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what are Gilbert Ryle's 2 criticisms of Descartes?

1. Descartes makes a category error- the mind and body are of the same logical type

2. Descartes assumption that things are either mental or physical.


Explain 1 of Ryle's examples that shows a category error.

- A visitor goes to Cambridge.
-He's shown the different colleges, the museum, the library etc.
-At the end of the tour he asks "but where is the university?"
-He is guilty of a category error since he assumes that the university is something separate from all the other bits which collectively are the university.


How does Ryle's example of a category error link in with Descartes?

-In the same way Descartes is guilty of a category error since he assumes that things must be either mental or physical, and assumes they cannot be both.


What is Ryle's argument suggesting?

-The body and mind/soul are of the same logical type. Both are simply names of things.

-You can't separate the body and mind.

-He is not denying the mental or classifying the mind as material.


What were Descartes ideas on body, mind and soul?

-The body and soul are wholly separate substances.

-Senses may be mislead by a demon which would mean that the material world and body is an illusion.

-The pineal gland is the seal of imagination and common sense.

-The body is spatial and non conscious, whilst the mind is not spatial and is conscious


What is Descartes evidence for the division between the body and soul/mind?

-If a limb was amputated from my body it wouldn't effect my mind.

-You can't take bits of mind away.

-the body is divisible but the mind isn't


2 basic disadvantages of Descartes ideas.

-No empirical evidence for Demon.

-Modern scientific research has shown that the pineal gland is used for reproductive hormones, not for imagination and common sense.


What is the most obvious advantage of Descartes ideas?

-If the body and soul are separate then afterlife can happen.


define materialism

we have one single nature which is entirely physical


explain Richard Dawkin's quote "survival machines"

- human beings do not have immortal souls, instead we are simply a mixture of chemicals.


what did Richard Dawkins reject?

the soul as a spiritual substance


what are Richard Dawkins beliefs on religious ideas of the soul?

They are beliefs based on wish-fulfilment for those who lack courage, who fear death and who cannot cope with the idea of their own mortality.


Describe Richard Dawkin's soul one.

-the ancient idea of consciousness meaning non-physical element of life.
-Dawkin's thinks this isn't an explanation but an invasion


describe Richard Dawkins soul two?

-Definition of soul from Oxford dictionary is intellect or development of mental faculties.
-One day science may find the answers to fully explain soul two


Define identity theory.

mental events can be correlated with types of physical events in the brain


Susan Blackmore is a supporter of materialism. Explain her thoughts.

-Supports Dennett's idea that is isn't a single place where consciousness happens in the brain.

-There is not an added ability/power possessed by humans.


Dawkins is a supporter of materialism. Explain his thoughts.

-There is no soul. Everything is physical.

-consciousness is just an evolutionary aspect for humans.

-our life is just genes put together.


R.Swinburne is a critic of materialism. Explain his thoughts.

-The soul is separate from the body. The soul can survive after death.

-Consciousness is proof of our souls.

-The soul is capable of logical thinking. The soul judges what is right and wrong.


Keith Ward is a critic of materialism. Explain his thoughts.

-without the soul morality is useless. The soul gives humans a final purpose.

-our soul is what makes us different from animals.


define continuity

what are the criteria that are necessary for somebody to be regarded as the same person over time?


define dualism

-the belief that humans are made up of a material body and non material soul
-the non material is us ally either the soul or mind


explain Plato's ideas on the soul

-soul belongs to the world of the forms
-it is immortal and perfect but imprisoned in the body
-it is made up of physical desires, reason, and emotion


explain Plato's example

-the chariot resembles the soul
-the charioteer is reason which is steering two horses (representing physical desires and emotion)
-when reason balances physical desires and emotion, the soul is in a state of harmony


Plato's two arguments for dualism are knowledge and opposites. Explain them

1. Knowledge - The soul has a priori knowledge from the world of the forms and remembers the perfect and eternal forms. E.g. of this a priori knowledge - Socrates questioned an uneducated slave about maths problems and he showed an awareness of Pythagorus theory. Leaning is simply remembering

2. opposites - just as light and dark are opposites, the body and soul are opposites. Since life is something, death must also be something- the moving of the soul to the world of the forms. However, this can be challenges as an assumption


3 weaknesses of platos argument

- how does the immaterial soul interact with the physical body? this isn't answered clearly.

-how can we gain knowledge from a world that we have never seen before. There is no evidence off this world. Also, how can we apply knowledge from an eternal world to this world if they are so different.

-P. Geach questions how can a disembodied non material soul see the forms since 'seeing' is a physical process


2 strengths of platos argument

-no need to fear death as it is the soul escaping from the temporary shell of the body

-Bryan Magee 'the theory that there is another world than this gives value and meaning to our present world'


explain Aristotle's ideas on the soul/ body

-they soul and body are distinct but the soul is the form of the body- the soul cannot be separated from the body. They are two separate elements but one thing

-they die together

-the soul has the facilities of vegetative, appetite and intellect

-hierarchy of living things. Plants only have a vegetative soul, animals are above plants because they have appetites and humans are above plants as we have reason


Aristotle's three examples

-imprint cannot be separated from the wax (soul cannot be separated from the body)

-if an axe was a loving thing then it's body would be made of wood and metal. It's soul would be the thing that made it an axe I.e. it's capacity to chop

-if the eye were an animal, sight would be its soul


3 weakness of Aristotle

-there is no hope for personal survival. Death is the end.

-Unlike Plato, Aristotle's ideas of the souls don't explain déjà vu or how we recognise a range of different things as beautiful

-Aristotle's beliefs about the afterlife are vague. He talks about intellect or reason surviving death, but that's all. Unclear


3 strengths of Aristides ideas

-no problems with how body/soul interact as the body and soul cannot be separated.

-Body and Soul both end at death so no need to assume the continued existence of an immaterial soul.

-No need to assume another, more permanent world. Aristotle bases his view of body and soul on empiricism.