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Are you FOR or AGAINST Cartesian Dualism?

Descartes’ (Cartesian) Metaphysics: DUALISM

METAPHYSICS Debate Question: What is the nature of reality?

God = Infinite Immaterial Substance; transcendent, teleological substance.

Mind (Soul)

Body (brain)

Immaterial/Transcendent: No extension in time and space; transcendent

Material: Extended in time and space; measureable objectively

Consciousness

Matter in motion, governed by the laws of nature, e.g. physics, biology, etc.

Free will (thinking, affirming, denying)

Mechanism (Determinism)

Terminology: for Descartes, Soul = Mind =

Transcendent Substance

Select an opponent for dualism from these philosophical alternatives:

Darwin & Dennett

Monism

Sartre’s Existentialism

Nihilism

Instructions: Write a one page essay in which you: Single space

  1. State your thesis for or against Cartesian dualism.
  2. Select (and include in your thesis statement) an opponent for Cartesian dualism: either Darwinian monism OR existentialist nihilism.
  3. Clarify the basis/criteria of your argument, e.g. logical, rational, parsimonious, common-sensical, etc.

EXAMPLE: “In this paper I will argue Cartesian dualism offers a more parsimonious explanation of reality than Darwinian monism.”

  1. Make an argument for your position and support it with an original analogy, e.g. reality is like a machine, e.g. clock or computer; or, mind/body relation is like a captain steering the ship.
  2. Consider and refute your opposition, including a critique of their analogy.
  3. Use only textual sources assigned in this course in the composition of your essay. Indicate the pages numbers, e.g. (23) for all references to text.

Reminders:

  • DO NOT USE ANY PHILOSOPHICAL SOURCES IN YOUR PAPER OTHER THAN THOSE ASSIGNED. This is not a research paper.
  • One page limit means keep it on one side of one piece of paper with standard margins. Everyone strive to respect this length limitation as an invitation to be concise, on point, towards an end-in view.

Please read everything very carefully, make sure you understand what you going to write.

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