Final Essay WP

Final Essay WP - In the Elisabeth/Descartes correspondence,...

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In the Elisabeth/Descartes correspondence, I do not believe Elisabeth understood what Descartes was saying, even going as far as attacking his belief on something she didn’t understand, because she never quite understood that she couldn’t understand. Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia is famous as a philosopher for her correspondence with Rene Descartes about the soul-body interaction. Elisabeth asks how can the soul (a thinking, non-physical thing) interact with a physical object without having any extensions. Basically she is asking Descartes how the soul(mind) interacts with the body. “That is why I ask of you a definition of the soul more particular than in your metaphysic---that is to say, for a definition of the substance separate from it’s action, thought.” (p.12 Women Philosophers) In this she is basically asking, we know why a barrel moves if a person pushes on it, but how does the mind make a person push on something without having physical extensions to control the body. Descartes view on this matter is in the concept of Dualism, which states the world consists of two fundamentally different substances (body and the soul/mind). The soul is superior and controls the body, but it is not physical and depends on the body to interact in the physical world. In today’s age we understand the soul(mind)/body interaction
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Final Essay WP - In the Elisabeth/Descartes correspondence,...

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