Substance Dualism - Essay Example - Studentshare

They are dualistic because they postulate two basic substances: , pure unchanging consciousness, and , the natural world which encompasses everything else.

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The conclusion that Kim is presenting is that the mind as an immaterial substance cannot causally interact with physical objects and furthermore, not with anything at all; this renders minds futile thus leaving us the conclusion that substance dualism is also useless.


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Conversely, Nagel, a dual aspect theorist, contends that the mind and body are not substances but different properties....

Substance dualism is also often dubbed ‘Cartesiandualism’, but some substance dualists are keen to distinguishtheir theories from Descartes's. E. J. Lowe, for example, is asubstance dualist, in the following sense. He holds that a normalhuman being involves two substances, one a body and the other aperson. The latter is not, however, a purely mental substance that canbe defined in terms of thought or consciousness alone, as Descartesclaimed. But persons and their bodies have different identityconditions and are both substances, so there are two substancesessentially involved in a human being, hence this is a form ofsubstances dualism. Lowe (2006) claims that his theory is close toP. F. Strawson's (1959), whilst admitting that Strawson would not havecalled it substance dualism.


Lycan’s Four Objections to Substance Dualism | …

The more modern versions of dualism have their origin in Descartes'Meditations, and in the debate that was consequent uponDescartes' theory. Descartes was a substance dualist. Hebelieved that there were two kinds of substance: matter, of which theessential property is that it is spatially extended; and mind, ofwhich the essential property is that it thinks. Descartes' conceptionof the relation between mind and body was quite different from thatheld in the Aristotelian tradition. For Aristotle, there is no exactscience of matter. How matter behaves is essentially affected by theform that is in it. You cannot combine just any matter with any form—you cannot make a knife out of butter, nor a human being outof paper—so the nature of the matter is a necessary conditionfor the nature of the substance. But the nature of the substance doesnot follow from the nature of its matter alone: there is no‘bottom up’ account of substances. Matter is adeterminable made determinate by form. This was how Aristotle thoughtthat he was able to explain the connection of soul to body: aparticular soul exists as the organizing principle in a particularparcel of matter.

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It is common for modern Aristotelians, who otherwise have a high viewof Aristotle's relevance to modern philosophy, to treat this argumentas being of purely historical interest, and not essential toAristotle's system as a whole. They emphasize that he was not a‘Cartesian’ dualist, because the intellect is an aspect ofthe soul and the soul is the form of the body, not a separatesubstance. Kenny (1989) argues that Aristotle's theory of mind as formgives him an account similar to Ryle (1949), for it makes the soulequivalent to the dispositions possessed by a living body. This‘anti-Cartesian’ approach to Aristotle arguably ignoresthe fact that, for Aristotle, the form is the substance.

Descartes and Dualism Essay -- Dualism Essays

In fact, Hume criticised the whole conception of substance forlacking in empirical content: when you search for the owner of theproperties that make up a substance, you find nothing but furtherproperties. Consequently, the mind is, he claimed, nothing but a‘bundle’ or ‘heap’ of impressions and ideas—that is, of particular mental states or events, without anowner. This position has been labelled bundle dualism, and itis a special case of a general bundle theory of substance,according to which objects in general are just organised collections ofproperties. The problem for the Humean is to explain what binds theelements in the bundle together. This is an issue for any kind ofsubstance, but for material bodies the solution seems fairlystraightforward: the unity of a physical bundle is constituted by someform of causal interaction between the elements in the bundle. For themind, mere causal connection is not enough; some further relation ofco-consciousness is required. We shall see in 5.2.1 that it isproblematic whether one can treat such a relation as more primitivethan the notion of belonging to a subject.