Dualism , in philosophy , the use of two irreducible, heterogeneous principles sometimes in conflict, sometimes complementary to analyze the knowing process epistemological dualism or to explain all of reality or some broad aspect of it metaphysical dualism. Examples of epistemological dualism are being and thought, subject and object, and sense datum and thing; examples of metaphysical dualism are God and the world, matter and spirit, body and mind, and good and evil. Dualism is distinguished from monism, which acknowledges only one principle, and from pluralism , which invokes more than two basic principles. Philosophers sometimes employ more than one dualism at the same time; e. Dualism Article Additional Info. Print Cite. Facebook Twitter. Give Feedback External Websites. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article requires login.
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Dualists in the philosophy of mind emphasize the radical difference between mind and matter. They all deny that the mind is the same as the brain, and some deny that the mind is wholly a product of the brain. This article explores the various ways that dualists attempt to explain this radical difference between the mental and the physical world. A wide range of arguments for and against the various dualistic options are discussed. Substance dualists typically argue that the mind and the body are composed of different substances and that the mind is a thinking thing that lacks the usual attributes of physical objects: size, shape, location, solidity, motion, adherence to the laws of physics, and so on. Substance dualists fall into several camps depending upon how they think mind and body are related. Interactionists believe that minds and bodies causally affect one another. Occasionalists and parallelists , generally motivated by a concern to preserve the integrity of physical science, deny this, ultimately attributing all apparent interaction to God. Epiphenomenalists offer a compromise theory, asserting that bodily events can have mental events as effects while denying that the reverse is true, avoiding any threat to the scientific law of conservation of energy at the expense of the common sense notion that we act for reasons. Property dualists argue that mental states are irreducible attributes of brain states.
Now we shall examine dualism. It is the first of the options on the Mind Body Problem. It is the most popular conception, it appears as the most obvious answer to the problem and it is the source of the problem all at the same time! Plato thought that the soul could and would exist apart from the body and would exist after the death of the body. He offered a "proof" for this position and was the first to do so in writing that we have any evidence of doing so.
Dualism is historically important in that it allowed the medical practice to be divorced from church oversight. The reductionist approaches of modern Western medicine facilitate a dispassionate and mechanistic approach to patient care, and dualist views promoted by complementary and alternative medicine are also problematic. Behavioural disorders are multifactorally realizable and emerge apparently chaotically from interactions between internal physiological systems and the patient's environment and experiential history. Conceptualizations of behavioural disorders that are based on dualism deny the primacy of individual physiology in the generation of pathology and distract from therapies that are most likely to produce positive outcomes.