According to epiphenomenalism, bodily events or processes can generate mental events or processes, but mental phenomena do not cause bodily events or processes (or, on some accounts, anything at all, including other mental states). (McLaughlin, p. 277) Whether an epiphenomenalist thinks these mental epiphenomena are properties of the body or properties of a non-physical mental medium determines whether the epiphenomenalist is a property or substance dualist. Still other dualists hold not that mind and body are distinct ontologically, but our mentalistic vocabulary cannot be reduced to a physicalistic vocabulary. According to the dualist, the mind (or the soul) is comprised of a non-physical substance, while the body is constituted of the physical substance known as matter. For the behaviorist, we say that the clown is clever because he can fall down deliberately yet make it look like an accident We say the student is bright because she can tell us the correct answer to complex, involved equations. The physicalist can point, for example, to successful reductions in other areas of science. Can any sense be made of the claim that a non-extended or immaterial things acts on anything?
Although the credit for setting the stage for this scholastic-Aristotelian philosophy dominant at Descartes’ time should go to Thomas Aquinas (because of his initial, thorough interpretation and appropriation of Aristotle’s philosophy), it is also important to bear in mind that other thinkers working within this Aristotelian framework such as Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, and Francisco Suarez, diverged from the Thomistic position on a variety of important issues. This was a point of some controversy amongst the scholastics themselves. If mental states are just behavioral states, brain states, or functional states, then we can verify that others have mental states on the basis of publicly observable phenomena, thereby avoiding skepticism about other selves. Materialist theories are far less vulnerable to the problem of other minds than dualist theories, though even here other versions of the problem stubbornly reappear. All we are therefore left with is a stream of impressions and ideas but no persisting, substantial self to constitute personal identity. There is no how to basic actions, which are brute facts. Kant also argued that there is little reason to suppose that the mind or ego cannot be destroyed despite its unity since its powers may gradually attenuate to the point where they simply fade away. Most contemporary philosophers of mind put little value in these rejoinders. Others argue that dualism is scientifically unacceptable because it violates the well-established principle of the conservation of energy. The dualist then attempts to identify attributes of mind that are lacked by matter (such as privacy or intentionality) or vice versa (such as having a certain temperature or electrical charge). This will show how these issues arise because of a misconception about Descartes’ theory of mind-body union, and how the correct conception of their union avoids this version of the problem. So, if Descartes’ theory is scholastic, it must be most in line with some version of the Scotistic theory. Chapter 5 specifically addresses Rozemond’s concerns. Two major stumbling blocks Rozemond raises for the scholastic-Aristotelian interpretation concern the mind’s status as a substantial form and the extent to which Descartes can maintain a form of the human body.
People can disagree about whether two sticks are equal. In the Phaedo, Socrates notes that we awaken from having been asleep and go to sleep from having been awake. As a result, minds without bodies and bodies without minds would require nothing besides God’s concurrence to exist and, therefore, they are two really distinct substances. The argument just examined is formulated in a different way later in the Sixth Meditation: [T]here is a great difference between the mind and the body, inasmuch as the body is by its very nature always divisible, while the mind is utterly indivisible. First, it is easy to see that bodies are divisible. An illustration (for present purposes a property can be considered anything that may be predicated of a subject): In sum, I cannot doubt the existence of my mind, but I can doubt the existence of my body. For example, if something comes to be taller, it must come to be taller from having been shorter; But from those entirely physical origins, nothing non-physical was later added. That is, things can become taller, but they also can become shorter; Otherwise, anything can be the cause of anything else. A.          For to know the meaning of a word is to know how to use it rightly; What’s the payoff for going through all the trouble and enduring all the problems to which it gives rise? Similar objections are open against other, more recent rebuttals to Descartes' argument. Philosophy essay dualism.