The Hub of Being (15) Dualism


We are misled by dualism or the idea that mind and body are separate. ~ American neurologist Howard Fields

Dualism philosophically solidified under the influence of 17th-century French philosopher René Descartes, who based his view of Nature on a fundamental division between mind (res cogitans: the “thinking thing”) and matter (res extensa: the “extended thing”). Despite being somewhat skeptical of the senses, Descartes ultimately trusted them.

The integration of the mind and body is thorough: the robustness of one affects the other; but the relationship is asymmetrical. The most obvious example of the mind-body interface is stress. Mental trauma, such as grief or shock, can profoundly affect physical well-being. Conversely, serious physical injury may have negligible mental effect, depending upon frame of mind.

If this dualistic theory were true, it would confront us with the most embarrassing, insoluble difficulties should we try to explain how these 2 utterly different substances (mind and body) could interact with one another, as they appear to do in human behavior. ~ American philosopher Mortimer Adler