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Kretchmar's Five Types Of Dualism

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1204 words Published: 3rd May 2017

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The classical emphasis emerged from one of the most famous Greek philosophers dialogue, Platos Phaedo. Plato believed that the most important things are not the material or physical entities but the eternal ‘Forms’. He also stated that the bodies and physical matters are just imperfect replicas of such Forms. Aristotle, one of Plato’s students did not believe in the Platonic Forms. Aristotle argued that the body is far more important than the mind and the soul (the mind) do not exist. His forms are the property of things and the things existing in those things. This made it easier for Aristotle to explain the body and soul union by saying that the soul is nothing more than form of the body. Due to this reasoning, by Aristotle arguments the soul is something material because it is a property of the body. Aristotle argument and theory led to many interpreters, ancient and modern, to interpret Aristotle theory as materialistic.

The more modern version of dualism has their origin and is associated Rene Descartes’ Meditations. Descartes was known to be a substance dualist. He states that there are two types of substance, the matter which the essential property is spatially extended and the mind which is the essential property that do the thinking.

In very recent history, Scott Kretchmar divided Descartes dualism into five kinds. These five kinds are:






Substance Dualism:

Substance is at the heart of the dualistic thinking and practise. Dualists argue that the mind (soul) and the body are two radically different things.

The body is seen just like another object, it is like on the same level of a football, water and rocks. When we see the body from this perspective, the body can be used, manipulated, dissected and treated like any other object. Since the body is seen as an object, then the body is just a machine made of joints which move using the levers and force. Like any other physical object the body obey and use the laws of physics.

The substance dualists also acknowledge thinking. Thought is not like the matter. Matter has shape, colour and obey laws. Thinking or the mind or the soul does not have colour, size, form or shape and do not observe physics laws. The mind obeys the logic rules and coherence.

Substance dualism does acknowledge that the body and mind interact. These dualists also acknowledge that the body affect the mind and vice versa. While the connection between the mind and the body is very difficult to explain, but through scientific experiments and personal experience the body and the mind do affect each other.

Value Dualism:

Value dualism grounded deep in substance dualism. Value dualists see the human as being the mind and the body.

Plato placed the thoughts, perfection and ideas over the body, above the mediocrity and emotions. Plato continued his theoretical argument that the body at its best serve as a compliment to the mind and helping the mind to acquire more intellect and knowledge. At the same time, he stated that at worst the body will hinder the mind from gather more knowledge due to our carnal nature and desire. If this happens, it will be the source of our animal instinct, emotion disturbance and perceptual errors and then peak result will be pain and death.

Plato stated that our physical senses may perceive things in a wrong way and therefore our senses will transmit to the mind wrong messages and the knowledge transmitted can be negatively influencing the mind.

Value dualists; value the mind over the body, with the body being the source of all evil. But this raise some questions, such as, does all the evil come from the body? Impure thoughts, such as, excessive anger and greed does not disturb the acquisition of knowledge? Is this evil which originated and circulated in the mind without any help from the body?

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Knowledge Dualism:

Knowledge dualism is divided into two categories, the “knowing” and the “knowing how”. The knowing is pure knowledge, pure understanding of things. The knowledge of why some things work better than others, why things occur in such a way and order. Knowledge of why we feel better after a good session of training, why our cardiovascular system improves in functionality with regular training.

The knowledge of “knowing how” is purely procedural. This kind of knowledge help people and athletes perform better skills. A great football player can kick the ball with so meticulousness that if he is ask how he did it he won’t be able to explain what he did. The player will be at a level of knowledge of kicking the ball that for him it will be hard to explain the complexity of the angle of the foot, the power in the kick and the position of the supporting leg. This happens because it so natural for him to do that and cannot explain why and how.

People with this kind of dualism do not really understand what they are doing and this will compromise the value of accomplishments.

Behaviour Dualism:

Gilbert Ryle in his book The Concept of Mind describes behaviour dualism is a type of value dualism because it climaxes the requirement of the body as a machine and the mind as an operator.

This kind of dualism suggests that all actions has a dual process. The process of thinking followed by the process of doing. These dualists beliefs are similar to the valuelists because they believe that since the body is only a machine it can’t function on its own. Therefore; since the body is only a machine, it must awaits for commands from the mind.

The behavioural dualism point of view is that the mind and the body are in an unbalanced relationship where the body depends totally on the mind.

Language Dualism:

Language dualism is similar to the behaviour dualism and is considered as a value type dualism. This kind of dualism focuses on symbolism focuses on an image or an action and such action or images stand for something else.

According to Ernst Cassirer in his book Philosophy of Symbolic Form (1944), the achievement of using symbols is what makes us human beings. This is also considered as a trademark for human beings and this hallmark distinguishes us from all the other lower life forms.

This kind of dualism is divided into two major groups, intellectual and non-intellectual. The intellectual group consists of poems, prose and other writing and spoken form. This group also include any mathematical symbols used in physics and other sciences. Since these are considered intellectual, these factors are at the heart of most of IQ tests, SRT and other intelligence and academic testing. These are used because they are considered as they are thought to show the mind workings at its best.

The other group is the non-intellectual. Paintings, music and sports are found under this category. Because these form part of the non-intellectual group, these are given a lesser academic rating and importance.


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