark last quoted. You'd be wrong - terribly wrong.]
Let's get some fresh air:
"People breath[e] air into there [their] bodies. Air is not physical. So physical and not physical things can interact."
"Bodies are sometimes intangible. If I am paralyzed from the waist down and someone touches my leg I can't feel it. Even if I touch my own leg I can't feel it. My leg is intangible."
"With souls and bodies, it's like the chicken and the egg."
"The presence of a non-physical entity (soul) within a physical body is a subject of high stress." [- the first sentence of the paper.]
"To move forward, one must regress to ask and explain the following point?"
[-question mark in the original]
"If one looks at the idea of the mind as being a simple theoretical idea without a physical presence, then it would therefore take up no space at all while at the same time take up an infinite amount of space. With this amount of space, it would be present throughout the body and would be able to make contact with the body at all times."
"We have convictions, personalities, and motivation that must be the products of the presence of souls/minds. Otherwise what would keep us from having the same likes, dislikes, motivations and convictions? ... Since I have brown hair, would the ... [person] next to me with brown hair also be a morning person?"
"It is obvious and foundational to know when someone is dead. If you have ever looked into a dead person's eyes you get the feeling that there is nothing inside. You know definitely that you are alone. While there are many physical signs of death: cold skin, rigamortous [rigor mortis], unresponsive to your voice. I'll argue that it is only the lack of mind that is recognizable as death. Death is the ultimate extreme state of intuition. We know completely and inherently that they are dead. We relate on some level because some day we know we will have that same blank stare. It isn't that they are unresponsive or motionless that scares us, it is that they have no identify or personality. Yes, you are given physical signs of a non-physical exit, but it is the non-physical exit that impacts us because every physical part of the body is still there. There is communication on many levels about what has happened."
"We can think an endless amount of thoughts, thousands upon thousands of thoughts, yet those thoughts take up no space since they are inside our mind. Maybe we weigh a bit less after thinking them simply because our heart beats, we breathe and sit, and we might have burned up a few calories, ..."
"Descartes, the philosopher behind Cartesian Dualism ..."
"Perhaps you would think to yourself that this individual is a hamburger shy of a Happy Meal. Indeed we all would."
(I liked that line, but it did not advance the argument, as we say in the Phil biz.)
"... modern science has yet to determine exactly why these people posses the will and desire to randomly slaughter people who were previously unknown and unthreatening to them. Perhaps it is a physical imbalance or simply a case personal misinterpretation."
"At the cornerstone of the argument for dualism is an argument by a now deceased gentleman named Rene Descartes."
One student relied heavily on the dictionary to try to resolve questions about mind/body interaction. S/he carefully transcribed three definitions s/he'd found of a key term, and applied each in detail to show how arguments against Cartesian Dualism failed. The term that s/he should have looked up (if any) was "c a u s a l." The term s/he actually looked up was "c a s u a l."
Finally, one of the best lines from a paper that I've seen in years, combining truth with wit:
"Even photons are described as restless masses, and thereby are 'physical'."
Common usage describes an individual who feels two different feelings, one in the body and one in the mind. However, if you take a man who has one good hand, and one hand that has severe nerve and dip them both in scolding hot water.
If dualists feel so strongly about their philosophy why not substantiate the metaphores with further explanation. This approach has been taken with regards to the existence of a number of things that are not visible. Gravity is certainly non-physical and invisible, but Isaac Newton was able to quantify this phenomenon by developing the gravitational constant. Using this constant Cavindish was able to weigh the world. This was powerful evidence to support a difficult to understand theory.
... let's take a couple of seconds and talk about Machine Functionalism.
This premise considers the nature of causation, which means (as stated above) it requires an action from one abject to cause an action on another abject.
The body is no more part of our identity than a car is; that disease though painful, is merely a mechanical breakdown or invasion.
A young girl sits in a coffee house trying to study. Her body appears to be calm and relaxed, yet her mind is racing as she attempts to crame for her final exam.
I understand that you must grade my paper under standard pretenses.
... the liver is not identical to the body because the body must communicate with the liver, whereas the liver does not have to undertake these external communication pathways to communicate with itself. I cannot know in a Classically Self-Evident way that I have a liver, but my liver is certain of its own existence and continues to function.
