Reality’s Two for One Special:A Comparison Between Descartes’ Dualism and Spinoza’s Monism<br />Cheryl Bennett<br />PHI 20...
Is Reality Reality?<br />Is what humanity calls Reality really reality, and is humanity dual in nature or monistic? Rene D...
Rene Descartes<br /><ul><li>Born in 1596 near Tours, France.
Died in 1650 in Sweden due to pneumonia.
Was a mathematician who tried to prove his philosophy theories through mathematical means.
 Commenced the belief in rationalism and the dualism of the mind and body.
(SparkNotes Editors, 2006, pp. 138-140)</li></li></ul><li>Rene Descartes: Famous writings<br /><ul><li>Comments on a Certa...
Conversation with Burman, 1648
Correspondence, post hum. 1657
The Description of the Human Body, 1647
Discourse on the Method, 1637
 Geometry, 1637
 Meditations on First Philosophy, 1641
Passions of the Soul, 1649
 Principles of Philosophy, 1644
Rules for the Direction of the Mind, 1630
Treatise on the World, 1633
(The Professor Network, 2004)</li></li></ul><li>Baruch Spinoza<br /><ul><li>Born in 1632 in Amsterdam, Holland.
Died in 1677.
Was a lens grinder and mathematician.
Was an excommunicated Jew due to his beliefs that the Hebrew bible was just a teaching tool and that God was the universe ...
(The Professor Network, 2004)</li></li></ul><li>Baruch Spinoza:Famous Writings<br /><ul><li>A Theological-Political Treati...
Ethics Demonstrated According to the Geometrical Order, 1677
 Hebrew Grammar, 1677
 On the Improvement of the Understanding, 1662
Short Treatise on God, Man and His Well-Being, 1660s
 Principles of Cartesian Philosophy, 1663
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  1. 1. 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 />
  2. 2. 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 />
  3. 3. Rene Descartes<br /><ul><li>Born in 1596 near Tours, France.
  4. 4. Died in 1650 in Sweden due to pneumonia.
  5. 5. Was a mathematician who tried to prove his philosophy theories through mathematical means.
  6. 6. Commenced the belief in rationalism and the dualism of the mind and body.
  7. 7. (SparkNotes Editors, 2006, pp. 138-140)</li></li></ul><li>Rene Descartes: Famous writings<br /><ul><li>Comments on a Certain Broadsheet, 1647
  8. 8. Conversation with Burman, 1648
  9. 9. Correspondence, post hum. 1657
  10. 10. The Description of the Human Body, 1647
  11. 11. Discourse on the Method, 1637
  12. 12. Geometry, 1637
  13. 13. Meditations on First Philosophy, 1641
  14. 14. Passions of the Soul, 1649
  15. 15. Principles of Philosophy, 1644
  16. 16. Rules for the Direction of the Mind, 1630
  17. 17. Treatise on the World, 1633
  18. 18. (The Professor Network, 2004)</li></li></ul><li>Baruch Spinoza<br /><ul><li>Born in 1632 in Amsterdam, Holland.
  19. 19. Died in 1677.
  20. 20. Was a lens grinder and mathematician.
  21. 21. Was an excommunicated Jew due to his beliefs that the Hebrew bible was just a teaching tool and that God was the universe and not a supernatural being.
  22. 22. (The Professor Network, 2004)</li></li></ul><li>Baruch Spinoza:Famous Writings<br /><ul><li>A Theological-Political Treatise, 1670
  23. 23. Ethics Demonstrated According to the Geometrical Order, 1677
  24. 24. Hebrew Grammar, 1677
  25. 25. On the Improvement of the Understanding, 1662
  26. 26. Short Treatise on God, Man and His Well-Being, 1660s
  27. 27. Principles of Cartesian Philosophy, 1663
  28. 28. Thoughts on Metaphysics, 1663
  29. 29. (The Professor Network, 2004)</li></li></ul><li>Similarities <br /><ul><li>Believed in hard determinism.
  30. 30. Believed mathematics the best assessment of truth and knowledge.
  31. 31. Believed that God was the primary substance which created all other substances.
  32. 32. Were fearful of persecution by church officials.
  33. 33. Their written works were banned by the church for heresy for centuries.</li></li></ul><li>Contrasts <br /><ul><li>Dualism
  34. 34. The mind and body are two distinct and separate substances extended from God.
  35. 35. Monism
  36. 36. 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.”
  37. 37. (Irwin, 2002, pp. 68-69.)
  38. 38. 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.
  39. 39. (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.
  40. 40. 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.
