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Cartesian Dualism and Human Evolution Essay

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Updated: May 13th, 2021

Objection

Since human beings evolved from primitive creatures which did not have minds, it is implausible to suppose that at some point Mother Nature somehow created immaterial Cartesian minds in addition to cells and physical organs.

Introduction

In general, according to this objection, it is improbable that Mother Nature created an immaterial Cartesian mind in addition to a physical body, as there is strong evidence proving the theory of evolution that shows that human beings and other creatures evolved over billions of years, only with the help of natural selection and physical processes. Otherwise, evolution would have had to create immaterial minds at some point in human being’s lineage (Heil 42).

Main body

This objection can also be extended to non-dualists, and the question of why nature did suddenly create consciousness should be asked. Unless naturalists can give a reason why consciousness exists, they are left seeking an explanation. Besides, most dualists are not only dualists concerning the philosophy of mind but also concerning explanations. They try to explain phenomena not only from the point of view of physical laws, for example, neurobiology, genetics, selection, and so on, but in terms of teleology as well. Nature’s role here is to produce an effect in the form of consciousness. Therefore, they will not try to explain the nature of the mind and recourse to the physical history of biological beings even though this history is very important (Heil 40).

Conclusion

Additionally, this objection assumes evolutionary imperialism which is definitely open to dispute. Thus, the human mind could unlikely have appeared as a result of a pure natural selection or physical process of mutation, as if it had, human beings would not have been able to understand and even discover it. On the other hand, in case deism is true, then Omnipotence definitely possesses the power to create souls or to provide matter with the ability to generate souls (Heil 41).

Work Cited

Heil, John. Philosophy of Mind: A Contemporary Introduction. Routledge, 2013.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Cartesian Dualism and Human Evolution." May 13, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/cartesian-dualism-and-human-evolution/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Cartesian Dualism and Human Evolution'. 13 May.

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