... the Problem of Other Minds for Dualism and why this is actually not a hindrance to the lively-hood of the theory is definitely worth taking a glare at as well.
The vagueness of the issue must be introduced with more clarity.
This is obviously a run for the boarder, if you will.
We are taught that in scientific evaluation the way something works in one instance or situation is the way it must happen in all instances or, "In which all variables are the same."
After a long time of reviewing the points of each side of Cartesian Dualism, I have decided that I myself are dualist and believe that I have a non-physical soul outside of my own body.
From a historical standpoint, one of the forerunning arguments in this debate is Cartesian Dualism, founded by Rene Descartes.
... problems are arisen for Cartesian Dualism.
An infinite amount of similar examples follow.
Gravity is a relatively common notion these days.
Extreme heat, overuse of drugs, and stress can sometimes lead to hallucinations, such as five-foot tall purple spiders, and camels walking on their humps. These things do not exist, yet we sometimes see them.
Like the concept of gravity, people attempt to disprove Dualism.
The questioner then could push their luck and patients of the believer by asking, "How are you sure that there are other thinking things?"
With this principle established, Descartes cleared up the emptiness of his first argument and had seemingly answered all of the questions left open by this emptiness.
Common sense does not always prevail due to other possibilities, no matter how obscure or nonsensical.
The brain allows you to taste and hear the tears streaming down your cheek as you cry away the loss of a friend
... the truth about the human mind cannot be based upon a notion or an idea about mental activity
(A very brief, extremely informal, survey was conducted of thirty-two residents on the second floor of NNN Residence Hall, of which thirty believed in dualism, one did not, and one was too drunk to answer).
Both arguments seem to agree that if the mind is non-physical it can not impress the physical world.
"For any x and any y, and any property F: if x has property F and y does not have property F, then x is not identical to y." In other words, if one plastic block is red, and a second plastic block is green, then the two blocks are not identical.
The mind and the body interact simulation, such as ESP.
Science, as we all know, gives rise to non-physical objects, such as atoms.
I might think I have an arm, but really be a squishy blob in a jar, being poked and prodded so that I merely have the sensation of having an arm. Or I could only be dreaming that I have an arm. Either way there is a possibility that I don't really have an arm.
Air is a physical object, made up of many particles. If there was a box containing only air and all the air, all the physical components, were removed, it would cease to be physical, no longer having any of the characteristics of physical, which means that it must be non-physical. To throw a person into the box would produce a very clear interaction between something physical, the person, and something non-physical, the absence of air (and everything else). The interaction shows that non-physical things, in this case the presence of nothing, can indeed interact with physical things.
A statement is classically self evident for a person if and only if that person thinks that they believe that statement to be true.
Most males will definitely attest to the fact that an erection is a physical event of the body.
This exact type of contradiction (P and not P) is the cornerstone of many mathematical proofs.
Many dualist believe that upon death there is a separation. A crude analogy of this event would be vinegar rising to the top of a catsup bottle. When we have catsup with our french fries do we say, "Amm, excuse me, would you please pass the sodium-benzoate with vinegar mixture. No, of course we do not. Although vinegar is a transparent key component of catsup it is rarely considered such. This is one reason that Cartesian Dualism is difficult to handle. Although the mind is just as much important to a person as vinegar is to catsup, the proposed separation can not be observed and measured as such.
Causation might include a lever that punches a hole in a voting ballet, which causes the ballet to expand.
This observation is a big stepping block for Cartesian dualism, which questions the validity of any Cartesian dualist.
The greatest minds in history have assed this problem and found no easy solution. The nature of the problem leads to a conclusion that is difficult to solve.
If I put 10,000 dollars in the bank today and leave it there at 10 percent annual growth for ten years, then I might earn 1,000 dollars on top of my principal thereabouts.
... my new definition is that of Cartesian Dualism which has five tenants.
The mere torture this paper has put so many students, including me, through has done nothing but reaffirm my belief in dualism.
It is then through Cartesian Dualism and the analysis of it's relative arguments (1) and (2), that I will implore that man, as a thinking being, is dualistic and is composed transversely of mind and body.
