Final Exam - Ken Staley 5-12-08 Dr. Dennis Sweet Final Exam...

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Ken Staley 5-12-08 Dr. Dennis Sweet Final Exam Discuss the mind/body problem in the context of both Descartes’ and Spinoza’s views There are two main parts of the human body, and that is the mind and the body. Do we know what the mind and body do? Do they intertwine or are the separate? Questions like these have been asked for over 1000 years by numerous philosophers. The philosophers Rene Descartes and Baruch Spinoza spent years trying to undertake the mind/body problem. Through years of study and hardship, many gains in the mind/body problem were brought to the attention to the people and are still looked back on today. Rene Descartes believed the mind and body were separate substances and from this belief he is credited with the term dualism. In Descartes sixth meditation from “Meditations on First Philosophy”, he states his belief on the mind/body problem. The definition of a substance to Descartes was that which can exist independently of anything else. He believed that there is only one infinite substance which is god, but the mind and body are finite substances. Descartes believed that finite substances needed only God to exist. These two finite substances were the corporeal substance (the body) and the thinking substance (the mind). Descartes acknowledged that anything that we know about the body is observable and measurable. The mind on the other hand is not physically observable, and is only observable to the person who owns it. Furthermore, since the body is extended in space, it can be divided into specific parts, the mind however does not occupy space and cannot
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be divided. The nature of the body according to Descartes was that, unlike the mind it was divisible. Baruch Spinoza was influenced by Descartes rationalism, by his method, and by his choice of the major problems of philosophy. Regardless of their similarity of interest and terminology, Spinoza was not a disciple of Descartes. Whereas for Descartes mind and body are different substances, Spinoza holds that the two are different aspects of a single substance, which he called God and nature. This belief of a single substance is known as monism. Just as the mind is not considerably unknown to the body, so nature
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This note was uploaded on 06/22/2008 for the course PHIL 101 taught by Professor Sweet during the Spring '08 term at California University of Pennsylvania.

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Final Exam - Ken Staley 5-12-08 Dr. Dennis Sweet Final Exam...

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