Thoughts on the Dualism of Mind and Body
Chris Carr

Many philosophers have argued that there is a separation between the mind and the body.  Plato was quite possibly the first to make this distinction.  He noted that the body and the soul are separate death.  In fact, it was Plato who asked, "Does not death mean that the body comes to exist by itself, separated from the soul, and that the soul exists by herself, separated from the body?  What is death but that?".  He also made the argument that philosophers don't care much about bodily pleasures, such as eating, drinking, and "sexual passion" because their studies are focused on the soul.  Rene Descartes was another proponent of this concept, writing that "my soul, by virtue of which I am what I am - is entirely and truly distinct from my body".

The following hypertext markup links provide background information on these philosophers and others who promoted dualism, as well as information on dualism itself.

Rene Descartes and the Legacy of Mind/Body Dualism  (
A history of philosopher Rene Descartes and his observations on the dualism of mind and body.

The Window - Philosophers  (
This site offers biographies on many philosophers including Descartes, Leibniz, Plato, and Sartre; and has a useful search feature as well as links to other sites.

Plato's Metaphysical Dualism and Theory of Ideas  (
Metaphysical dualism - take a look here at the handy table outlining the differences between the world of sensory appearances and the nobler world of ideas and forms.

Cartesian Dualism:  Mind and Brain Interaction  (
More on Descartes and the divisibility of the body and the indivisibility of the soul, and arguments against this treatise.

Mohr's Philosophy Exercises  (
Philosophy exercises by J.P. Mohr with links to associated readings are waiting here to be discovered.  A very cool and informative site.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy  (
A fascinating and information-packed site.  Highlights include:

 Return to class readings page:  Kinesiology 493: Philosophy of Kinesiology