Substance Dualism

  • Created by: Ben123S
  • Created on: 21-04-19 09:15
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  • Arguments for Substance Dualism
    • Descartes' Conceivability Argument
      • P1: It is conceivable that the mind can exist without the boy
      • C1:Therefore, it is possible that the mind can exist without the body
        • Something that is conceivable does not tell us anything about what is metaphysically possible
          • Masked man fallacy
            • 1. It is logically possible for MJ to understand that Spiderman and Peter Parker are two different people.
            • 2. However, this is metaphysically impossible because they are the same person
            • 3. It is conceivable that the mind can exist without the body, it is logically possible, but from this it cannot be concluded it is metaphysically possible, since like MJ, Descartes can be mistaken
          • Response
            • 1. Descartes agrees that in general we cannot infer what is metaphysically possible from conceivability.
            • 2.However, in this scenario this inference can be made because it is derived from clear and distinct ideas
            • 3. In the masked man fallacy, there was no clear and distinct idea, MJ could only hold the belief that Spiderman could be anyone whilst it was unknown who Spiderman was.
      • C2: Therefore, the mind and the body are distinct substances
        • What is metaphysically possible does not tell us anything about reality
          • 1. We can also think of thought and extension as properties of the same substance for example.
          • 2. Simply identifying what is metaphysically possible does not mean it correctly describes reality
          • 3. Descartes would have to make the much harder claim that it is metaphysically impossible for the mind and body to be the same substance
      • Seems intutive and through introspection I can understand the logic used
    • Descartes' Indivisibility Argument
      • 1. Mind and body have different essential properties, thought and extension
        • Thought can be understood as consciousness and intentionality
        • Leibniz's Law: If two things are identical, then they share all the same properties
      • 2. If they were the same thing they would have the same properties according to Leibniz's Law
      • 3. The body is divisible, as it as various extension such as arms, legs etc.
        • We can continue to exist when one is taken away or divided
      • 4. However the mind is indivisible
        • A sensation or a feeling cannot be taken away in the same way
      • Valid and logical argument, we commonly understand the mind being indivisible as it is one mind but we commonly see the body being divided
      • The mind is divisible
        • Bundle theory - Hume
          • Bundle of individual perceptions
            • Supported by neuroscience
        • Someone with mental illness, e.g. personality syndrome - seems that the mind can be divided as some 'parts' of the person's mind are unable to communicate with other 'parts'
      • Not everything physical can be divided e.g. head
        • Response
          • It is still divisible to some extent but the mind is indivisible
  • Response
    • The mind is divisible
      • Bundle theory - Hume
        • Bundle of individual perceptions
          • Supported by neuroscience
      • Someone with mental illness, e.g. personality syndrome - seems that the mind can be divided as some 'parts' of the person's mind are unable to communicate with other 'parts'
    • Body is spatially divisible, while minds are only functionally divisible,

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