For centuries now philosophers have debated on monism, dualism, and functionalism, three different philosophical views of a human being. Philosophers have been debating whether or not an individual is made up of the mind, the body, or both. Monists believe that a person is made up of either the body or the mind, which allows one for a single self-consistent universe. Functionalism is the theory of the mental states and has been the most dominant theory in cognitive science since the 1970s.
Dualists presume that a person is made up of the body and the mind, including both the physical and non-physical aspects.Dualism allows us to view the world from two different forces that work together to build up the world or an object. It’s separated into two categories which include, “physical and mental”, the mind would be the mental aspect and body would be the physical aspect. We require both “aspects to make us human”. A person is physically and mentally different. Our body and our mind cannot be the same since, they are two different types of substances.
“By substance, we mean the actual stuff that makes them up”(COGNITIVE SCIENCE edition 2 by Jay Friedenberg and Gordon Silverman, page 29). It gives us the ability to see that the substances that make up our body are really just the physical part of our body. Dualists are people who believe that knowledge, thought and, the self all exist in some way beyond the physical body.
According to Descartes, the mind and body exist through independent materials. However, he also claims that both factors do in fact, interact with each other through the “pineal gland” to make up a human being.I am a dualist because I believe that there are two forms of existence, the body and the mind, which are both different entities that allow a person to function to their full capacity. For example if I ever have a panic attack, people can see that I am in discomfort and very anxious, however, what they can’t see or feel is my severe state of anxiety. They aren’t able to do so because it’s not physically there and my anxiety is in my mind. In other words, they can only see my angst to an extent, whereas I have to physically endure the angst.
Thus the three different philosophical views share opposing perspectives as theory of monism argues that all of reality can be reduced to one substance, while the theory of dualism claims that all of reality may be reduced to two substances, and lastly, functionalism presumes that all of reality is made up of multiple parts to make us whole. Descartes allows us to fully grasp the understanding of what dualism truly means and how the immaterial mind and the material body, although being detached from one another, still have a means to communicate.