Patch Adams reflection

Dualism is eminent in the Patch Adams movie in many aspects. The aspiration to become a doctor entails both the body and mind. However, Philip is seen to be torn between learning and just being a good doctor like his friend who is described as a good doctor even when he does not do a lot of reading. His friend tends to focus on body and disregard the mind by a way of liking the way people describe him as a good doctor. People describe him based on the overall code of conduct (Rosenthal & Rosenthal, 2000). On the other hand, Philip believes that in order to become a good doctor, one has to concentrate on learning to perfect the knowledge one has. His friend thinks that Philip entered into the profession because Philips father was a doctor and actually mocks him by saying that being a good doctor is not a genetic thing.

Value dualism is depicted by Philip’s view of why he thinks doctors need to learn more so that they can save lives. He believes that basic knowledge is not enough to save lives. In value dualism, valuing mind is more emphasized than valuing the body (Scott et al., 2017). This is evident in the way Philip views learning to gain knowledge as opposed to the views of his friend who is just concerned about having the title of a doctor. In fact, he cheats on his exams just to get good grades instead of learning and getting good grades without cheating.  In regards, to behavior dualism, Philips friend is seen acting in a manner to suggest how his mind is. He does not want any other person to beat him in being a good doctor even when he is not. On the other hand, Philip is seen acting calmly and focused on improving his knowledge by reading extensively. His behavior shows how his mind controls his body actions.

Monistic materialism is portrayed by the Philips friend behaves when he meets Philip. Although people see him as a good doctor, his behaviors complicate him. He does not care about what people think about his knowledge as a doctor because all that he cares about is the title of being a good doctor. That is why he mocks Philip, who becomes emotional because of what his friend behaves and mocks him. In regards to measurement materialism, Philip’s friend is only known for what he is described at but not what makes him who he is. No one evaluates how he became to be a good doctor. This is as opposed to what Philip believes. He is of the opinion that in order to become a good doctor, it is important to think about what drives one towards that calling. Therefore, he believes in saving lives and this, calls for one to read more.


The movie depicts dualism and materialism aspects as portrayed by the actors. Reductive materialism is evident in the way Philip views the issue of being a good doctor. He does not think that he wanted to become a doctor because his father and grandfather were doctors but he focuses on the fact that he needs to save lives. On the other hand, his friend is only concerned about the fame associated with being a doctor.




Scott, K.R et al. (2017). History and Philosophy of Sport and Physical Activity. New York:                      Human Kinetics.

Rosenthal, D. M., & Rosenthal, D. (2000). Materialism and the mind-body problem. Hackett                   Publishing Co, Inc




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