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Pricess Elizabeth PHIL3210.docx

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PHIL 3210
Patricia Sheridan

Princess Elizabeth:The Mind-Body Problem Descartes’s Mind –Body Theory; The Meditations – Sept 10 Descartes Mind Body Dualism Substance Dualism  Material account of body  Spiritual account of mind The relationship between them  The ‘intimate union’ Descartes’s Project Universal Doubt New Foundations for knowledge  Skepticism and the basis for rational assent – test the grounds to prevent fallacies o Find true grounds for assent Dream Argument  Attacks sensor perception – don’t always know if you’re asleep or awake, cant trust your senses, how do you know if you’re dreaming – how do you know for sure o I can still sleep mathematically if I’m sleeping – I still know 2+2=4 Evil Demon Argument  Making you believe 2+2=4, making you believe that you’re right even though you’re wrong, evil demon feeding you all your sensory information, manipulate your thoughts Is there anything we can know with certainty? I am aware of my thoughts, I know I’m thinking, doubting  The act of doubting is something, I am aware of something, I am aware of myself my thoughts o Curial discovery o Defeat skepticism with this If I can move my body with my body why can’t I move objects? When he talks about bodies he means anything material or mater:  Occupies space  Doesn’t think  What things are made of  Not self moving  Passive – it is acted upon  Not connected to the divine  Divisible – chunk matter up, atomic parts (corpuscles) Spirit, Mind Soul  Mind connects you to the divine  Eternal  Intangible  Doesn’t take up space  WILL Dualism What is body or matter? What is mind or spirit? Dualism: mind and body are distinct kinds of things Substance Dualism  They have essentially distinct qualities  Completely distinct things – both substances soul leaves the body when it dies, if it thinks it is not material and materials don’t have thoughts Two Substances Mind:  Incorporeal  Intellectual  Immoral God and human souls Body:  Corporeal  Non-rational  Moral All other things in the universe (The nature of the body--- the first such belief was that I had a face etc. pg4) (Mechanical Body and Human Experience ---By a ‘body’ I Understand pg5) So, they’re interdependent? The answer is a bit complicated for Descartes Lets think about this in a Cartesian way Imagine you have a different body, or that your bod
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