Philosophy 224 Human Nature And Modern Philosophy Summary

531 Words3 Pages

1. Philosophy 224 Human Nature and Modern Philosophy Descartes
2. Rene Descartes • Descartes was born in 1591 in La Haye, France. He died in 1650 in Sweden. • Educated by the Jesuits, he was dissatisfied with the products of what was at the time the best education possible. • The problem as he saw it was the sterility and conflict of scholastic (church) philosophy, which was incapable of fending off skepticism. • He set himself the task of providing an indubitable foundation for human knowledge. • The foundation he found: Cogito, ergo sum.
3. Discourse on Method • Descartes begins by recounting the course of his Meditations, the purpose of which is to identify an indubitable foundation for knowledge (a realm of absolute truth). • The course of the meditations takes us through hyperbolic doubt. In the process of doubting everything that is doubtable, Descartes locates the foundation that he is seeking (the Cogito). • When he applies the results of the doubting to the question of his own nature, what becomes apparent is that, while he could doubt his material being, the very fact of doubting indicates that he is necessarily a thinking being (86). …show more content…

A Philosophical Dualism • This reflection on our nature, and its termination in the thinking subject, leads Descartes to articulate a dualistic conception of human nature. • This conception is importantly different from the one common to many religious accounts. • Descartes offers what is called mind-body (or psycho-physical) dualism. The schema that he offers distinguishes two completely distinct sort of substances/beings: Res Extensa and Res Cogitans. • The question for Descartes (and other mind-body dualists) concerns how two radically distinct natures could nonetheless be joined and united in a way consistent with our

Open Document