Is there a strong case for mind/body dualism?
Arguably, Rene Descartes is one fathers of philosophy who approach the issue of knowledge and thinking in a different and unique stance. According to Descartes, human beings have decisive knowledge of his/her own existence; this is because man is a thinking being. Here, is where he developed the philosophy of cognition, meaning “I think, therefore, I am”. Descartes developed the philosophy of mind/body dualism to escape the Cartesian impasse. Certainly, the common sense perspective of body and mind is that both interact. This implies that our intentions, perceptions, anxieties, as well as thoughts directly affect our actions and our bodies. Additionally, it states that the nervous system and the brain generate our ultimate state of mind. Unfortunately, common sense view has a lot of controversies. Hence, Rene Descartes uses his philosophy to demonstrate the mind/body relationship. Certainly, there is a strong case of mind/body dualism. In Descartes mediation, he lays the foundation for dualism which up to date is one of the greatest argumentative philosophies.
Certainly, the basis of mind/body dualism began when he established that he is a thinking being. According to Descartes, he exists in this world because he can think. In such capacity, he discovers that he has a mind, but did assume that he as a body (Warburton, 2004). Herein, the justification of existence of mind is seen, but what exactly takes in the thinking capability through the senses. His prove of Gods existence, he decided to prove the existence of material things; this would help in speculation of mind/ body relationship. The mind/body dualism is a theory that elaborates on distinctiveness between mind and body.
Perhaps, mind and body dualism has some consistency with the biblical scriptures and beliefs. Based on biblical arguments, the ancient context of the scriptures asserted that man was created with soul and body, while in philosophical perspective, it elaborates on the differences between mind (soul) and brain (matter). From Descartes argument mind is a non-physical, and non-existent. In fact, the mind is self-awareness and consciousness. In most cases, individuals fail to differentiate between the mind and the brain; the brain is an avenue of intelligence. That is why there is a mind-body, which exist to date. In society today, an average person will be in denial of the relationship between mind and brain (Rozemond, 1998).
Conversably, the argument that favors the mind/body dualism is that physical and mental is different and irreconcilable properties of man. As a matter of fact, physical events have no subjective quality, on the other hand, mental events within man have subjective quality. To elaborate on this, individuals in society can reasonably inquest on how the finest music sounds, as well as how the dark sky looks like; nevertheless other questions are meaningless (Warburton, 2004). Philosophers believe that there is raw felling in various mental events, making them difficult to comprehend it as something physical.
Debatably, mind and body are discrete and utterly distinctive in nature; in that mind is totally a nonphysical substance. Descartes believe that the mind can exist without the body, because they are purely separated from each other. Since body and mind can be distinctively and conceived from each other, then due to Gods existence it follows that He can cause mind and body to exist independently. To some extend Descartes, convincingly believed he is a thinking being, who can exist and think without the body. Metaphysically, there is a possibility that the mind will exist in a free state from the body. Hence, the essentiality of the body in the existence of mind is irrelevant.
According to Descartes the existence of mind and body was discrete, and each one operated differently. In this case, the mind operated under the physical laws. Based on the rule of effect and cause, its effects came from philosophical circles. Later in his philosophy, Descartes faced difficulties in explaining the problem of body and mind causal interaction (Warburton, 2004). Clearly, Descartes in his philosophy held a certain form of interactionism, where he believed that in some cases mental events could cause bodily events, and bodily events caused mental events.
What are the implications of the "Zombie Problem" and the "Mutant Problem?"
Philosophically, the zombie problem refers to a problem of consciousness, which is stated in a certain provocative manner. The argument on zombie has various implications on reason and decision making. In fact, the argument is that zombie’s way of reasoning shows logicality in support of various forms of dualism. For example, mind/body dualism. In this case zombie problem view the world in two different ways, that is the physical and the mental. Physicians assert that facts will always be a determinant of other facts. Consciousness may be profoundly the same for physician zombie. The presence of zombies in various fields makes it difficult for them to understand or make some sense on the mind problem (Rozemond, 1998).
The implication of zombie problem is extraordinarily complex. This is because when a zombie uses various words, or speaks a language then we should comprehend that she/he is making none of reference of a conscious experience. Generally, the unifying factor in the zombie problem is that of a human being who has no conscience experience at all. However, their distinction could be based on behaviors, soul as well as brain (Rozemond, 1998). The zombie problem culminates in the way zombies report issue in a mystified way basing it on their experience which is sometimes known to be super-consciousness.
Zombie conscious-talk is mostly taken to be a mystic-talk, which is far away from reality. Overcoming the zombie problem is immensely complex, this is because individuals reason with no conscience and always ready to believer and behave as they think. Individuals should be ready to change their perceptions and think consciously as well as basing their arguments on facts. Perhaps the zombie argument is that one can imagine, and hence can conceive the existence of a function body without any state on consciousness that is associated fully to it. Implication of zombie problem is that it inverts traditional problem of various mental causation (Warburton, 2004).
On the other mutant problem emphasizes on change and disparities between the mind/body. Mutant problem base its argument on biological development, in that development is entails material entities, which nothing from outside are added. Then human beings will end up fully developed as material beings. Human evolve from simple cell to complex being, which can be explained using natural selection and mutation. In the mutant problem, it implication comes in expressing difficulty in explaining dualism, that is why and where there could be an invention of non-physical, and non-material events such as mind in the event of natural evolution. The mutant problem is in one way an explanation of Descartes mind/body dualism, if not a conflicting scenario. The postulation of both non-material as well as, non-physical could appear superfluous.
Warburton, N. (2004). Philosophy: The Basics. London: Wiley.
Rozemond, M. (1998). Descartes’ Dualism. New York: Springer.