Philosophy.11.03.10

Philosophy.11.03.10 - Patrick Cavanaugh November 3 2010...

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Patrick Cavanaugh November 3, 2010 Marian David I understand that this assignment fall under the Notre Dame Honor Code. What am I? What am I? Quite simply, I am a Mind-Body Union, the union of an immaterial mind and a material body. I am a Union Dualism. Before I continue to discuss why I am a Union Dualist, I would like to define Union Dualism. Union Dualism is the belief that “me” is a union between a physical body and an immaterial mind. This is unlike both Cartesian Dualism, which defines “me” as just an immaterial soul or mind, and Materialism (also known as Physicalism), which defines “me” only as a physical body with a brain. Union Dualism is an amalgamation of these two philosophies. Union Dualism is a bridge between Cartesian Dualism and Materialism. Consider this example, a Cartesian Dualist would contest that it is only the mind, or soul, which represents the being; whereas a Materialists would propose the following idea: “me” is just a material body with a brain. Union Dualism somewhat bridges the gap between these two philosophies, similar to the way it forms a bridge between mind and body. Why am I a Union Dualist? I possess a physical, material body. A body that is as material as a rock on a sidewalk or as a tree in the woods. Yet, I also have an immaterial mind, or soul. Right now I am having these thoughts, and these thoughts are immaterial. I cannot physically move these thoughts, like the rock on the sidewalk; nor can I trip on these thoughts like I could a curb on the street. Therefore my thoughts are immaterial. Hence, I am a Union Dualist because I am this union between a thinking thing and a body.
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A Cartesian Dualist could contest that I am just a thinking thing, and that a union between my mind and body is a fallacy. Such an individual would argue that it would not matter which body I am in because it is my mind that defines “me.” This is irrational because it seems to me that both the mind and body affect the way you experience the world. If “me” (a solely
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Philosophy.11.03.10 - Patrick Cavanaugh November 3 2010...

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