I choose not to believe in Dualism whole heartily
Now let us perform a simple thought experiment. As I slope up the hill, I am caught up by a non-physical force that propels me. My feet still rotate on the pedals as the chain's force decreases; my wheels still spin. To an observer, my experience appears nothing more than a simple rotation in two dimensions, but I am firmly convinced of some amazing, unusual power.
There are no particles in the mind large enough to create fusion in the mind that would cause the body to reply to the minds commands ....
Not being a philosophy scholar, this is a bit difficult, so kindly bare with me.
My world is not a delusion and I know that others are also thinking because of simple interactions with others. Unless life is all a hallucination there are many other thinking things other than me. I know this because I am a stable person with no mental illnesses and have lived and interacted with other thinking things since conception.
People believe in Dualism for all sorts of reasons - because it jives with their religion, ...
Bodies have many complex parts and because of this they are acceptable to complications.
I originally accepted dualism out of early environment and blind faith.
If Cartesian Dualism is right about what it means to be a person, which is a body with a soul, then one would not know that there was some-what another "person" inside of them.
I felt that these arguments were well thought out and provided detailed information, but still lacked an essence of irrefutability.
Classically self-evident statements are restricted to the vicinity of your mind.
Since this is important belief against Dualism, we must take it very seriously, and make sure it holds up to every situation/altercation.
I have a (non-physical) soul in addition to having a body. This statement is definitely true and can be proved using objections to this statement.
A related phenomenon is meditated causation. This explains how you could physically move something with out contact with it.
Suppose you blow on your hands and you feel air move over hand. This is the same sensation that you felt every time you have performed this act since you were a baby. Now that you're older and wiser you can explain this sensation more scientifically: the force exerted by you diaphragm moves air out of your mouth and the domiono effect moves all the air molecules around your hand. These molecules push ever so slightly on the sensitive nerves on the surface of your skin and BAM!, you feel air moving over your skin. So in your head you think, as you have for all your existence, "this sensation I feel is the cause of blowing air over my hand."
... if it is possible that minds can exist just anywhere, as it appears to be, then it couldn't help you searching for a mind outside a body. But it would be a good start in wedding out pretenders.
Since there is no interaction in the mind, Cartesian Dualism cannot possibly exist, although, unlike the brain there are several collisions through receptors and electrons.
Granted, ample evidence has been provided to suggest that Cartesian Dualism has lost all its legs to stand on. I shall try my hardest to give it mine.
As you can say that without sufficient evidence I have no reason to believe anything, you can say that without sufficient evidence I have no reason to disbelieve anything. Therefore, I am still a dualist.
The mind acknowledges self-awareness by realizing the basic fact that "I know my mind exists because I am forming these thoughts right now." This is called sophism.
The weakness in this argument comes from its' overall apathy.
Energy comes from biological processes where the body takes in nutrients and uses each particular nutrient for a purpose. If the inflicted eats and their bodies receive all the energy from nutrients the body needs to be active, why is it still highly probable that this person will remain non-active without medication? In cases of severe trauma the mind causes the body to react in numerous ways. The body can freeze up or fall out.
This planet revolves off theories and assumptions.
Descartes himself infused the fifth principle into the theory after realizing that the first four left an incomplete definition of dualism. The first four tenets did not allow for explanation how the non-physical mind and physical body influenced each other in this symbiotic relationship. Anthropology would be nothing more than a pipe dream without this issue being addressed - why does Janet want to slug Sheila, and what would the most appropriate manner to accomplish this task? No one can say Descartes was a fool; ...
... how can the intangible mind interact with the tangible body? This profound question is the precursor to a more unified structure of linear rationality - the No Interaction Argument against Cartesian Dualism: ...
This would seem counterproductive as it retrocedes to the point of ambiguity provided before the implementation of the fifth premise of Cartesian Dualism.
The lump sum of this evidence is contained in a branch of inquiry known as parapsychology.
I know that many women do not eat when their mind tells their body that they are hungry, because they are in fear of their weight.
Even light is photon particles that come into contact with other things to heat them up or to bounce off maybe to an eye to promote vision.
The argument puts out the question 'where are minds located?'
In conclusion, I do not think that Cartesian Dualism is defiantly true.
... don't we control our particles so to speak. I have a certain amount of control over my body. It is not as if my body is simply a object of complex particle causations based on physical properties. I control these causations. And this implies odd as it sounds that the particles act without physical cause. But not without cause altogether. There are other thinking things. I think that we can prove there are other minds.
