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January 16.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 1301
Professor
Nalini E Ramlakhan
Semester
Winter

Description
January 16 , 2014 Descartes Legacy & Non-Cartesian Dualism Pineal gland and religious associations • Hinduism - third eye • Buddhism and meditation • Christianity – the way to enlightenment and spirituality • Mathew 6:22 – the light of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light Descartes and Plato • Descartes theory of mind resembles Plato’s theory • In the Meno and Phaedo, Plato spells out his theory of mind and the minds relation to the body o Descartes and Plato have similar concepts of the body • Both Descartes and Plato are pioneers of Rationalism o Rationalism is contested with Empiricism* Other forms of Dualism • Cartesian dualism is not easy to defend, and there are velar problems in explaining mind and body interaction • There were many philosophers who attempted to defend dualism by adding and dropping some parts while maintaining its core • There have been theorists who attempt to keep the main insights of Cartesian Dualism while attempting to solve the mind body problem Parallelism • Descartes o Distinct substances • Proponents of parallelism accept this view of the world being divided into 2 distinct substances o However deny that mental and material casually interact o Minds appear to interact with the material world – just an appearance  Events in mind systematically co-vary w material events o Defend by claiming that co-variation btwn mental and physical is a brute fact about universe – just the way it is o Others claim God intervenes to ensure mental and physical sequences run in parallel  Many theories that have God as the backbone of everything run into issues unless God can be proven to exist Occasionalism • A variant of parallelism • Accords God a more active role in the world o For every single event, God is there playing an active role, making is appear as if mental and physical events causally interact • Both occasionalism and parallelism are seen as more advances then Cartesian dualism because it solves the problem of mind-body interaction by claiming that it
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