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  Mens Sana Monographs
A Monograph Series Devoted To The Understanding Of Medicine, Mental Health, Man, Mind, Music And Their Matrix
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 104-126

Medicine and mind-body dualism: a reply to mehta's critique


" PhD, DPhil. Independent Researcher and Bioethicist in Private Practice

Correspondence Address:
Callie Joubert
81 Sander Rd, New Germany, Durban, South Africa

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1229.130318

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Neeta Mehta recently advanced the thesis that medical practice is facing a crisis today. In her paper "Mind-body dualism: a critique from a health perspective" she attributes the crisis to the philosophy of Descartes and set out to understand why this dualism is still alive despite its disavowal from philosophers, health practitioners and lay people. The aim of my reply to her critique is three-fold. First, I draw attention to a more fundamental problem and show that dualism is inescapable-scientifically and commonsensically. I then focus on the self-conscious emotions of shame, guilt and remorse, and argue that the self is not identical with a brain. The third section draws attention to the crisis in psychiatry and stipulates some of the main reasons why this is so. Contrary to Mehta's thesis, the health profession faces a crisis because of physicalism and biological reductionism.


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