The topic of philosophy of the mind (dualism) which is referred to as soul has over the centuries been marred by controversy. The existence of the soul has been put to question and its relation with the body has also been put to scrutiny. …
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Quite a number of philosophers and researchers have attempted to come up with conclusive reports on the matter. Dualism is therefore closely associated with the views forwarded by a French philosopher, Rene Descartes who held that the mind is not a physical substance. Descartes objectively identified the human mind with a lot of awareness as well as self-consciousness. He argued that mind is very different from the brain (Robinson 85-101).This essay attempts to provide the rationale of the philosophical concept of dualism. Philosophical arguments relating to composition of dualism What then is dualism? As contained in the dialogue Phaedo, the famous Greek philosopher Plato constituted his popularly theory that relates to forms as substances that are distinct and in essence immaterial. Plato therefore put it vividly in the dialogue that the Forms are fundamentally ideal universals that enables human persons to have a comprehensive understanding of his own world. Plato's forms of dualism are demonstrates that non-physical and non-mental forms does not exist in space, time and more convincingly the mind. As argued by Plato even the human person as portrayed by Swinburne generally thinks that souls have feelings and belief. In relation to this, the body and the soul are two distinct things with no natural and meaningful connection that are features of unity. The existence of their relationship if any may only be described as nominal and coincidental. It may then be argued that the any interaction and vital connection that may characterize the two is basically superficial (Robinson 85-101). Another great Greek philosopher Aristotle comes in to fill the vacuum by putting forth his own argument that human person has forms which illustrates the soul as a form and the body as matter. He strongly holds to the opinion that that the substantial understanding of the body and soul should enable a human being to contend to the fact that it is more than just a mere interdependence and interrelation two distinct substances. This he explained in De Anima where he said that “So every natural body which pertakes life would be a substance of the composite kind”. Acknowledging the existence of such a body, the soul would then not qualify to be called a body for a body should in essence not belong to any subject but should essentially exist as a matte (Searle, 457). In addition to that the soul must exist as a substance that takes the form of natural body that has the potentiality of life which must display actuality. It is in this aspect that the soul is the actuality of the body. So based on his opinion, the soul is a function of an organized body and therefore is not a subject of independency and separate existence. Aristotle has therefore provided a more distinct and complex understanding of the relationship between the body and the soul, but as portrayed in his reasoning, the soul is not eternal but only generated thus a fundamental subject of time. It may then be objective to say argue that Aristotle had functionalism ideologies. Functionalism may be defined as antithesis of the concept of dualism that states that human person mind is non existent and does not believe in the existence of mental states that are in apparent similarity to physical states. Such notion is broadly acknowledged among the modern day philosophers, However, owing to their total concern about the nature of physical substance and its relative organization, they have been evading the epicenter of the issue, thus the mental substance and its conceptual relationship with the physical one, which brings a point of weakness in their philosophical thoughts. According to Searle (417-457), the controversy as per the existence of the soul in
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