  41. 41. (Frost, 1942, pp. 33-35.)</li></li></ul><li>Epistemology: Descartes<br /><ul><li>Rationalism
  42. 42. Mathematical methods of Reasoning:
  43. 43. Intuition: the understanding of self-evident principles
  44. 44. Deduction: orderly, logical reasoning from self-evident propositions
  45. 45. Skepticism
  46. 46. (Lavine, pp. 93-99)</li></li></ul><li>Epistemology: Spinoza<br /><ul><li>Believes there are two characteristics of knowledge:
  47. 47. Imagination: A faculty of forming imagistic representations of things, derived ultimately from the mechanisms of the senses.
  48. 48. Intellect: A faculty of forming adequate, non-imagistic conceptions of things.
  49. 49. There are three types of wisdom
  50. 50. Opinion or Imagination: Indiscriminate or uncertain influences like word of mouth and sensory information.
  51. 51. Reason: Mutual or proven concepts like triangles have three sides that meet together by way of three angles.
  52. 52. Intuitive: The definite facts about a subject along with the how and why the facts are true.</li></ul>(The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 1999)<br />
  53. 53. Ethics: Descartes<br /><ul><li>God places thoughts and actions into humankind’s mind; therefore, humans are not liable for their actions.
  54. 54. The mind is capable of free will but the body is dependent upon the mind for its actions.
  55. 55. (Frost, 1942, p.92.)</li></li></ul><li>Ethics: Spinoza<br /><ul><li>a person acts ethically when “guided by reason.”
  56. 56. Virtue’s two classes:
  57. 57. Tenacity: “the Desire by which each one strives, solely from the dictate of reason, to preserve his being”
  58. 58. Nobility: “the Desire by which each one strives, solely from the dictate of reason, to aid other men and join them to him in friendship.”
  59. 59. (The Cambridge Dictionary, 1999.)</li></li></ul><li>Free Will: Descartes<br /><ul><li>Everything has a cause and that cause was caused by another influence.
  60. 60. (Lavine, pp.124-125)
  61. 61. The mind alone has the ability to make its own choices but the body does not.
  62. 62. (Frost, 1942, p.92)</li></li></ul><li>Free Will: Spinoza<br /><ul><li>Free will is determined by a person’s desire to do the right thing for two reasons:
  63. 63. either to preserve their survival
  64. 64. or make friends.
  65. 65. A person’s actions are ultimately determined by God.
  66. 66. (The Cambridge Dictionary, 1999, par 11-12)</li></li></ul><li>Personal Identity: Descartes<br /><ul><li>“I think, therefore I am”
  67. 67. Since he was conscious of the awareness of his thoughts, he must exist.
  68. 68. His hypothesis that ideas are from the mind only and not the physical brain tissue. Therefore, mental states have no effect in nor are they affected by the physical world.
  69. 69. (Irwin, 2002, pp. 42-46, 68-69.)</li></li></ul><li>Personal Identity: Spinoza<br /><ul><li>A person’s memories are their identity since the body and mind are one.
  70. 70. Personal identity remains the same regardless of physical changes, like a person losing weight does not alter who they are mentally.
  71. 71. Identity can be erased if a person’s memories are erased through injury or disease.
  72. 72. (Lin, 2005.)</li></li></ul><li>Evil: Descartes<br /><ul><li>God is perfect and incapable of error
  73. 73. Humankind makes and acts upon bad choices due to insufficient evidence because their understanding from God is incomplete.
  74. 74. (Frost, 1942, p.92)</li></li></ul><li>Evil: Spinoza<br /><ul><li>Good (or evil) just is what serves (or hinders) the long-term interests of life.
  75. 75. Defined evil as the equivalent to a lack of logical knowledge since any action taken without reason only produces undesirable results.
  76. 76. (Frost, 1942, p.92)
  77. 77. Evil comes from the obstruction of a person’s desire to do the right thing since people yearn to be righteous, either to preserve their survival or to gain allies
  78. 78. (Kemerling, 1997, par 26-28.) </li></li></ul><li>God: Descartes<br /><ul><li>God is the ultimate substance possessing maximum perfect positivity.
  79. 79. Human beings are an extension of God’s singular substance and are divided into two separate imperfect substances.
  80. 80. (Lavine, pp.104-105) </li></li></ul><li>God: Spinoza<br /><ul><li>God is the universe/nature; the one and only true substance.
  81. 81. Man is a single imperfect extension of God’s perfect singular substance.
  82. 82. (The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 1999.)</li></li></ul><li>Glossary<br /><ul><li>Metaphysics- The study of ultimate reality
  83. 83. Epistemology- The study of knowledge
  84. 84. Ethics- The study of moral value
  85. 85. Free will- The will is free to make its own choice of actions.
  86. 86. Determinism- The theory that everything happens necessarily in accordance with one or more scientific causal laws and that there is no free will.
  87. 87. Personal identity- The belief that people change throughout their lives and yet remain physically the same but not mentally the same.
  88. 88. (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 />
  89. 89. 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 />
  90. 90. 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 />
  91. 91. 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 />

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