Describe Descartes Mind Body Problem (Theory of dualism):

Dualism: The term dualism is the state of being dual, or having a twofold division. Dualism doctrine consists of two basic opposing elements. Generally it consists of any system which is founded on a double principle. In philosophy of mind, dualism is a set of views about the relationship between mind and matter, which begins with the claim that mental phenomena are, in some respects, non-physical.
A generally well-known version of dualism is attributed to René Descartes (1641), which holds that the mind is a nonphysical substance. Descartes was the first to clearly identify the mind with consciousness and self-awareness and to distinguish this from the brain, which was the seat of intelligence. Hence, he was the first to formulate the mind-body problem in the form in which it exists today.
The mind-body problem can be stated as, "What is the basic relationship between the mental and the physical?" For the sake of simplicity, we can state the problem in terms of mental and physical events: "What is the basic relationship between mental events and physical events?" It could also be stated in terms of the relation between mental and physical states and/or processes, or between the brain and consciousness.
The mind-body problem is that of stating the exact relation between the mind and the body, or, more narrowly, between the mind and the brain. Most of the theories of the mind-body relation exist also as metaphysical theories of reality as a whole. While debates over the mind-body problem can seem intractable, science offers at least two promising lines of research. On the one hand, parts of the mind-body problem arise in research in artificial intelligence and might be solved by a better understanding of the relations between hardware and software.
The famous mind-body problem has its origins in Descartes’ conclusion that mind and body are really distinct. The crux of the difficulty lies in the claim that the respective natures of mind and body are completely different and, in some way, opposite from one another. On this account, the mind is an entirely immaterial thing without any extension in it whatsoever; and, conversely, the body is an entirely material thing without any thinking in it at all. This also means that each substance can have only its kind of modes. For instance, the mind can only have modes of understanding, will and, in some sense, sensation, while the body can only have modes of size, shape, motion, and quantity. But bodies cannot have modes of understanding or willing, since these are not ways of being extended; and minds cannot have modes of shape or motion, since these are not ways of thinking.
Descartes was aware that the positing of two distinct entities-a rational mind and a mechanical body-made implausible any explanation of their interaction. How can an immaterial entity control, interact with, or react to a mechanical substance? He made various stabs at solving this problem, none of them (as he knew) totally convincing. But in the process of trying to explain the interaction of mind and body, Descartes became in effect a physiologically oriented psychologist: he devised models of how mental states could exist in a world of sensory experience-models featuring physical objects that had to be perceived and handled.
The basic steps in Descartes argument
 Reject any idea that can be doubted.
 Our senses deceive us (dreams).
 Our senses limit our knowledge (the wax example).
o Knowledge is gained through the mind
 The only thing one cannot doubt is doubt itself.
 I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am.
Descartes determined that the mind, an active reasoning entity, was the ultimate arbiter of truth. And he ultimately attributed ideas to innate rather than to experiential cause.
To further demonstrate the limitations of the senses, Descartes proceeds with what is known as the Wax Argument. He considers a piece of wax; his senses inform him that it has certain characteristics, such as shape, texture, size, color, smell, and so forth. When he brings the wax towards a flame, these characteristics change completely. However, it seems that it is still the same thing: it is still a piece of wax, even though the data of the senses inform him that all of its characteristics are different. Therefore, in order to properly grasp the nature of the wax, he cannot use the senses. He must use his mind. Descartes concludes: And so something which I thought I was seeing with my eyes is in fact grasped solely by the faculty of judgment which is in my mind.


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