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Dualism vs. Monism Argumentative Essay

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Updated: Oct 23rd, 2019


Monism refers to a philosophical ideology that holds that physical beings as well as the universe is made up of a single entity. The concept of monism asserts that the world and the body are made up of a single entity that is unified by a particular substance (Doubestein). On the other hand, the ideology of dualism posits that the body is made up of two important elements that combine to form an individual which is the physical element and spiritual aspect of it (Doubestein).

In our contemporary society the people who subscribe to the ideology of dualism are more widespread because of the credibility of this concept compared to monism. Indeed since the first time that the concept of dualism was first elaborated by Descartes, the world is becoming more and more inclined to believe in dualism because of the existence of various literature and evidence that supports this model.


If we are to reject the ideology of dualism then we will by extension have to subscribe to the ideology of monism since these are basically the only two ideologies. Therefore the hypothesis in this case would be; “dualism is the most widely held belief in the world because it is the model that is largely supported by various educational and literature theories”.


To determine whether dualism is the most widely held theory in our contemporary society we need to assess it against other literature and educational theories that we commonly rely on in our present times.

The Cartesian world view that evolved during the 20th and 19th century provided the first evidence that humans have two elements; the body and the mind (Wilkie and Hurt).

This description of humans provided the earliest foundations of the evolution of ontologic dualism which did not provide room for the integration of monism perspectives of this model. It is the principles of the Cartesian geometry developed by Descartes which we still rely on today that tipped the scale in favor of dualism from a pure scientific point of view.

Over the last century the concept of dualism has been advanced to another level with the invention of two important theories that further supports the ideologies of dualism; psychophysical interaction and psychophysical parallelism (Wilkie and Hurt). The principles of psychophysical parallelism explains the theory of dualism by describing the simultaneous ability of the physical and the mental aspects of the body to function together in the entity of the body in a coordinated manner.

Psychophysical interaction principle is more or less a modification of the parallelism model and advances the theory of the causal effect that is observed between the body and the mind as evidence of their coexistence. This is by far the most convincing evidence that we have, which so far supports the model of dualism in our contemporary society.


The contentious issues that are advanced by the models of dualism and monism is a never ending debate that still continues to polarize the fundamental principles of modern psychology as well as philosophy itself. In our modern day society various modifications of these models continues to be advanced with the aim of uniting the concepts of the two ideologies.

Some of the most commonly referred branches of these theories are bitheism, duotheism, ditheism, Hinduism, Sikhism and pantheism among others (McGuigan). However, what is not in doubt is that the fundamental concepts that the modern psychologist rely on largely emanate from the ideology of dualism.

Works Cited

Doubestein, M. Monism vs. Dualism, 2000. Web.

McGuigan, J. En Garde! Dualism versus Monism, 2002. Web.

Wilkie, B. & Hurt, J. Literature of the Western World. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. 2000.

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