Essay on Can Substance Dualism Be Defended

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Can Substance Dualism Be Defended?

Substance dualism is a never ending argument in the Philosophy world as it’s been going on for decades. It is the view that the universe contains two important types of entity which is mental and material. The structure of this paper is that four main argument leads to one conclusion. Firstly, I’ll argue about Descartes’s ‘separability argument’ which stands as the definition of Substance Dualism. Secondly, I’ll argue that mental and physical have different and perhaps irreconcilable properties. An argument is not complete without a counter argument which in this case the “pairing” problem that exists in Descartes theory is highlighted and where is the interaction of material and immaterial takes
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Mental events have a subjective quality, whereas physical events do not. Subjective aspects of mental events are called qualia (or raw feels), a possibility to feel pain, to see a familiar shade of blue, and so on. Raw feels or qualia seem particularly difficult to reduce to anything physical. There is a few articles and though experiment that supports this theory. As an example, Thomas Nagel (1974) characterizes the problem of qualia for physicalistic monism in his article "What is it like to be a bat?” Nagel argued that even if we knew everything there was to know from a third-person, scientific perspective about a bat's sonar system, we still wouldn't know what it is like to be a bat. A thought experiment proposed by David Chalmers is the Zombie Argument. The basic idea is that one can imagine, and therefore conceive the existence of, one's body without any conscious states being associated with it. Chalmers' argument is that it seems very plausible that such a being could exist because all that is needed is that all and only the things that the physical sciences describe about a zombie must be true of it. Since none of the concepts involved in these sciences make reference to consciousness or other mental phenomena, and any physical entity can be by definition described scientifically via physics, the move from conceivability to possibility is not such a large one (Chalmer, 1996).