Are We Distinct From Our Bodies Essay
Meditation on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes was considered as one of his most important work as a modern philosopher. It was here that he revealed his influential reflections and meditations on the role of the mind and body as well as the existence of God. As a great thinker and a mathematician he was able to make connections between philosophy, mathematics and science. He made important realizations and arguments that made philosophers up to this time think about his propositions and philosophy in life. In his writings he was able to awaken thoughts by looking for answer to our most important questions.
Although he was not accurate in all that he tried to prove, he made significant impact to the world of philosophy. Philosophers like Descartes think differently than ordinary man. Like scientist they are inquisitive and offer new ways of thinking that sometimes they tend to twist or reject traditional ideas and interpretations. In his six meditations he gave justifications and explanations to his understanding of the mind, body and God’s existence. He gave arguments for his doubts. He dig deep into the nature of the human mind and how for him that the mind was better known than the body.
He investigated about the existence and essence of material things and the nature of God and spirituality. He tried to investigate what is truth from falsity and what is the error behind what he observed. He gave emphasis and distinction between the mind and body. He provided ways on how man can view his existence and the basic structure of the world. Mind vs. Body Most people believed that the mind and body are very much interrelated to one another. There is connection between the mind and body. However in these meditations, the mind and body seemed to be distinct from one another.
It can be said that the mind can control the body and at the same time the mind depends on the body in order to operate and exist. The body with its senses for seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touch provided knowledge of the objects to be perceived by the human mind. The mind is affected by the brain by the signals that it sends. Outside the human body material objects exist while inside the human body the mind can create its own realities and imaginations not necessarily present in the external environment. What the body can perceive is not reliable and not accurate most of the time.
The mind can be easily deceived by these perceptions. The body is limited unlike the mind which is not limited to think and perceive thoughts and ideas. With such comparison one can see that the mind is far greater than the body. The body is divisible, extended and is not capable to think while the mind is indivisible have no extension and is thinking. The mind is not bound by shape and size it can be powerful enough to create. The body is limited by its shape and is dependent on the mind to move. Therefore, the mind is more certainly known than the body. The body becomes the instrument of the mind.
There exist the dualism of mind and body. Is Man Really Distinct From His Body? In the sixth meditation, Descartes argued that the man is distinct from his body. Because he had a distinct idea that the body being merely an extended thing not capable of thinking unlike the mind. Because the body can’t think man can exist without the body. Man can imagine that he is not present inside his body. When a man dies man will leave his body just like the spiritual explanation. The body was not permanent and may be destroyed. The mind of a person is somehow trapped inside the body.
The body is a corporeal thing. Since the body and mind are distinct from one another, people can separate the body from within themselves. The sensory perceptions can deceive man. What he perceives with his sense is not enough to say that the idea is correct. What the body sees through the eyes may not be what it should be. The senses may obscure the truth behind things. One might believe that he is awake but when in fact he is dreaming. Is Man Not Distinct From His Body? Mentioned also in the meditations, Descartes considered himself as combination of body and mind.
The body cannot be simply separated. The body becomes the source of various sensory perceptions needed by the mind. There is a union between the mind and a body. The body is important and definitive of its nature. It is where the soul of the man can be found. It is a clear indication that the man exist because he possess his own body. People interact and intermingled, it is what separated man from other bodies outside of his own. The existence and importance of material things is seen everywhere. The corporeal nature has obviously become the subject matter of pure mathematics.
It cannot be easily altered it is exact and we based realities in its existence. By our senses we can perceived other parts of our body like the head, limbs, feet and hands that we considered as essentially part of our whole self. People have their own bodies to distinguish from the others. It belonged to a person and he cannot be simply separated from it. Nature suggests that the sensations are important to identify what is painful from what is pleasurable. It is here that we are able to produce movement and movement is the power of the extended things. Man is very closely related to his own body.
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