Mind and Body in History Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

For Marx, of course, economics and class conflicts were the base of society, and social change proceeded through revolutions, such as the French, American and English Revolutions against feudalism in the 17th and 18th Centuries. In the future, capitalism would be overthrown by a socialist revolution, starting with the most advanced industrial economies in the West (Greene, p. 200). Comte argued that sociology should be concerned with the "laws of social evolution," though, and that science and technology had undermined traditional religion and the feudal social order. Society evolved in three distinct stages, theological, metaphysical and positive, with positivism representing urban, industrial society (Greene, p. 204).

Conclusion

Plato, Augustine and Descartes were the most important dualist philosophers in history, and all of them valued the mind and immortal soul far more than the physical body or the material universe. This view was dominant until the era of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment when it was gradually displaced by materialism, empiricism and the scientific method. Descartes was an important transition figure in that he did not doubt that God existed, and stated that he was perfect and eternal, but also that God had given human beings minds, senses and judgment through which they could comprehend the natural world. Unlike God, though, human faculties are finite and imperfect and therefore prone to error. God did not create humanity to be all-knowing and all-powerful, or ensure that people would never be mistaken, so he made room in his philosophy for the new science of the 17th Century. For the most part, science and materialism were triumphant in the 19th Century, apart from the Romantic reaction against the Enlightenment, and the standard assumption was than human beings were animals that had evolved physically and mentally over millions of years, that no soul existed and that the mind was really the information that had been programmed into the brain. Questions of the soul, God or immortal beings were relegated to the area of faith and religion, not science.

REFERENCES

Augustine (2006). Confessions. Penguin Classics.

Gil, C. (1999). Plato: The Symposium. Penguin Classics.

Greene, John C. "Biological and Social Theory in the Nineteenth Century: August Comte and Herbert Spencer" in John Offer (ed). Herbert Spencer: Critical Assessments of Leading Sociologists, Volume 2. Routledge, 2000: 203-26.

Descartes, R. (1996). Meditations on First Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.

Hume. D. (1993). An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Hackett Publishing Co.

King, Karen L. What Is Gnosticism? Harvard University Press, 2003.

Lehrer, J. (2009). How We Decide. NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Nauert, C.G. (2006). Humanism and…

Sources Used in Document:

REFERENCES

Augustine (2006). Confessions. Penguin Classics.

Gil, C. (1999). Plato: The Symposium. Penguin Classics.

Greene, John C. "Biological and Social Theory in the Nineteenth Century: August Comte and Herbert Spencer" in John Offer (ed). Herbert Spencer: Critical Assessments of Leading Sociologists, Volume 2. Routledge, 2000: 203-26.

Descartes, R. (1996). Meditations on First Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.

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