Descartes’ philosophy of calling mind as a thinking thing Instructor Name December 6, 2011 Abstract Famous French philosopher Descartes presented his philosophy of mind-body dualism saying that mind & body are two mutually exclusive things & body is independent of thoughts…
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Hence the essence of the existence of human beings is their mind or soul, not their bodies. Descartes’ philosophy of calling mind as a thinking thing Rene Descartes is a French mathematician come philosopher of seventeenth century who is unanimously called as 'Father of Modern Philosophy'. Born in the year 1596 & died in 1650 due to pneumonia, Descartes produced lots of useful philosophical ideas which definitely make the basis for a modern anti-scholastic philosophy. The most famous & most controversial philosophical statement given by Descartes' was "I think, therefore I am" in his publication “the discourse on the method” in the year 1637, in which he explains that the essence of our mind is thought. If we do not think about things around us & about ourselves, we don’t make enough use of our brain & thus we remain insignificant. In the year 1639, he started his work on Meditations & wrote a book named “Meditations on First Philosophy”, which was highly criticized by most learned people of that time & by the cathedral too, as according to them Descartes gave such ideas which contradict with religion & Christian faith. Most of his publications regarding meditations contain the answers to the objections of his previously defined ideas & he tried to clarify himself about the misunderstandings which arose about his method. In his first meditation, he discussed all the way that our sensory beliefs are not always trustworthy or reliable & mind is the only thing which can be termed as reliable as it thinks. In his second meditation, he argued that the mind takes the liberty of supposing everything to be nonexistent of which it has the least doubt of existing. However, during the process, as mind is the thing which is thinking the whole situation, so it must exist itself .This is among one of the greatest use of our mind (Descartes. 1641). Descartes formally presented a theory of mind-body dualism in which he argues that our body is composed of different organs & parts & our mind has no connection with it. As in his first meditation, he says that sensory organs are doubtful thus the body itself has no particular reliability. This absolutely does not mean that in this perspective, a human does not exist or is insignificant. But as compared to mind, body is nothing but a combination of solid joints. The concept of being deceived by someone or convinced on any point directly relates through mind, not from body. Hence for such things to happen, I must exist & I am a not a rational animal but a thinking thing that doubts, understands, affirms, denies, is willing, is unwilling, and also imagines and has sensory perceptions (Descartes. 1641). The point that our mind only considers those things to be existent, which show their existence, like the mind itself, was explained by thinking of something that has a very least chance to exist. If the existence is proved, Descartes happily conclude that as the particular thing exists so it proves itself. However, if the supposed image or thing was not found existed by him, he was more than happy to say that anything on the world can be found if it exists, like human mind about which there is no doubt of existence. Mind is a creation of god which exists & thinks all the time about the existence or non-existence of other things. Hence “I” am not simply a combination of
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He adds that it is not reason that compels somebody to do anything because have enough reason wills a person to do something but it does not force him to do it (Searle, p.26). In all decisions that we have to make therefore, there exists a gap between the actions that we take and the reasons for it.
The universality of reason in the foundation that what is believed to be true in one place is also true anywhere as expressed in what he calls ‘view from nowhere’ is the basis of his proposition. There are always reasons which are universal and explain why we do the things that we do and there are varied aspects to this reason which ranges from the concept of view to the subjective and to the objective.
(You can’t take an incidental reference to the weather as your starting point.) The claim, and any other material from any resource, must be used in light of the author’s own understanding. (You can’t twist the author’s words or take things out of context.) You must announce your thesis as the final sentence of the first paragraph of your paper.
From simple facts and observations, complex ideas are then formed through various cognitive processes such as simplification and abstraction. This process is called empiricism. Therefore, Plato’s claim that the mind is born with knowledge is false. Locke furthered that information is gained through a person’s faculties.
Essentially, prior to discerning the chief grounds on why distinctions must be drawn between ‘knowing how’ and ‘knowing that’, one has to figure readily that ‘knowing how’ is inclined to constitute a bulk of performances or executions made whereas ‘knowing that’ is in reference to a set or collection of theories known.
Yet, further examination of his reply would show that he is in fact strongly saying otherwise – a stance that has triggered varied counter reactions until now. Though Searle’s replies may not be strong enough to have sufficiently pinned down the persisting claim of functionalism and computationalism that machines/computers can fully think, his argument nonetheless has continually put Artificial Intelligence (AI) under close scrutiny until today.
With its central place in philosophy—embedded in between the two most basic theoretical sciences—the philosophy of mind possess a grand importance in deciding various issues relating to psychology, biology, physics, and more. In the past few centuries, since the
cartes’ theory of dualism defines the body to be simply an extended and non thinking thing and the self simply as a thinking and non extended thing Heidegger argues that there is no such origin beyond the origin of the self. Descartes’ explanation can be understood by pure