Reality’s Two for One Special:A Comparison Between Descartes’ Dualism and Spinoza’s Monism<br />Cheryl Bennett<br />PHI 200<br />Professor Henry<br />May 24, 2010<br />
Is Reality Reality?<br />Is what humanity calls Reality really reality, and is humanity dual in nature or monistic? Rene Descartes and Baruch Spinoza were two philosophers that attempt to investigate and answer that particular question by using both mathematical theories and intense examinations of the universe, humankind, and the psyche. <br />
Rene Descartes<br /><ul><li>Born in 1596 near Tours, France.
The mind and body are one substance dependent upon God.</li></li></ul><li>Metaphysics: Descartes<br /><ul><li>Believed that the mind and body were different substances separate from each other, “if mental states are generated by the brain they have no effect in the world.”
The Universe can be explained both mechanically and mathematically since all actions are in some way an adjustment of the interchanges between the physical body and the ethereal mind substances since each subsists independently from the other.
(Frost, 1942, pp. 31-33.)</li></li></ul><li>Metaphysics: Spinoza<br /><ul><li>There is only one substance, God/nature; therefore, the body and mind are one and the same even though they may act independent from each other.
Everything (action and material) is due to a series of triggers like a tree’s existence is triggered by the actions of another substance such as the wind, rain, and sunshine.
(Frost, 1942, pp. 33-35.)</li></li></ul><li>Epistemology: Descartes<br /><ul><li>Rationalism
Free will- The will is free to make its own choice of actions.
Determinism- The theory that everything happens necessarily in accordance with one or more scientific causal laws and that there is no free will.
Personal identity- The belief that people change throughout their lives and yet remain physically the same but not mentally the same.
(Abel, 2010, pp. 5, 7, 181, 186.) </li></li></ul><li>References<br />Abel, D. (Ed.). (2010.) Doing Philosophy: An Introduction Through<br /> Thought Experiments. McGraw Hill: NY<br />Frost Jr., S., (1942.) Basic Teachings of the Great Philosophers: A Survey<br /> of Their Basic Ideas. New York: NY<br />Irwin, W., (Ed.).(2002.) Popular Culture and Philosophy: The Matrix<br /> and Philosophy (Vol. 3.). Chicago, IL: Open Court <br />
References<br />Kemerling, G., (1997.) Baruch Spinoza. Retrieved May 8, 2010<br /> from http://www.philosophypages.com/ph/spin.htm<br />Lavine, T., (1984.) From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic<br /> Quest. New York: NY<br />Lin, M., (2005). Memory and Personal Identity in<br /> Spinoza. Canadian Journal ofPhilosophy, 35(2), 243- 268,353. Retrieved May 8, 2010, from Research Library. (Document ID: 912992801). <br />
References<br />Popkin, R. and Stroll, A., (1981.) Philosophy Made Simple. New York: NY<br />SparkNotes Editors. (2006.) Philosophy Classics. New York: NY<br />Spinoza, Baruch (1632-1677). (1999). In The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. Retrieved on May 8, 2010 from<br />http://www.credoreference.com/entry/cupdphil/spinoza_baruch_1632_1677<br />
References: Images<br />The Professor Network. (2004.)Baruch or Benedict Spinoza. Retrieved on May<br /> 8, 2010 from<br />http://www.philosophyprofessor.com/philosophers/baruch-spinoza.php<br />The Professor Network. (2004.)Rene Descartes. Retrieved on May 8, 2010 from<br /> http://www.philosophyprofessor.com/philosophers/rene-descartes.php http://www.philosophyprofessor.com/images/philosophers/rene-descartes.jpg<br />http://www.philosophyprofessor.com/images/philosophers/baruch-spinoza.jpg<br />