Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Rene Descartes' keyword pg.1 of 2
22 JULY 2014

Substance Dualism, Property Dualism and Mind-Body Dualism

"Consider the following three Cartesian theses:

Substance dualism: Any substance with mental properties lacks material properties and any substance with material properties lacks mental properties.

Property dualism: Mental properties and material properties are different properties.

Real distinction between mind and body: The mind and the body are numerically distinct substances.

How are these theses logically related? Substance dualism is the strongest of the three, and entails the other two. It entails the real distinction between mind and body. For the mind is a substance with mental properties, and the body is a substance with material properties. Now if the mind lacks material properties, and the body lacks mental properties, then the mind and the body cannot be the same substance. But the real distinction between mind and body does not entail substance dualism. For that mind and body are two numerically distinct substances is compatible with both of them having both mental and material properties.

Substance dualism also entails property dualism. For if a substance with mental properties lacks material properties, then mental and material properties are different properties–otherwise, a substance with mental properties would be a substance with material properties. But property dualism does not entail substance dualism. It could be that mental properties and material properties are different properties and yet a substance with mental properties is also a substance with material properties.

But the real distinction between mind and body and property dualism do not entail each other. It could be that mind and body are numerically distinct substances but mental and material properties are the same. For instance, it could be that mind and body are distinct because they have different properties: the mind has a property M that the body lacks, and the body has a property B that the mind lacks. This does not preclude that both M and B are both mental and material properties. So the real distinction between mind and body does not entail property dualism. Nor does property dualism entail the real distinction between mind and body. For even if mental and material properties are different properties, it can still be the case that the mind, which has mental properties, and the body, which has material properties, are the same substance."

(Gonzalo Rodriguez–Pereyra, pp.70–71)

Rodriguez–Pereyra, G. (2008). "Descartes's Substance Dualism and His Independence Conception of Substance". Journal of the History of Philosophy 46(1): 69–90.
Fig.1 Lucy Jones "Philosophy of the Mind Episode Two: Criticisms of Substance Dualism", YouTube.

1

TAGS

bodyCartesian dualismcognitionconsciousnessdefining features of modernitydifferentiationdistinctionsdualism • epiphenomenalism • Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra • introspectionlogical-analytical paradigmmaterial environmentmaterial object • material properties • material realitymaterial space • material substances • material thinkingmaterial world • mental properties • mental substance • mindmind-body dualism • mind-body problem • minds divorced of bodiesobjective knowledgeobjective realityobjectivity • other minds • parallelism • philosophical position • philosophy of mind • physical worldproperties of nature • property dualism • realm of existenceRene Descartesscientifically established objective facts • separability argument • separate thinking • solipsism • soul • subject-object orientated philosophy • subjectificationsubjective conditionsubjectivismsubjectivity • substance dualism

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
23 DECEMBER 2013

Engagement with the world

"To be human is to be engaged with other people in the world. Yet, there has been a dominant strain of thought, at least in the West, which directs attention primarily to the isolated individual as naked mind. From classical Greece to modern times, engagement in the daily activities of human existence has been denigrated. Plato (340 BC/1941) banished worldly engagement to a realm of shadows, removed from the bright light of ideas, and Descartes (1633/1999) even divorced our minds from our own bodies. It can be suggested that this is a particularly Western tendency, supportive of the emphasis on the individual agent in Christianity and capitalism. But the view of people as originally unengaged has spread around the globe to the point where it is now necessary everywhere to take steps to reinstate engagement through explicit efforts."

(Gerry Stahl, p.12)

Stahl, G. (2011). "Essays in Computer–Supported Collaborative Learning". Lulu.com, Gerry Stahl.

TAGS

being-in-the-worldcapitalism • classical Greece • Computer Supported Collaborative Learningengagement • human existence • individual agent • individual experienceindividualisationindividualismisolated individualliving in a shared worldlone geniusminds divorced of bodies • naked mind • objective realityobjectivismobjectivist epistemologyPlatorational self-interest • realm of shadows • Rene Descartessocial construction of knowledgesocial interaction • to be human • Western philosophy • Western tendency • worldly engagement

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 OCTOBER 2013

Modern medicine evokes a Cartesian mind-body dualism

"If we look at the history of medicine, we can see that it became what it is today because of a sweeping social transformation that modernized Europe centuries ago. Urbanization and commerce, along with Protestantism and the Catholic Counter–Reformation, encouraged new ways of conceiving and interacting with nature. It was within this context that 'scientific medicine' was invented and elaborated. The particular scientific model that became predominant in Europe in the seventeenth century accepted the mind–body dualism of René Descartes, for whom the human body is a self–contained, entirely material machine. His contemporary, Baruch Spinoza, on the other hand, elaborated a more relational view, stemming from a Jewish tradition that regards the body as essential to a complex and ultimately spiritual being, and all beings as mutually dependent.