But irregardless of popular belief, this dual existence, appropriately termed dualism, isn't a simply issue and isn't easily validified.
The first premise simply states the product of Cartesian Dualism in the case where Descartes's theory is correct.
My fear of dying is where I will attempt to refute the No Interaction Argument.
This proves nothing, yet it does prove that I don't know the answer ....
The line of reason I use to refute The Problem of Other Minds can be summarized in this way: If Cartesian Dualism is true, then, for all I know, I am the only thinking thing in the world. To know that I am the only thinking thing in the world I must be crazy, Crazy people, can believe, behave, or think in an absurd way. I believe that I am Infallible, however sometimes I may be mistaken. Therefore, Cartesian Dualism must be true because I want it to be. This line of reasoning however absurd does prove a valuable point. That I know that I am crazy, because I am never wrong in my own mind. This is a cheap excuse for a reason to contradict the Problem of Other Minds. Since I am crazy then I do know that I am the only thinking thing in the world. I am Infallible and therefore not to be held responsible for anything my behavior does wrong.
Many have attacked Descartes' reasoning because of the word "nonphysical."
Finally, we come to the third reply, which is the desperate mystery response, which is indecisive to the point where it does not invoke us to come to a reasonable decision whether this response is true or false.
... causal interaction takes place when particles move around due to an action of one thing and bump into another thing causing the next action. For example, when you have to use the restroom. The urge to go begins in the non-physical, thinking mind telling your body to get up and find a restroom, quickly. Luckily, as humans we were taught at a young age to control our bladders so that we don't wet ourselves, say in the middle of the grocery store. In order to "hold it" there must be an interaction, causal mind you, between the mind and the body. Without this interaction, our bodies would immediately relieve themselves, and that would not be good.
There are three replies often used to refuse this argument.
... what does it matter if we are unable to detect who is thinking or not. Why is it important to know whether I am thinking or not? Is this answer going to change anything? I think that, although we may have no idea, the fact that humans have thinking minds is considered foundational, and therefore, I am not the only thinking thing out there.
My reasoning is this, since, we only know what is physical maybe we cannot observe or even know if a non-causal interaction took place. And if we cannot know that a non-causal interaction did not take place then we cannot say that there are no non-causal interactions.
... what you believe is on your mind, _is_ on your mind, you cannot be wrong about this.
Phrases that we can find an origin for, tell us that they are birthed from a variety of events. These include, but are not limited to, foreign countries, prejudices, superstitions, tales, scientific evidence, and stereotypes.
Consider again the example of me contemplating killing another person. In my mind, I know that this is a wrong thing to do. I think it is safe to say that there are many many other thinking people who also feel the same way. This is evident by the fact that while murder is definitely a problem in the world, it is not an epidemic with people killing each other left and right. This shows that there are many other thinking people in the world, and since those people are not killing each other because their mind tells them it is wrong, this shows that these people indeed have a mind separate from their body that directly affects the actions of their body.
Simply saying "influence" is too indistinguishable.
It is hard to try and recruit people to take this reply because people like to have answers for things. In a world where the bottom line is what is looked at on a financial sheet, and where only the final score is looked at, not the grey area, people want to be sure of things. To tell one that they cannot prove this mystery one way or the other is an insultment to some.
There is a symbiotic relationship between many animals and parasites. A termite has a parasite that lives in its stomach called a Trypanosome. The parasite digests the wood in the stomach of the termite. Both are fed and benefit from the relationship. However, without the parasite to aid digestion the termite would die. One sustains the other, each benefit from the arrangement. Similarly mind and body are separate.
An example of this type of causation would be if you were to blow a piece of paper.
It is the opinion of many due to a lack of knowledge of studies and tests thought of and carried out by philosophers.
Things like drinking and drugs effect how your mind processes the information gathered and it misinterprets it and sends the wrong conclusions back. Simple ideas like what color things are and simple knowledgeable ideas like knowing that you cannot fly are just tossed aside and anything goes.
Simply put, anything that knows about itself and knows what it feels and thinks, and is never wrong about it, cannot be tangible or simple. Since this is difficult to prove, we have to go around it just a bit, and lets say take a computer for example.
