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Mind and Body as Conceived by Descartes and Pascal - Case Study Example

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This work called "Mind and Body as Conceived by Descartes and Pascal" describes the relationship between mind and body as conceived by any two or all three of Descartes and Pascal. The author outlines their own approaches…
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Mind and Body as Conceived by Descartes and Pascal
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Download file to see previous pages Cartesian dualism exists in the sense that, like the great thinkers Plato and Aristotle who had gone before, he agreed that there should be some uniformity as to how the universe was regulated.
Aristotle was a thinker who was more interested in metaphysical concepts, while Plato’s thought was more based on concrete principles of the natural world. While Aristotle described the levels of reality, Plato focused on subjects such as how one could be a virtuous, and therefore “good,” person.
Pascal was a mathematician, so he obviously focused therefore much more on physical reality and concrete and empirical principles. He says, “But in the intuitive mind the principles are found in common use and are before the eyes of everybody” (Pascal, 1660, p. 1).
When one is awake, what does one do? This notion that consciousness is not accounted for, or the persistence of memory, is important as one seeks to find out what underlies the core of these two authors.
Descartes most likely used more indirect means of philosophizing. Meanwhile, Pascal would have been deliberately direct and forthcoming, as a mathematician who drew on his knowledge of the sciences in order to derive his conclusions.
The differences between Descartes and Pascal are vast, mainly because Pascal was first and foremost in his heart a scientist. Descartes was at his core, however, a thinker—a logician of the highest quality.
This is not to say that Pascal could not have been a deep thinker as well, but rather, he thought about things deeply in a very mathematically logical and formal way. Descartes was the type of philosopher who could make vague abstractions seem as though they were concrete principles.
Descartes and Pascal differed about how they viewed the mind and the body. While Descartes thought that the mind was separate from the body, Pascal definitely would have argued that the mind was part of the physical body.
For example, if one were paralyzed from the neck down, Descartes could argue that the mind would still be intact.  Similarly, someone could be unconscious but their brainwaves could still be functioning.
On the flip side of the coin, the person who would be arguing against the dualist—in this case, Pascal—would be able to easily make the reverse of that argument.  Someone could be brain-dead but yet kept physically alive on life support. In that case, it would seem that the mind and body definitely would be connected. Thus, definitely Pascal here would make a case for why the mind and the body are most certainly connected. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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