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Aristotle Essay
Adnan Ahmad
Compare and contrast Aristotle‘s concept of mind with that of Descartes. Introduction
In this essay I attempt to show Aristotle’s concept of soul/mind*[1]. Then I compare and contrast it with Descartes’ concept of mind. In order to understand Aristotle’s concepts of mind, I shall consider Aristotle’s De Anima, in which Aristotle mostly concentrates on soul/mind discussion. I will examine the work of Kahn and Sorabji, who both considered Aristotle’s and Descartes’ philosophy in relation to soul and body problem. In order to compare Aristotle’s concept of mind with Descartes’, I am going to introduce Descartes’ most famous philosophical work which involves the question of mind directly, namely hisMeditations.
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If we look at Aristotle’s De Anima we can understand that pre-Aristotle thinkers were already concerned with corporeal and incorporeal problems. For example, for Plato soul was an ‘incorporeal’ and immortal thing, but body corporeal and mortal. The first impression we get from reading De Anima is that the mind and body problem was unsolved. Perhaps the resolved problem didn’t satisfy Aristotle. Aristotle claims that an incorporeal thing cannot exist without a corporeal thing. Aristotle’s new theory for solving soul and body problems makes controversial debate among most post-Aristotelian philosophers. Rene Descartes was one of them who rejected the Aristotelian concept of mind in which corporeal and incorporeal things exist together. For Descartes, corporeal and incorporeal things exist separately. In order to verify his argument he introduced a new concept for soul/mind. Descartes uses ‘consciousness’ for soul/mind which is immediate self-awareness, so ‘consciousness’ or mind exists independently without corporeal thing. In other words,…...

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