Comparative Analysis: Who's View of Mind is Correct, Descartes or Hobbes
During the sixteenth century, Rene Descartes a French Philosopher explored the concept of Cartesian Dualism a separation of mind and body. In the contrast, the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes argued against dualism in favor of materialism. I believe Descartes theory of the separation and of both mind and body have a firm foundation in our thought process today.
In the Meditations, Descartes desires to provide a firm foundation for knowledge.
According to Descartes we can use reason to discover the most basic truths about the world.
Descartes states “But I have occasionally caught the senses deceiving me, and it’s prudent never completely to trust those who have cheated us even once.” (Meditations 1 pg336)
Hobbes on the other hand in respect to the human mind is a metaphysical monist. Hobbes believes that thinking and dreaming are nothing more than matter in motion.
Descartes stops short of supposing that his geometrical mechanics can explain everything. The most obvious are our mental activities: thinking, imagining, willing, feeling, and doubting. One would have to consider is the mind support for the body or the body support for the mind. In his comments on the meditations, Hobbes claims to be unconvinced by Descartes’ arguments concerning the independence of the mind and from the body. Hobbes is convinced that “the subject of all activities can be conceived only after corporeal fashion.” If so than the mind cannot be thought of as a thing independent of the body.
So, with that said our brains are biological machines that do our thinking based on input from our bodies senses basically producing data for our minds to crunch and come up with rational or irrational thought. Our dreams could be considered experiences that have been stored in our brains and then put together with images, will, and desire to project a movie in our thoughts while we are asleep, or it could be the evil genius at work. Not to discard Hobbes but could Descartes be right with the modern invention of “AI” could it be possible to store a human’s every thought and then one day when the biological body ceases to exist simply download it all into a robot with “AI” and let the thinking continue. Hobbes states” Life is but the motion of limbs” (Hobbes pg. 362) comparing the human body to the automation of a watch.
In conclusion imagine if a man built a robot programmed the robot with all his thoughts and algorithm’s and the “AI” of the robot would think. Then the man dies. Is the robot, “Cogito Ergo Sum” I think therefore I am? Has Descartes believed or just matter in motion? Has Hobbes suggests.