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Mind/Body Dualism

Cartesian rationalism can be explained as the overall philosophical direction towards the acceptance of the sole essence of reality that is driven from the knowledge of logical thinking. Rationalism, from the time of or the period of enlighten, has been usually associated with the introduction of arithmetical methods in philosophy. On the other hand, empiricism is a theory that argues the fact that knowledge originates from the sensory experience alone. One of its views is epistemology, which is a study of human knowledge, and it also emphasizes the role of evidence and experience especially the sensory experience. Empiricists also argue that customs and traditions always arise because of the relations of the previous sense experiences. In this case, this question concentrates on logical empiricism also known as logical positivism.

Logical empiricism involves a number of ideas that include verifiability criterion of meaningfulness, as well as the theory of priori. In comparison, Cartesian rationalism and logical empiricism are both dualism. This means that coordinating the relation as well as sensory experience for philosophers is a challenge. Rationalism is seen as an aspect that solves fundamental and general questions cannot explain the manner in which the new knowledge is obtained. On the other hand, logical empiricism argues about the increase of individual knowledge but cannot guarantee the truth of the knowledge. The affinity between the two is deeply rooted than it is possibly thought. Neither of the two can grasp consciousness in the act of learning. Thus, both theories are put in the phenomenology of the perception suggesting that a world of impression is equal to the independence of the mind. This means that they both keep a safe distance with perception and, in the long run, judgment and attention are needed to connect them.

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Cartesian rationalism is usually contrasted with empiricism. The root dispute between rationalism and logical empiricism concerns the extent to which people are dependent upon the sense of experience in an effort to gain knowledge. Rationalists claim that there exist various ways in which the concepts of knowledge of people are gained in an independent manner of sense experience. On the other hand, logical empiricists believe that sense experience is the major source of the concepts and knowledge that are possessed by human beings. Cartesian rationalism and logical empiricism try to associate them in an attempt to explain the knowledge that is possessed by individuals. The differences between them are always magnified to an extent where some people only understand each of them individually.

Mind/Body Problem

Kantian idealism was the modest philosophical doctrine that states the difference between things in themselves and appearances. It claims that the objects of human cognition are usually appearance, not things in themselves. This form of idealism was transformed to absolute idealism by other philosophers, with the view that things in themselves are usually a contradiction in terms due to the fact that a thing must be an object of consciousness if at all it has to be an object. On the other hand, phenomenology involves the study of structures of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view. The central structure of experience cannot be said to be its intentionality but being directed towards something. This is because it is an experience about or of some object.

Phenomenology corrects the problem with rationalism and empiricism by introducing a restrictive view that only sensory experience possesses a proper phenomenal character. For instance, the ability to see a color, hearing a tone, feeling a pain and smelling an odor are experiences that are phenomenal, and that are well defined in this case unlike in rationalism or empiricism. Another reason why this is a correct solution to the problem is because a stringent rationalism or empiricism can limit some experiences that elicit pure sensations.

According to Kant’s idealism, there are certain problems that have to be derived from their respective fundamental principles defining faculties in which knowledge can be gained. He dissected the problems by remarking that empiricism is always defined by its emphasis on reason as well as the activity of the mind to attain knowledge from sources outside the sense of perception and the scope of experience. Thus, Kant found it necessary to resolve the conflict as well as the problem faced by Cartesian rationalism and as logical empiricism through the proposal of the transcendent idealism, concluding that the extent of our knowledge depends on rational and empirical principles. Simply, what he did was to enjoin these two separate schools of thought into one.

The solution or the crossroads that Kant introduced were put in such a way that Kant started with experience and advanced to describe the kinds of knowledge possible, and arrived at several conclusions. The conclusions include priori analytic, priori synthetic and a posteriori synthetic because of our ultimate sources of knowledge. What is most important, in this case, is that the forms of knowledge mentioned above are derived from their corresponding judgments.

According to the terms of Kant, a judgment can only be considered as analytic if it is explicative. This means that it never adds any foreign or new content to the existing knowledge. For instance, “All bodies are extended” is a judgment that is analytic because it does not give more information concerning bodies. On the other hand, analytic judgments usually arrive at new ideas and increase the content of the knowledge that still exists. An example is the judgment that “All bodies are heavy”. This can be considered as synthetic as it augments the knowledge of our bodies as compared to the analytic judgment. Kant notes that empiricists that preceded him greatly overlooked this distinction.

Additionally, by arguing against logical empiricism, he says that mathematical judgments are linked to the latter type and are usually priori in nature, or priori synthetic. This means that mathematical judgments are somehow independent of experience. They also derive new knowledge in the process of their conclusion. An example in such a case is when we say that 7+5=12. This case starts from one set of knowledge and ideas on the subject that is 7, 5, as well as the idea of the sum. After solving this problem and get to 12, another concept is created that is distinct from 7 and 5 as well as the sum of both 7 and 5.

Evaluate and Respond

According to my point of view, mind/body dualism can be taken to mean that the mind and body differ in meaning but refer to different kinds of entities. Therefore, many dualists usually oppose theories identifying the mind, with the brain conceived to be the physical mechanism. The most liable problem is that dualism is a state of the mind whereby knowledge is part of it. Thus, if dualism is true in existence, then science cannot succeed or go far in terms of achievement.

Another solution can be functionalism, an idea which might suggest that the nature of the mind is a matter of the role played by mental states in causal relations to other mental states, behaviors or sensations. The main or basic idea in this solution is that the idea is to see the mind along the lines of a ‘computer state’ that is defined and characterized by its relationship to other similar states, as well as behavioral inputs and sensory inputs.

Conclusively, Kant’s theory is very significant philosophically and historically in the sense that it came to bridge the gap between Cartesian rationalism and logic empiricism, as well as the topics in full. It exposes that these two theories can be understood as equilibrium components. This means that individual knowledge is obtained from rational operations and empirical encounters. Kant proves that the achievements of knowledge are never attained by pure empirical or rational approaches. Instead, the very nature of human understanding makes experience possible as well as available to reason. Therefore, Kant’s theory not only provides a theoretical explanation of the way modern achievements like pure mathematics and pure science are possible. Rather, it took philosophy in one direction that lifted experience itself as well as its interaction.

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