Dualism Problems

When one reads Churchland, it becomes very easy to see why Dualism has been the dominant theory of mind for most of western history. Humans like to think that the mind as a very complex object, especially in comparison to the physical body. After reading, Churchland’s main points about Dualism, I completely disagree with the view.  I believe that the mind is not a nonspatial thinking substance, but is an integral part of the human body that is connected to it physically and chemically. Churchland picks a similar stance when comparing two of the most popular types of Dualism, Cartesian Dualism and Popular Dualism. Cartesian Dualism, although an interesting theory, is very flawed. I agree with him when he states if the mind is truly nonphysical, it could not really control the physical aspect of your body. I found the animal spirit theory to be a creative solution to that problem, but the theory of animal spirits is much too weak to allow Cartesian Dualism to be the most relevant and popular form of Dualism. Popular Dualism makes much more sense to a person who is ambiguous about their belief in Dualism. The most interesting part of this branch of Dualism was the energy section. I found the link between modern scientific concepts such as E=mc2 to be very interesting as it is always nice to see philosophical concepts have some relation with modern day science. Popular Dualism is a much more credible theory since it states that the mind is actually part of the physical body as it is inside the head. The beginning of the reading states how Dualism is a theory that is very popular with many of the world’s most popular religions, and Popular Dualism gives a reason why this is true.  The reason why it is so highly esteemed is due to the fact that Popular Dualism supports the possibility that the mind might survive the death of the body. This concept is very comforting to many people, and it further adds to any popularity that Dualism may garner. The subject of Property Dualism is also mentioned, and it basically states that the brain has a special set of properties that no other kind of physical object possesses.  This theory leads to concept to epiphenomenalism. This theory states that not only one’s actions are determined by physical events in the brain, but physical events in the brain also cause desires, decisions, and volitions. This is a very radical theory as it is basically stating that most of human behavior is just controlled by the brain and not mental states. This is why Churchland further describes interactionist property dualism stating that mental properties do have effects on the brain and behavior. This difference with the previous type of popular dualism makes much more sense, as it seems very illogical to myself for mental properties to not have any type of effect on behavior.

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