Dualism of the Soul and the Body in the Philosophical System of Ibn Sīnā and Descartes

Document Type : Scholary


1 Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Dialectical Theology Department, Qom University, Qom, Iran

2 MA Holder of Philosophy and Dialectical Theology, Qom University, Qom, Iran


The problem of human's two domains has a significant influence on human knowledge, and since the human privilege in the universe to the other beings as well as the immateriality of the soul and so on is based on proving the soul's substance separately, it worths to search in this issue about the ideas of two Western and Islamic philosophers. Ibn Sīnā with arguments such as the "suspending man" proves this matter; Descartes also proves this matter with ''Cogito argument''. In this paper, after explaining the views of these two philosophers, we have tried to compare these two perspectives. Ibn Sīnā considers the soul as “the first perfection of the natural body” and Descartes defines it as a “thinking substance”. Both of them are dualists with two truly separate substances. In each of their proofs, simultaneously, they prove the soul's immateriality and its distinction from body and its self-consciousness. Their important difference is that the Ibn Sīnā's proof is a hypothetical state, while Descartes’ Cogito is a personal experience which can be attained by a little meditation. Both of them believe in the mutual influence of the soul and body.


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