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I possess a distinct idea of body inasmuch as it is only an extended and unthinking thing it is certain that this my soul by which I am what I am is entirely and absolutely distinct from my body and can exist without it Descartes pg177 Throughout the history of mankind there have been many philosophers who have attacked the thought and ideas that refer to the human soul and body in an attempt to produce a theory that truly explains how the soul and body exist and interact Although many have tried few have succeeded In Meditations on First Philosophy Rene Descartes developed a theory about the soul body and mind which describes the nature of each and how the interaction between them occurs This argument is known as dualistic interactionism The question is Is Descartes argument for dualistic interactionism sound Before I attempt to answer this question I would like to describe Descartes argument for dualistic interaction-ism Descartes held that the brain along with the rest of the body is purely mechanistic in its principle of operation This is true when the body is considered without soul as he proposed was always the case in the animal world where soul is lacking Thus animals are pure automatons This mechanistic view of the body including the brain is not questionable if soul is not made any essential part of its operation So what then is the nature of the soul Descartes answer is simple the sense perceptions and physical passions of men are dependent upon the body but awareness of them lies in the soul He perceived that all his thinking originates through the senses I had no idea in my mind which had not formerly come to me through the senses Descartes 175 He also states that the body which you call your own belongs to you more suitably and strictly than any other because you could never be separated from it
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