Regarding the Interaction Involving Mind and Body essays
Regarding the Interaction Involving Mind and Body
Descartes was a fervent supporter of dualism. However, having argued that the mind and body are two completely different substances, he still believed that they were capable of causal interaction. Claming that the essence of matter is defined by extension and divisibility, he logically argued that the body is a passive representation of the self in the physical world. By similar reasoning, the mind is then oppositely defined as an active and conscious entity which is utterly indivisible. Any individual willing to accept these statements as truth will then logically require an explanation as to how two substances which differ in form, perception, and motivation, can possibly interact. Descartes maintained that the existence of the pineal gland found within the brain served as the transitional mechanism which allows the body and mind to commune. Having given this rather ambiguous and unsatisfactory explanation, he then vaguely asserts that as in all things, it is God who is responsible for these interactions.While I hold great respect for Descartes, it has been my experience and opinion that philosophers who have been unable to support their arguments concretely through either reason or logic rely upon the existence of God as an escape from their failings to establish proof. Unsatisfied with Descartes explanations, I will conduct a further inquiry into the matter of the mind and body relationship by examining the arguments of G.W. Leibniz in an attempt to establish a more complete understanding of the subject.
While many people conceptualize philosophers as impractical dreamers with little knowledge of science or mathematics, Leibniz was no such caricature. In fact, both the style of his arguments and terminology resemble that which is utilized in demonstrating mathematical proofs. He reasoned that the mind and body could have no influence over one another because of the absence o…