René Descartes: The Mind-Body Distinction
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In its turn mind is a totally different substance, which according to Descartes is “invisible, without dimensions, immaterial, unchanging, indivisible and without limit” . Thus, it is necessary to emphasize that no matter what elements dualists were studying there were only two of them that they referred to.
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This simile touches base on a number of philosophical ideas which Plato developed over the progression of The Republic (Plato, G.M.A Grube, 1993), the most noticeable being the dividing line.
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After Descartes left the army, in 1619, his whereabouts for the nextfew years are unknown. Based on what he says in the Discours de laMethode (Discourse on the Method), published in 1637,there is speculation that he spent time near Ulm (Descartes apparentlyattended the coronation of Ferdinand II in Frankfurt in 1619). There issome evidence suggesting that he was in France in 1622, for itwas at this time that property he had inherited was sold—the proceedsof which would provide him a simple income for many years. There issome speculation that between 1623 and 1625 he visited Italy. Descartesemerges in 1625 in Paris, his notes revealing that he was in contactwith Father Marin Mersenne (1588–1648), a member of the Order ofMinims. This relationship would prompt Descartes to make public histhoughts on natural philosophy (science). It is by way of Mersenne thatDescartes' work would find its way into the hands of some of the bestminds living in Paris--for instance, Antoine Arnauld (1612–1694), PierreGassendi (1592–1655), and Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679).
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He moved to Germany for further military service. In November 1619, while lodging at Ulm, Descartes experienced three intense dreams narrated by his early biographer Adrien Baillet in La Vie de M. Descartes (1691). This episode created in him the belief that he was destined to complete an encyclopaedia of the sciences. His enthusiasm for mathematics was accompanied by such developing themes as the light of reason, which is more complex in his vocabulary than contemporary usage denotes.