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05 AUGUST, 2017 (MAINS)



Q1. Explain the doctrine of Cartesian Dualism and examine critically arguments in favor of it. (2014/15)


Please write the answer in comments section

  • jaish

    Descartes was a rationalist philosopher and he has propounded the Cartesian method to find the clear and distinct knowledge. For this ,he has doubted on each and every thing and finally got the knowledge of “self” as clear and distinct. It can be summed up as: “cogito ergo sum”- I think therefore i am. It is the foundation of Descartes philosophy.
    From this, he has deduced knowledge of God and World existence and mind-body dualism.

    Doctrine of Cartesian dualism:
    Experience of two distinct elements is a part of our realisation of the world around us that is conscious and material objects. This dichotomy is also evident even in our own mind and body. Mind is associated with consciousness and body is related to material element. Mind and body as per Descartes is substance.
    Man possesses both mind and body, although they interact with each other but they are independent. Mind is having consciousness while matter is having extension.
    To explain the interaction between mind and body, Descartes has propounded “Interactionism. According to this, pineal gland is responsible for interaction of mind and body. God is the motivating factor behind this conjugation of activity.
    Arguments in favour of Cartesian dualism:
    1)support from common language-in common language, mind and body denotes two distinct elements.
    2)support from experience-It is a part of our normal experience to find out the distinct qualities in the mental and material elements.
    3)mind and matter cannot change to each other.
    4)also support by common sense-in our daily life ,we observe that world consists of two distinct elements.

    But there are some objection which cannot be denied like how these contradictory mind and body have relationship from philosophical ground and how they are interacting with each other.
    It is obvious from the objections aimed at dualism that this theory cannot provide satisfying explanation of the world.