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Dualism vs. Biological Naturalism

Compare Descartes' dualism with Searle's biological naturalism (in terms of his mind-body theory). What are the main features of each position? How are they similar or dissimilar? What are some of potential problems with each account?

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Hello and thank you for using Brainmass. The solution below should get you started. It is based on general materials and information about Descartes and Searle. Just in case, may I advise reviewing your class materials and adding information from it into your final answer to make it module specific? While the solution below provides key ideas, professors usually expect a bit of your class material in your answers as it is a mark of using what you learned to answer questions about them. You can also use the listed references for further studies of the topic. Good luck and thank you for using Brainmass.

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Descartes' Dualism

Rene Descartes is said to be the father of philosophy. He was one of the most prolific thinkers in the Enlightenment and his seminal work, 'Meditations' led him to belief that via the process of doubt, one can arrive at certain truths. Among these truths is the idea that by thinking one can arrive to knowing and realizing his being and he uttered this in the phrase 'Cogito ergo sum', I think therefore I am. But with this proposition he also arrive at the proposal of mind and body dualism. What is mind and body dualism according to Descartes? For him there are 2 kinds of substance in reality, matter - spatial, occupies space, can be observed and seen, and mind - the essence of which it can have thought, the thinking mind so to speak. Cartesian dualism looks at the body as a machine, the body, a substance of matter works according to the ...

Solution Summary

The 883-word solution provides a discussion of Descartes Dualism and Searle's idea of biological naturalism. Both are topics that explore the relationship of the body and the mind. The main features of each position is explored and a comparison is provided. References have been listed for further studies of the topic.A word version of the solution is attached for easy download and printing.