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Are Persons Bodies?

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Are Persons Bodies?

"Are Persons Bodies?"

In this essay I am going to investigate the question as to whether persons are bodies. If a person is just a body, then is the mind not involved in any way or connected? Are individuals more than just a body? If it is not connected then how does the person function? I will attempt to answer some of these questions in this essay.

Firstly, it maybe believed that the body is actually a projection of what we perceive to be ourselves, therefore the body being a view of what the mind sees itself to be.

Secondly, Rene Descartes, a Cartesian Dualist believes that the body can exist without the mind; that they are two components of a human which are separate from one another and therefore believes they can exist without each other. Some religious faiths believe that after death this is what happens and the mind lives on despite the body now no longer being. (Descartes)

However critics of Descartes believe that the mind and body are connected to each other and affect one another in what happens. They believe this in such as way as that when you use your mind you also use your body, e.g. writing; when writing your mind tells you what to write, but your mind also tells your body to write and physically pick up a pen and do the action. Descartes then goes on to attempt to explain how the mind and the body are connected, yet still separate from each other. He firstly rejects the idea that the mind controls the body via a set of instructions and works just by pressing switches and/ levers, put forward by an Aristotelian. Instead, Descartes believes that the pineal gland is infact the reason for the connection between mind and body. However, the pineal gland is now thought to be involved with sexual development and rhythms of sleep. When Descartes was writing though, the pineal glands use was not known and therefore made his theory credible. However, the pineal gland was seen as physical and the mind seen as non-physical therefore the link between mind and body could not be the pineal gland. The view that the mind was non-physical and the body was physical, this caused problems in the link between mind and body as how is it possible to link two things together that are completely different? Descartes almost certainly

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