Metaphysics and Descartes’ Substance Dualism Tuesday, November 12, 2013
• Idea = image
• Mind = soul
• God exists
• Thinking substance exists
Part One: Shift from Epistemology to Metaphysics
• Epistemology concerned with the theory of knowledge
• Necessary conditions for knowledge
• Analysis of Truth:
o Correspondence Account
o Coherence Account
o Pragmatic Account
• Metaphysics is concerned with ultimate existence
• Two main senses (or meaning) of existence:
o Commonsensical Sense of Existence
Everyday use of “existence”
o Ultimate Sense of Existence
Metaphysician’s use of “existence”
• Examples of metaphysical questions:
o Do colours exist?
o Does time exist?
o Do natural numbers exist?
Note: These questions are asked in the ultimate sense of the word “existence”
and not in the everyday sense of the word
• The general metaphysical question:
o Q. What exists in the world?
o A. Everything
• For Descartes, every thing or entity is either
o Thinking Substance (Mind/Soul):
Essence= thinking, unextended, no parts
o Material Substance (Bodies)
Essence= extended, unthinking
Part Two: Descartes’ Arguments for Substance Dualism