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Explain Descartes’ mind/matter dualism

Explain Descartes’ mind/matter dualism

Explain Descartes’ mind/matter dualism

Please write a 3-page essay, typed and double-spaced, in response to one of the questions below. In your essay, it is important that you explain the issue you are writing about clearly in your own words. Make sure to explain and critically evaluate the reasons the authors give in support of their views and the reasons that lead you to your own position. Please, do not plagiarize. Plagiarism will result in an F for the assignment or an F for the course.


  1. According to Schiebinger’s Competing Cosmologies, how does the prevalent cosmology in ancient antiquity account for the various aspects of an individual’s character and for the inferiority of women to men? What are the areas to which the supposed inferiority extends? How do you evaluate the plausibility of the ancient account? In your opinion, to what extent are these ancient ideas reflected in Metropolis?
  2. Explain Descartes’ mind/matter dualism. Explain how Schiebinger argues in Competing Cosmologies that Descartes’ mind/matter dualism allows for overcoming ancient claims based on the four-element theory such as the one that differences between male and female bodies indicate differences in mental abilities between man and women. Explain Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia’s objection to Descartes’ mind/matter dualism. In your opinion, whose position is more convincing? In your view, does Metropolis suggest that dualism is the case or not? Give the reasons underlying your assessment.
  3. What is Descartes’ view on the nature of biological bodies in Discourse on Method, Part V? According to Descartes, what are the two ways in which we can distinguish actual human beings from artificial ones? How do you evaluate Descartes’ position? To what extent are Descartes’ ideas in the Discourse on Method detectable in Metropolis, to what extent does the movie differ from Descartes’ account? How would you explain the fact that the men in the excerpts from the movie that we watched (with the exception of Fredersen and Rotwang) do not immediately identify Maria the ‘machine-man’ as artificial?
  4. In God, Women and the New Physics, Wertheim reports on craniology as a scientific discipline. Explain what craniology is and what its supposed purpose is. Explain how craniologists argue for male intellectual superiority no matter what empirical evidence they use as the starting point for their arguments. Explain the objections that can be made against the various assumptions that craniologists make in their arguments, and why, as a scientific discipline, craniology appears to be misguided. Metropolis Film link

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