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Am I Mind or Body?

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Akash Doshi

PHIL 1301

Prof. Tim Cowan

15th Oct. 2018

Am I mind or body?

        Rene Descartes is one of the philosophers whose work was very unique and different from other philosophers since it was very deep and thoughtful. His work, I AM A MIND AND A BODY is one of the deepest philosophies works. He states that the mind and body are really distinct, arguing that the nature of the mind is completely different from that of the body, and therefore it is possible for one to exist without the other. The complete diversity of their individual characteristics has serious problems to be addressed for the kinds of modes each can possess. The mind’s ability to cause motion in the body will be addressed first. Take for example, to raise one’s hand in class to ask a question. The arm moving upward is the outcome of the mind’s way of thinking. But willing is a mode of the non-extended mind alone, whereas the arm’s motion is a mode of the extended body alone. The outcomes of this problem are very serious for Descartes, because it undermines his claim to have a clear and distinct understanding of the mind without the body. Descartes’ response to the mind-body is twofold. First, he states that a response to this problem or question presupposes an explanation of the union between the mind and the body. Second, he also claims that the question itself may seem from the false presupposition that two substances with completely different characteristics cannot be related.

        After reading Descartes’ work on mind-body dualism, it is not easy to make a statement that would support one side. but I lean more towards the mind. That we are mind (or soul). The body is just there to conserve the soul and be able to do actions based on the mind. We have been identifying ourselves with something that we’re not. That we have been in identifying with something temporary and material as opposed to something that is spiritual and eternal. It may be difficult do digest, even in my case where my religion taught me to believe in the soul. Believing that we are body is nothing different than looking into a mirror; we’re not seeing the real person, and rather just seeing the exterior covering or the outer part. The point of interest is within the body. The mind (or soul) is the spiritual spark that creates consciousness in a body. Without the mind being in the body, the body is just a lifeless lump of matter that starts decaying and becoming ugly. How will it be possible to raise your hand in the class to ask a question if the mind never existed? How would I be writing this paper? How would I have made plans with my girlfriend for my birthday that is coming on this Wednesday to go to the Spindletop 360 degrees revolving restaurant in Houston to have dinner? No doubt, the body is a wonderful asset and its efforts never go unseen. The body is a vehicle for the soul as it takes the soul to its next destination – which leads to the idea of reincarnation.



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