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Dualism: an insight into the subjective world (part3)



The Nondualism was an anti-theory which defended that dualism is an illusion. There is no distinction between matter and mind. This is based on the conception that the entire material world is a fantasy, it is not real. Actually as I said before the argument used by Descartes to fundament the existence of matter is based on a sofism, so Dualism has no answear to this objection unless that the mind can exist even if the body does not exist, which besides that it can not be proved it also is not in fact refutated by the nondualist.

Materialism leads a very strong oposition to Dualism. It is based on the principle that the only existent entity is the matter. Matter is considered to be anything that has extention on space. All the events are consequences of the material forces? action. Lucretius, founder of this view, said in his poem De Rerum Natura: ?nothing can come from nothing? and ?nothing can touch body but body? which illustrates very well his ideology. There is no other cause for any situation in the material worldunless physical substance and as the material world is the only one that exists, mind being real is just not possible. This shows a completely different anti-dualist vision: the arguments given above always supposed that there is such thing as mind which substance was the thought but materialists do not accept the existence of this spiritual element. To prove the existence of the soul is hard because it is not available to our senses. The mind as Dualism puts it is something that we can not see or touch; it can not be perceived through empirical action or through investigation. In this way the materialist argument gains strenght once the material world is the only thing one has the capacity to actually prove as existent. Even the needs, feelings and sensations derive from material experiences and are not created by the mind. Of course we can argue about the meaning of matter but there was somewhat of a consense: matter is all that has extension. Even so materialists do not give proves of the inexistence of the soul nor of the existence of the body, do they? This turns up to be ?a big pebble in the dualist shoe?: through our senses we can see, feel, taste things from the material world which gives them legitimacy to be understood as real; however what is said to be the mind is not perceptable (and the dualists also support this idea) therefore it does not exist.

We can conclude from all of this that Dualism is a complex philosophic theory with many positive and negative arguments. However I am not able to find one that proves this ideology completely wrong or absurd. The mind and the body are made from different substances with distinct origins and this results in different characteristics. We can divide matter in parts for example we can take an arm or a leg from the body; but what we can not do is to divide the soul. The material world can be exposed to division however the ?mind is essencially indivisible? (Descartes, 56). Also the soul fills all the body parts and even if the matter changes its dimension (if it gets smaller, for example) the intellect doesn?t. Based on Leibniz?s law (if this and that are the same thing then they have to have all the same properties; if this and that have different properties then they are different things) we can say that the material and the spiritual are not the same entity because they do not share the same properties. In this way we can accept the dualist view even if our senses do not prove that the spiritual substance is there and even though the mental causation theories form a strong opposition. There are always ways of proving/disproving ideas with the birth of new arguments, positions or philosophies. On this account it is still my strong conviction that there is a material body as well as a mind without extention.


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