By D. Cockburn
This e-book differs from others through rejecting the dualist strategy linked particularly with Descartes. It additionally casts severe doubt at the types of materialism that now dominate English language philosophy. Drawing particularly at the paintings of Wittgenstein, a principal position is given to the significance of the idea of a man or woman in our considered ourselves and others.
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Additional resources for An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind: Souls, Science and Human Beings
Cartesianism and contemporary views Most contemporary English-speaking philosophers, and at least a substantial proportion of the wider reflective public, are deeply suspicious of the Cartesian understanding of a person. We might articulate something that is shared by the range of dominant contemporary views in this way: a person is an extended, tangible being that exists in the same world as tables, trees and mountains. But this formulation conceals differences that are every bit as important – some would say very much more important – than the similarities.
Why, then, should our racist accept that such similarities carry the weight that we are trying to give them in this use of the argument from analogy? 4. Conclusion: justification and the mind/body divide Descartes often reminds us that the human body – what we see or touch when we see or touch another living person – is, as he expresses it, ‘corporeal substance’ (Descartes, 1641, p. 185); it is, that is, something that can be adequately characterized in terms of its ‘extension in length, breadth, and depth’.
Do these not demonstrate that the individual ‘left her body’ for a period; and so that the ‘real person’ is something quite distinct from this bodily being? This would be moving a bit too rapidly. The facts so far described are quite consistent with the suggestion that the patient was able to give these reports as a result of signals picked up while she was located where she appeared to be: namely, in bed. Now it might be objected that this talk of ‘signals’ does not really do justice to the way in which the individual’s perspective on the world was for a period from a point external to her body.