Spinoza's perspective is no less compatible with scientific medicine than the Cartesian view. For science has two complementary ways of explaining: by taking apart–as atomic physics mainly does–and by bringing into relation–as Einstein's relativity theory does. Spinoza was quite aware of the power of the first approach, as elaborated by Descartes and advanced by technologies such as the newly invented microscope. Spinoza acknowledges that the human body is composed of parts, and those parts of smaller parts still. But he recognizes also that bodies are encompassed by, and can be adequately understood only in relation to, unities larger than themselves, until we reach the widest system of all, which is 'the whole of nature.' Spinoza was an early exponent of what is known today as 'systems theory.'

Medicine in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries could have taken a more integrative path, in keeping with Spinoza's insight that we are guardians not only of our bodies, taken individually, but of the entire domain of nature with which they are continuous. Instead–for reasons that this essay will explore – mainstream medicine adopted the Cartesian machine model."

(Raymond Barglow, Tikkun Magazine, March 2002)

1

TAGS

16th century17th centuryAlbert Einstein • atomic physics • atomisticBaruch Spinozabodybringing into relation • Cartesian machine model • Cartesian view • Catholiccomplexitycomposed of partscontingencydualismhealth carehistory of medicinehuman bodyintegrative practices • Jewish tradition • Judaism • mainstream medicine • man and nature • material machine • medicinemicroscopemind-body dualismnatureProtestantismrelational aestheticsrelational viewRene Descartessciencescientific medicine • scientific model • self-contained • social transformation • spiritual being • systems theorytaking apart • theory of relativity • urbansation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
04 OCTOBER 2013

Filippo Brunelleschi's (re)discovery of Linear Perspective

"When Brunelleschi (re)discovered linear prespective circa 1420, Florentine painters and sculptors became obsessed with it, especially after detailed instructions were published in a painting manual written by a fellow Florentine, Leon Battista Alberti, in 1435. John Berger, an art historian, notes that the convention of perspective fits within Renaissance Humanism because 'it structured all images of reality to address a single spectator who, unlike God, could only be in one place at a time.' In other words, linear perspective eliminates the multiple viewpoints that we see in medieval art, and creates an illusion of space from a single, fixed viewpoint. This suggests a renewed focus on the individual viewer, and we know that individualism is an important part of the Humanism of the Renaissance."

(Beth Harris and Steven Zucker, Smarthistory)

1
2

TAGS

1420 • 3D spaceAncient Greeceart historyEuropean Renaissance • Filippo Brunelleschi • fixed viewpoint • Florence • Giotto di Bondone • Greece • horizon line • illusionistic spaceindividualismJohn BergerKhan AcademyLeon Battista Alberti • linear perspective • mathesismedievalmedieval artmultiple viewpointsperspective viewrediscovered • Renaissance Humanism • Rene Descartessingle perspective point of view • Smarthistory (site) • vanishing point • viewpointvisual illusionvisual perspective • volumetric

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
01 JULY 2011

Com­pos­ing motion: Len Lye's kinetic sculptures

"The poten­tial to be moved by move­ment was Lye's motive force – he con­ceived his sculp­tures as per­formers rather than objects. Hor­rocks sug­gests Lye might have reframed Descartes' dictum by declar­ing 'I move, there­fore I am', and para­phrased Archibald MacLeish's 'A poem should not mean / But be' with 'A film should not mean / But move'.

How much atten­tion do design­ers give to 'com­pos­ing motion' through the way their cre­ations move and /or the way people are made to move, and be moved, as they inter­act with them? Lye's prose included at least two explor­a­tions of bod­ily feel­ings and phys­ical sen­sa­tions around chairs."

(Michael Smythe, 22 March 2010, Prodesign)

Fig.1 A clip from Flip and Two Twisters a documentary about Len Lye the New Zealand born kinetic artist and filmmaker. Directed by Shirley Horrocks.

Fig.2 The kin­etic sculp­ture Uni­verse. The striker ball is sus­pen­ded above the steel loop, which has just rolled over to one side. Photo Brian East­wood. Cour­tesy Len Lye Foundation.

1
2

TAGS

Aotearoa New Zealand • Archibald MacLeish • bod­ily feel­ings • com­pos­ing motion • design formalism • design­er • kinetic artkinetic forcekinetic sculptorkinetic sculptureLen Lye • motive force • move­ment • movementNew Zealand artistobjects • per­formers • phys­ical sen­sa­tions • physicsRene Descartes • Roger Hor­rocks • sculpture • Shirley Horrocks • sound sculpturetension

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
Sign-In

Sign-In to Folksonomy

Can't access your account?

New to Folksonomy?

Sign-Up or learn more.