Descartes Legacy and NonCartesian Dualism
Pineal gland and religious associations
Buddhism and meditation
Christianity the way to enlightenment and spirituality
Matthew 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of
Descartes and Plato
Descartes theory of mind resembles Platos theory
In the Meno and Phaedo, Playo spells out his theory of mind and the minds relation to the body
For Plato, the mind is equivalent to the soul
Descartes and Plato
Descartes and Plato have similar conceptions of the body
Descartes and Plato are pioneers of Rationalism
Rationalism is contested with Empiricism
Empiricism: Knowledge is obtained through observation.
Other forms of dualism
Cartesian dualism is not easy to defend and there are clear problems in explaining mind and body
There were many philosophers (and there still are) who sought to defend dualism but dropping and adding
some parts of Cartesian dualism, while maintaining the core features of Dualism.
There have been theorists who have attempted to keep the main insights of Cartesian dualism while
attempting to solve the issues of mindbody Parallelism
Recall that Descartes claims that the world is divided into two substances
These substances are distinct and do not share properties
Proponents of parallelism accept this view of the world being divided into two distinct substances
On this view, minds appear to interact with the material world, but its just an appearance.
Events in the mind systematically covary with martial events
Proponents of parallelism defend their view by claiming that covariation between the mental and physical is
a brute fact about the universe that’s just the way it is.
Other proponents of parralelism claim that God intervenes to ensure that mental and physical sequences
run in parallel
Many philosophical theories that have god as the backbone of everything or something else mystical will
run into issues unless the existence of god is first proven.
A variant of parallelism
Accords god a more active role in the world.
For every single event, God is there playing an active role, making it appear as if mental and physical
events casually interact.