I have seen far too much evidence to show how complex our physical brains are, like science shows and such. When we transplant organs, sometimes the person that gets the organ has some memories that the original owner of the organ had.
Classical Self-Evidence (CSE) relates to absolute truth, which is not to be confused with is he telling the truth or is he telling a lie.
Can you prove that right now you are reading these words instead of lying in a comma in some hospital bed dreaming that you are reading these words?
If I believe that my mind sees a blue dog right now, then that is a fact. My mind is seeing a blue dog right now. There is no way that my mind is not seeing a blue dog right now if I think I see a blue dog right now. It impossible for me not to think what I think right now. I can't be wrong about that. Whether or not the blue dog exists is irrelevant to this truth.
If the dualist were to ask me "what (physically) is the mind which you said was a function for the brain's working which you said was a function of the brain which is physical?" I'm not sure I could give an honest response.
The response is vague. It deals with a deep conceptual issue and does not float.
My job is to question everything, even my own beliefs, and these arguments are not invincible to these questions, and my beliefs are not invincible to the frails of common usage.
Many of my fellow classmates try to assume that they are, indeed, true "heartfelt" emotions that are not tied physically to the body whatsoever. This can be further from the truth.
The estut observations brought up are more than valid, and it leaves itself begging for more explanation. By that definition of Cartesian Dualism, it would be a terrible model of the body and mind therfor we need further input.
Imagine walking down a street and a stranger was to come up to you and say the letter "G" and nothing else. How would you grasp that input? Is it a question or a statement? Normally you would not receive the understanding the other individual was trying to convey, without prior knowledge. Supppose the individual was not to speak. Suppose he simplies extends his index finger towards the air while the rest of the fingers were embraced, and he continues to look at you. His arm parrallel to the ground, and his finger perpendicular he is obviously trying to communicate. It would seem rational that you would think to yourself the number one.
You can't leave the number seven home one day but you can write it on a piece of paper. You can't eat the number seven yet you can have seven edible things. The point trying to get across here is that massless things like letters, numbers, and minds can and do exist.
The way in which input is gathered is also effected by the mind considering the emotions at the time. A student trying to study may not gather input as well if they desire going to Florida at the same time.
Descartes emphasized the difference between mind and body with his "Argument for the Distinctiveness of Mind and Body."
The mind gets in touch with the brain by a sort of extrasensory effect, but when the brain needs to contact the mind it is done by interacting causally. This works sort of like the spikes at a parking garage. You can go over them in one direction but you cannot go over them in the other direction. Like riding on a one-way street.
Cartesian Dualism allocates space for other human minds.
The third premise states that it is impossible for a mind to come into conact with a body. Lets talk about amputated limbs. A body part of a person may have been seperated from their entire body because of an accident, or operation. If Jane's left arm was amputated, no longer apart of her body, but in her mind her arm was itching, would illustrate this premise. Jane's mind lead her to believe that her arm is itching but it cannot itch, because it is not there. Illustrating that the mind can not come into contact with the body.
... could mental processes take place in something that simulates mental function but is constructed of potato chips ...? If so, then our idea of mind is not just our brain.
"I think I will pick up that sock." This becomes somewhat of a familiarity that exists between the mind and the body.
Accepting an I don't know for one area of human behavior trickles into other areas of human behavior and soon an I don't know might turn into an I don't even want to know.
For example, a person might say to their self (so nobody else can hear them) "I feel like I am going to kill somebody." It does not matter to anybody that the person thought about killing someone until he kills someone. That is when his non-physical comes into contact with his physical.
For example, if a person is decribed to be "something" and that person is completely opposite or not of that "something". This happens often in a hate/love relationship. This statement would be contradictory if the person was only compromised of one component.
One needs persecution to let that person know that what they believe is worth believing.
The DNA reactions signal the brain, through a small electrical charge sent in a Morse code fashion, and the body responds, and vice-versa. For example, my roommate walks over to me and punches me in the nose, in response; I slap her across the face. For me to respond, I had to decide I would hit her. First, she hit me in the nose, the sensation of pain was sent through my nerves. There is DNA running all across my body, so they picked up on the nerves' message of what had occurred. The DNA translated this message and sent this message to my mind that my roommate hit me. My mind then sent a message back to my DNA for me to slap her. This was translated to my actual DNA (from the translator section of the DNA) which told the brain and caused me to raise my hand and slap my roommate, all in a matter of seconds. This is an example of not only roommate violence in the residence halls, but also of how minds and bodies interact without causal interaction.
