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Chapter 2

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York University
PHIL 2240
Brandon Fenton

Dualism 2.1 Substance dualism  Person – possessor of consciousness and experiences  Exists separately  Logical substance (does not depend logically for their existence on anything)  Aristotle defined substance as – that which is neither said of a subject nor in a subject  Can exist in own might in contrast with what is said of them or is in them  Properties are possessed by substances and cannot exist separate  Property dualism – brain possesses two different sorts of property ,mental features and consciousness 2.2 Platonic Dualism  First to present written arguments in favour of dualism  Believed in pre-existence and survival after death of soul  Forms  The soul resembles the Forms in being divine, immortal, intelligible, etc.  Not consistent in what says about soul  In one instance says the soul is the principle of life, therefore anything alive has a soul  Reasoning is inseparable from the soul, but doesn’t state intellect survives death  Deductive argument – conclusion follows the premises  Validity have nothing to do with the truth or falsity of the premises and conclusion  Arguments with one or all premises false cannot provide grounds for thinking conclusions are true, even when arguments are valid  If the argument is valid, and all premises are true – the conclusion is true  Syllogism 2.3 A Platonic argument in favour of dualism 1. The user of a thing and the thing used are numerically different and distinct things, i.e. two logical substances 2. A person uses his or her body 3. Therefore a person must be numerically different and distinct from his or her own body  Then they must be anon-bodily logical substance, i.e. a soul  Would only reach that conclusion if prepared to accept the following argument established in the conclusion: 1. Expressions that refer to persons and expressions that refer to people’s bodies are not equivalent in meaning 2. When one expression has a different meaning from another expression, this can only be because those expressions refer to, or name, different and distinct logical substances. 3. Therefore, persons must be logical substances, which are different and distinct from their bodies  Pun used by Plato, ‘use’ implies two different entities, truth of dualism must be accepted form the beginning, or a person and their body are not two different entities  Premise 2. Is false – morning star example:  The Morning and Evening star have different meanings, but refer to the same entities, and are not two different logical substances  Ex) I saw Patrick last night  I saw Patrick’s body last night  Nothing in these ordinary ways of speaking that establish dualism, or make it possible nd  2 refers to seeing a once functioning, living organism cease to function, i.e. dead 2.4 Cartesian Dualism  The soul is indivisible, proof of its immortality, only those that can decay into parts are perishable  Res Cogitans – the soul, a thinking thing  The soul cannot lose its essence without thereby ceasing to exist, therefore the soul is always thinking (everything taking place in us that we are conscious of  Res Extensa – body, capable of extension, incapable of consciousness and mentality 2.5 Animals and machines  Only human beings have souls  Animals are like soulless machines  Absence of soul in animals explained with 2 tests 1. Animals never use words or signs to declare thoughts 2. Act from disposition of organs, not knowledge humans demonstrate creativity in response to new situations that animals cannot (non-linguistic behaviour)  Only humans can pass the 2 tests, proving dualism  Machines and animals cannot  Therefore impossible to build a machine that can think  Objection by Spinoza, one day will find a physical explanation for language, rather than retreating to a mysterious explanation 2.6 The mind/body relation  Descartes solution to interaction between the soul and body – Pineal gland  Nerves contain animal spirits (physical blood)  It was the only part of the brain that is single, not dual (where everything comes together)  If the soul interacted solely through the pineal gland then perception of damage to the body would have to happen when I see it, not when I feel it  Descartes claimed bodily sensations (confused modes of consciousness) can be explained by the mind being united to mixed up with the body  Su
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