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Philosophy on Dualism - Essay Example

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Dualism consists of a set of view pertaining to the relationship between mind and matter. Its main claim is that mental phenomena can sometimes be non-physical and not material. The term dualism can actually have a variety of uses, but this discussion is concerned with dualism as the philosophy of mind…
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Philosophy on Dualism
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Download file to see previous pages Dualism graces its roots to as far back as Zarathushtra, although Plato and Aristotle also dealt with the possibility of existence of an incorporale souls that actually bore the faculties of intelligence and wisdom. Their conclusion is that "people's intelligence (a faculty of the mind or soul) could not be identified with, or explained in terms of, their physical body" (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.).
The difference in the properties of mental and physical realms supports the validity of dualism. Minds are observed to have subjective qualities such as sensations which cannot be reduced to something physical. These experiences then are deemed to be from of different origin than the physical body. "There is no place in the brain where electric stimulation can cause a person to believe or decide. Although our thoughts can be true or false our brain states cannot be true or false. Nobody can tell what we are thinking by measuring brain waves. We must be asked what we are thinking" (
On the other hand, there seems to be a lack of rational understanding as to how an interaction could possibly take place between the brain and the mind. Simply, this arguments says that there is nothing such as supernatural or other dimension that can explain this interaction thus the mental and physical realm must be one. Another argument against dualism is that when the brain is damaged, brought by physical trauma, drug abuse and other diseases the mental powers are always affected. "The argument holds that if the brain and the mind were actually separate, our mental powers would not be comprised" (
This views leads us to think that there is/are factor/s that dictate the well-being of the mind, not just the physical body. Mental heath then is a factor of many other things aside from physical health. In the end it is found that the arguments for dualism is strong. Indeed, things such as emotions or feelings which does not necessarily emanate from the physical body are from different realms and they affect the mind.
Monism is associated with any philosophical view which says that "there is unity in a given field of inquiry, where there is not to be expected" (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.). Thus there are philosophers who stands on the belief that the universe is really just one thing, despite of its many facets, appearances, diversities. In theology, this is the belief in one God who holds everything. Just differ in what they target and how they count.
There are actually many monisms, although they all have the attribute of oneness. We however focus on two historically important monism; the existence monism which targets concrete objects and counts by token and the priority monism which targets concrete objects and counts by basic token. However, "neither existence nor priority monism is accorded much respect in contemporary metaphysics, nor are they always properly distinguished. Indeed, the entire monistic tradition is often dismissed as being somewhere between obscure and ridiculous" (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosphy).
Monism can be viewed as simply the opposite of dualism and pluralism. It particularly denies multiplicity of things and the distinction between body and soul, matter and spirit and other dualistic distinctions.
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