... if the brain creates the mind, how can the mind then make changes into the brain? The answer is that the mind being a nonphysical thing has access to other nonphysical things, one of which is nothingness. The mind by a law of nature controls causal interactions using nothingness on the subatomic level. An example are dominos, if one domino falls coming into contact with another, there by causing it to fall, causal interaction is made. If on the other hand, nothingness is placed between two dominos, then when one falls it doesn't make contact with another and thus a casual interaction is prevented. This part of the theory can get fairly complicated, especially since it is dealing with subatomic objects. In using nothingness in this theory I don't mean that an object is not present in that area now. I mean nothing physical takes up space in that area, nor can it take up space in that area, since if something physical is placed there, then that area would no longer be nothingness. Two questions arise, what happens to an object that contacts nothingness or does it contact nothingness, and how can preventing interactions cause other interactions wouldn't everything just stop? The answer to the first question is if an object can touch nothingness then, that object could be transported to another area, since nothing can be created or destroyed. Transported where I don't know, but maybe to another part of the brain where another interaction would occur. If an object can't contact nothingness then it would most likely stop moving. The last question could be answered two different ways, one is that since so many interactions are happening any way one stopped interaction would act more like channeling water away from a river, than just building a dam. The second answer is a box of nothingness could be built around an atom or part of an atom and is opened on one side of the box, at a particular time to induce a causal interaction.
Work Cited: Owen, A.R. Psychic mysteries of Canada. Fitzhenry and Whiteside Limited. Canada 1975.
Although the No Interaction argument says that minds can have a causal interaction with bodies, it does not take into account that bodies and minds can exist without causal interaction. If bodies and minds could exist without ever causally interacting, then they could be in a position to never come into contact. If mind and body never came into contact, then the mind could have no physical form. Oddly enough, my husband serves as an example of non-interaction between mind and body.
After all it is obvious that if I were scolded with a hot pan I would feel the physical pain but I would also mentally be aware of the pain.
You cannot undeniably prove what is undeniably improvable so there is no perfect persuasive argument for me to make you believe in dualism.
I have studied Dualism and Thing Things ...
... everyone has a physical body and a non-physical mind or soul depending on your religious inclinations.
My arguments leave enough unanswered questions for more evidence against dualism to negate it completely.
It is my duty as a dualist to challenge this argument against dualism.
I find it difficult to explain or disregard something that is dealt by through classical self evidence. On one hand, if it appears to one that X exists, so then Y. But because X could be true and/or it could not be true due to personal perception (multiplied by everyone) and only justified by personal perception (multiplied by everyone) then Y may or may not be true. Descartes stated that you couldn't tell if other minds exist, and Other Minds argument says that foundationally others do exist, so Descartes is false.
This is a logical truth, and hence doesn't require much explanation.
Without adding unneeded strings to the argument, mental functions occur in the brain for the same reason that digestion occurs in the stomach and blood flow is routed through the body by the heart: It's the best suited part of the body for the job. You could try to digest food in your mouth, or use your liver to run blood through your veins, but it wouldn't be as efficient.
Simply, every interaction, basic or complex, is somehow a collision of particles that eventually ignite a response.
Now if one were to answer, "I am fine" in a groggy manor, the one who asked the question may assume, with good reason, that the person is not actually fine.
On the other hand, the body can not be considered self-evident but as physical and perplex because issues could arise about the different parts of the body.
... in our hearts we know that there are other human minds.
Next I would like to examine two very strong arguments in favor of Cartesian Dualism. Following these examinations, I will then give my reasons as to why, in light of these arguments, I still do believe Descartes full of poopy.
We may be a physical thing affecting another physical thing, however we are also outside of one anothers' premises.
In the end I am left with Stephen, who has a diseased body, (not his brain) and this complex physical process of on/off switches that takes place in his brain is functioning well. After breaking it down this far one question still painfully exists, is a physical process capable of being diseased?
