Cartesian Dualism and the Problem of Interaction

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2018-04-23

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Gaschen, Paul

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Abstract

There are numerous ways to consider the form and essence of humans. This is no less true in the discipline of philosophy. In general, philosophers consider the human in two different ways: either through materialism or through dualism. Materialism, the idea that all things causally significant to the human are physical, stands in direct opposition to the dualist position, that there are some things about the human that cannot be reduced to the physical. In this thesis, I will explain and parse the specific idea called Cartesian Dualism. As a form of substance dualism, this position faces the unique challenge of answering how physical and non-physical substances interact. Following a detailed discussion of Cartesian Dualism, I will present this problem of interaction and consider whether it truly poses a significant threat.

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Philosophy

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