Examine and Comment on the Claim That the Mind and the Body Are the Same

Topics: Soul, Mind, Metaphysics Pages: 3 (702 words) Published: March 17, 2013
Examine and comment on the claim that the mind and body are the same, with reference to the topic you have investigated.

The mind and body are the same is the view that hard materialists take. Hard materialists believe that when either the body or soul dies, the other dies too. This means that they believe there is no after life, no purgatory etc. Ryle and Dawkins are hard materialists; they also think that believing in the soul is dangerous to human endeavour. Being a hard materialist, Dawkins and Ryle would believe that the body and soul are purely physical and they are one.

Scholars such as Plato and Descartes are dualists. Dualists, unlike hard materialists believe that the body and soul are distinct things that are joined together in some way for now. They also believe that when the body dies, the soul lives on. Dualists believe that even though the body and soul are joined, they are still distinct and can live without each other.

Plato divides the soul in to three parts: The reasoning or thinking part of the soul, the spirit or willing part of the soul and the base appetites. Plato illustrates this with his allegory of the charioteer in which a charioteer symbolising reason struggles to keep a white horse symbolising spirit and a dark horse symbolising appetite in control. This self-control is what will be achieved by a long period of education and self-discipline. However, we have cause to seek a more plausible account of substance dualism. This is because Plato’s arguments all pre suppose the truth of the theory of forms.

Descartes refers the substance in substance dualism to a logical relation. This is where a substance can live independently, so substance dualism is committed to the view that there are two substances, mind and matter which can exist independently of each other. Descartes uses the method of doubt and scepticism to consider what can be certain or unknown. He uses the evil demon tool. ‘I will doubt any belief I cannot be...
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