For example, sometimes my professors may think that I will attend class because I am paying to receive an education from North Carolina State University. However, I do not always remember or want to attend class and in my mind I decide whether I will go to class or not. Although my body may be physically ready to go, my mind makes the final decision on going. Professors do not always understand this concept of why students would not want to attend class, but students may perceive the class differently. Like if there is no attendance policy then where is the motivation? The mind finds it difficult to understand why the body needs to go if the class is not going to stimulate the brain further.
The mind can believe that you have your left ear, making this self-evident to you. When you look at yourself in a mirror and see that your left ear is missing is when it shows that the body is not self-evident as the mind is.
To many people, it is relatively puzzling to say that you are thinking of certain things that are void, and these things are causing physical changes.
There are times when causation can be mediated by a chain of contacts. For example, think of a row of dominoes falling down. Molecules of one domino causes the second domino to fall and the molecules of the second domino causes to third to fall which continuing causes the domino effect.
... when you say you are breaking my heart, it does not mean that I am literally stabbing you in the chest repeatedly.
If the body was a lemon, and we make lemon juice (the awareness of the mind) then the lemon juice is still a part of the lemon it was made from.
Essentially, what is being said is that everyone has a body (obviously), and that everyone also has a non-physical soul (which will be referred to as the mind for the duration of this paper), and that the body and mind interact to make a person. At first glance this may seem to many people to be almost self-evident. However, I have an empty bottle of Aleve and several abandoned rough drafts that will serve as evidence against those people. Several big problems arise from these five simple tenets. Two of them in particular I have named Bill Gates and Hitler, as they have brought nothing but tormented thoughts since I first began to think of them. These are the two arguments against Cartesian Dualism that will be addressed and hopefully refuted in this paper.
Cartesian Dualism, itself, inadvertently makes the claim that you can never know the whereabouts or even the existence of other minds.
Although the objection is imperfect, some fairly recent studies reported on in Men's Health, among other places, suggest that thinking about exercising may be as much as 60% affective as the actual thing. Given that the body is affected by beliefs, it is possible that someone may discover some infallibility of the body at some point.
There are mental events, which cause bodily events, and vice versa, and then there are times when they do not interact with each other. For example digestion by the body, therefore the first premise is true.
I think there is no way to beat around the bush on this argument.
... even the slightest causal interactions require contact.
An old women crossing the street is about to be hit by an oncoming car. Human being Bob with a mind and the freedom to choose observes the situation that is about to enfold. Bob's mind taking up no space makes a conscientious decision to influence his actions that will safe the women's life. Since Bob has freedom of choice he can choose to save the women of continue to sit at the bus stop. Bob's detached mind would choose to save the old women. However being a mute, paraplegic his body cannot respond to his minds influence. On the other hand bodies around him influence Bob's mind because his mind responded to the old women's compromised body. ... The old women and the driver's body reacted to the spoken word, language, of Bill. Because of that the disaster was inverted.
It would be hard to come up with an example of a single nerve that is aware of itself in a classically self-evident manner. The conclusion is that you mind cannot be complex and physical.
My view of the mind isn't without consequences.
Since I cannot prove you (or anyone else) have a mind, I cannot believe that anything you think is produced by a mind truly is, as it is improvable.
The rules governing Classical Self Evident statements do not take into account things that may be true in reality. If you think that you are a top-secret crime fighter sent here from another galaxy to teach humanity about the dangers of toilet plungers, than by the rules of Classical Self Evident statements, you are in fact just that.
... because the mind has this property of sometimes infallibility and the body never has it, the mind and the body are two different things. A little guy called Leibniz's Law assures us that this is true.
... if there are such things as "ghosts", then there are such things as Haunted Houses. So, enough for the house to be Haunted, the ghost actually has to be physically inside the house. The ghost cannot haunt the house if the ghost is outside the house. So, the ghost actually takes up space in the house. Which means that the ghost, which was a person's soul, is physical.
While it is neat to think that causation can take place without contact, it is a romanticized idea at best.
The third reply put in one simple phrase, "To Hell with all this theory, Cartesian Dualism!"
Is the brain really essential to your mental life, or is your mental life a process that would be able to continue if your brain were, say, replaced with marshmallows? The answer seems to be that the brain, being physical, is not responsible for any of the Classically Self Evident mental processes that occur and thus cannot be taken into consideration when discussing the mind.
