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Are You a Dualist or a Materialist? Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 613

Essay

After reading the contrasting philosophical perspectives regarding the existence of soul, I would argue that I hold my position as a dualist. There are various reasons as to why I would hold the position of being a dualist and I have my own opinions about the philosophical theories noted by Plato, Aristotle, and Rene Descartes. Although I have my own religious beliefs about the existence of the soul, I will not let my personal beliefs interfere with my philosophical analysis on the topic. My position is based on the philosophical perspective of dualism.

I understand what Aristotle is suggesting in his theory of dualism that all living things have souls within them. This makes sense to me because like human beings, plants and animals possess a biological life force. Plants and animals have the same natural desires as humans such as the desires for food, air, intimacy, as well as sustainability, even if they are not consciously aware of this.

Despite the popular belief that plants are not capable beings of thinking or feeling emotions, there is no solid scientific proof if this claim. In fact, there happen to be scientific studies supporting the notion that plants do have a reaction to certain emotions. Studies have shown that flowers bloom larger and faster when placed in a room where classical or jazz music is playing on a radio. In contrast, when the same breed of flowers was placed in a room where hard rock music, they did not bloom as much and even showed signs of regression. A similar scientific study conducted in 2014 by a Chinese biologist was performed using three separate cups of rice which were soaked in water. The biologist spoke to these three separate cups of rice differently as if they were people. Cup A was treated with respect and dignity. Cup B was completely ignored. Cup C was treated terribly as the biologist used explicit language towards it. After a week of this treatment, the results ended with Cup A growing healthy saturated rice, Cup B remaining the same, and Cup C rotting with mold. The results from both of these scientific studies strongly suggest that plants do have some form of emotional response to event in life. The findings from these studies may even indicate that they have a soul within them compelling such emotions.

Plato, however, did not believe such a concept. Plato believed that is was only human beings who had souls. This was a different approach to dualism that governed the notion that humans were unique with rationality and intelligence. These elements separated humans from every other being and therefore only humans had souls.

Rene Descartes took a different approach to dualism. He believed that the body and soul were two separate entities. This concept suggested that our soul was our true form, using our body as a vessel to roam the physical realm throughout life.

The approach to materialism governs that no soul exists at all and that humans are only made up of biological substance. This concept is heavily supported by science because there is still no solid proof on the existence of a soul.

If I had to choose a specific approach to dualism, I would go with Aristotle’s theory. It just makes sense to me that every living being has a soul compelling their natural desires and emotions. I know that all of these philosophical theories regarding the soul are beautiful in their own way and I can appreciate each of them. Based on my own research and what I know about both philosophy and science, I would strongly agree with dualism, the notion that we do have a soul, with an emphasis on Aristotle’s approach.

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