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Mind-Body Dualism

6. Problems with Dualism

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In this final module, we consider some of the unanswered problems with dualism—the fact that there has been no explanation for how two fundamentally different substances (mind and body) can interact with one another, or the fact that the physicalist (or materialist) view of the world leaves no answered questions.


In this course, Dr Cressida Gaukroger (University College, London) explores the philosophical theory of mind-body dualism—the theory that mind and body are distinct kinds of substances. The course begins by considering how dualism differs from materialism and idealism, before delving deeper in the philosophical writings of René Descartes, who offered several arguments for the dualist position. In the third module, we think about the causal connection between mind and body, before considering two more recent arguments for the dualist position. In the final module, we consider the problems with dualism that remain unresolved today.


Cressida is a teaching fellow in the Philosophy Department at University College, London. Prior to this she was a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Philosophy, University of London.

In April, 2014, she completed her PhD at CUNY Graduate Center in Philosophy of Mind/Philosophy of Psychology. She has researched a wide range of philosophical topics throughout her BA at the University of Sydney, and MPhil at the University of Cambridge, and is interested in the following areas: Cognitive Science, Early Modern Philosophy, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Science, Ethics, Aesthetics, Epistemology and the Philosophy of Food.

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APA style

Gaukroger, C. (2018, August 15). Mind-Body Dualism - Problems with Dualism [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Gaukroger, C. "Mind-Body Dualism – Problems with Dualism." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,

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