Some people believe that the soul is in the minority and does not have that much importance, making it very hard to agree with the dualistic reasoning.
This is an argument that shows the absurdity of one of the claims of Cartesian Dualism. The claim that is illustrated by such sentences as: " I was so scared that I could hear my heart pondering in my chest".
Premises that start with the word "all" and that are not definitions, are usually the ones that are attacked.
A four-month-old baby does not know anything about a mind. The person is recognized first maybe by their corporal odor, later by their physical appearance.
Here is a short argument against premise 1 of POM. It is not necessarily meant to persuade. I have included it as much for comic relief as anything else.
if it looks like poop
and it smells like poop
it must be poop.
This hypothesis is not a very good one due to its vagueness in an area in need of specificity.
Medicated contact is when two objects do not actually touch .... Medicated causation [with the mind] cannot occur either since the mind is not considered invisible.
The mind can go other places while the body remains in the same place. This shows how the mind is non-physical. An eight-foot boat can fit in the mind, along with the sun, the sky and the sea, but these things cannot actually fit into the head, because of its restrictive physical dimensions. This allows us to presume that the mind is non-physical.
Descartes does imply that the mind may not always exist in sync with its reciprocal body. This shows that it may not be impossible to always find a rational, thinking mind, where a body is found.
The way individuals know this, is because every single individual knows that there is another individual that can also think, since our world is based on hierarchies of power and knowledge. No matter what, someone is always above you, whether it is because they have more knowledge or more power, hence making it evident that others have the ability to think.
... if I change the brain into a turbo engine that is not capable of being seen, and the body into a 1990 Honda Civic, then some of the opposing characteristics would come into a symbolic description of the mind-body complex. For example: My car has a weak and old body, but my engine is strong and new, OR I love that car just for the body, not for the engine, OR my engine is racing with fuel, but my car is motionless, OR your engine stimulates me but not your car body OR that is a sharp engine, but a real dull body, etc. What I am trying to point out here is that there is no contradiction in saying the same thing about the mind-body.
There is no distinctive property of 'death,' but the body can be said to have died when it is decomposing and there are no longer vital signs (warm temperature, pulse, respiration, mental activity, and blood pressure) for about four days (my own belief). The time period may seem long but it allows for extreme cases and is not the focus of my description of CD.
And if we are looking for other objects with minds, it is an impossibility to find it if it takes up no space. The same would be true if I told a group of people that there was a dimensionless plate of pork sitting in a room. The people would have no reason to disagree with me, but if they escorted me to said room and asked me to exhibit it exist, I would fail at demonstrating the existence of a dimensionless plate of pork.
With true faiths is existence, there can not be manipulation of the faith, for they are always true and a truth holds its status no matter how much it is tested. Such as, 'somewhere there are at least seven leafs lying on the ground.' The ground can be the entire earth, and the leafs can be anywhere, so this holds true at all times. To be free of manipulation (unchanging) then something must be non-physical. My previous statement could be untrue because every organism on earth could try to remove all leafs off the ground, but that is highly improbable. It is the reliance on physical means that makes my leaf statement false.
I genuinely attempted to stay within the guidelines for this paper and if I have not, it was only a mistake.
"Dualism My Butt cheeks: A Guide to Why Not to Believe the Guy Who Invented Geometry"
The problem with this response is that we now allow all of our theories an escape goat to say that we can never really be certain about anything.
If it comes down to why I believe in these CSE's the only honest answer is that if I have to choose between only a body that is no longer existent after the death of the body and the possibility of a mind and body where there is a possibility of some sort of existence after the death of the body, I choose the ladder.
My other objection is to Descartes idea that minds are not both complex and physical is just plain retarded.
One student offered the following argument as the reason for resisting objections to Cartesian Dualism:
If I think that Cartesian Dualism is true, then Cartesian Dualism is true.
Therefore, Cartesian Dualism is true.
Fall 2001 will be the last semester that I assign this paper - at least until funding for teaching assistants becomes available for the course, which enrolls 150-200 students per semester.
Back to Philosophy of Science (Plain)
all the way Home
image courtesy of Creepyweb