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REN DESCARTES (1596-1650)

Cogito&ergo&sum
Je&pense&donc&je&suis.
I"think,"therefore"I"am.
Thursday, 10 January, 13

Key Points
Historical*context:&modern&humanism,& the&Scien8c&Revolu8on,&and&the& subversion&of&tradi8onal&knowledge THE*METHOD:&doubt,&deduc8on,& empiricism The*modern*self:&a&thinking&thing Dualism:&soul/mind&vs.&body
Thursday, 10 January, 13

Modern Humanism and The Scientific Revolution


Suspicion&of&Scholas8cism&(the&Schoolmen)&and& received&wisdom,&i.e.,&the&intellectual&authority&of&the& ancient&Greeks&and&of&the&Medieval&Chris8an&Church Construc8on&of&new&founda8ons&for&knowing&the&world& (a&prac8cal&philosophy) Hope&for&scien8c&progress&toward&the&beJerment&of& human&wellKbeing New&interest&in&human&beings,&with&an&emphasis&on&the& individual&self
Thursday, 10 January, 13

New Foundations

Thursday, 10 January, 13

New Foundations
."."."regarding"the"opinions"to"which"I"had"hitherto" given"credence,"I"thought"that"I"could"not"do" be:er"than"undertake*to*get*rid*of*them,*all*at* one*go,"in"order"to"replace*them*a<erwards*with* be?er*ones."."."."I"rmly"believed"that"in"this"way"I" would"succeed"in"conduc=ng"my"life"much"be:er" than"if*I*built*only*upon*old*foundaBons*and* relied*only*upon*principles*that*I*had*accepted*in* my*youth*without*ever*examining*whether*they* were*true.""(Descartes,"Discourse,"pt."4)
Thursday, 10 January, 13

ON THE METHOD
Of rightly conducting ones reason, & seeking truth in the sciences

DISCOURSE

Thursday, 10 January, 13

The (Scientific) Method: Doubt, Deduction, Empiricism


1. Do"not"accept"anything"as"true"without" evidence. 2. Divide"every"problem"into"its"simplest"parts 3. Start"with"what"is"simple"and"build"to"more" complex"ideas 4. Be"thorough:"carefully"record"and"analyze"data" in"order"to"ensure"that"nothing"is"leJ"out.
Thursday, 10 January, 13

The Radical Doubt Experiment


1. Sit"in"a"chair"beside"the"re"all"alone 2. Doubt"that"everything"is"real," including"your"own"body,"un=l"you" reach"something"that"cannot"be"put" into"ques=on 3. Decide"that"you"cant"doubt"your" own"doub=ng,"i.e.,"your"thinking
Thursday, 10 January, 13

The Radical Doubt Experiment


.&.&.&I&resolved&to&pretend&that&all&the&things&that&had& ever&entered&my&mind&were&no*more*true*than*the* illusions*of*my*dreams.&&But&immediately&I&no8ced& that&while&I&was&trying&thus&to&think&everything& false,&it*was*necessary*that*I,*who*was*thinking* this,*was*something.&&And&observing&that&this&truth& I"am"thinking,"therefore"I"exist&was&so&rm*and* sure&.&.&.&I&decided&that&I&could&accept&it&without& scruple&as&the&rst*principle*of*the*philosophy*I* was*seeking.&&(Descartes,&Discourse,&pt.&4)
Thursday, 10 January, 13

Soul/Mind [lme, lsprit, mensa]


Ra8onal Indubitable&(sure,&rm,&true) Insensi8ve Immaterial,&incorporeal,&abstract Indivisible Immutable&(unchanging,&immortal) FREE!
Thursday, 10 January, 13

Thursday, 10 January, 13

Thursday, 10 January, 13

Body [le corps, corpus]


Mechanical Dubitable&(uncertain&and&prone&to&error) Sensi8ve Material,&corporeal,&concrete Divisible Mutable&(changeable,&mortal) DETERMINED!
Thursday, 10 January, 13

The Radical Doubt Experiment


Next"I"examined"a:en=vely"what"I"was.""I"saw"that" while"I"could"pretend"that"I*had*no*body"and"that" there"was"no*world"and"no*place*for*me*to*be*in,"I* could*not*for*all*that*pretend*that*I*did*not* exist."."."."Accordingly"this"Ithat"is,"the*soul*by* which*I*am*what*I*amis"enBrely*disBnct*from* the*body,"and"indeed"is"easier*to*know*than*the* body,"and"would*not*fail*to*be*whatever*it*is,* even*if*the*body*did*not*exist.""(Descartes," Discourse,"pt."4)
Thursday, 10 January, 13

Dualism
Soul/Mind
Ra8onal Indubitable Insensi8ve Immaterial,&abstract Indivisible Immutable FREE!
Thursday, 10 January, 13

Body
Mechanical Dubitable Sensi8ve Material,&concrete Divisible Mutable DETERMINED!

Practical Philosophy
[My&method&and&my&observa8ons]& opened&my&eyes&to&the&possibility& of&gaining*knowledge*which*would* be*very*useful*in*life,&and&of& discovering&a&pracBcal*philosophy& not&taught&in&the&schools.
Thursday, 10 January, 13

Practical Philosophy
Through"this"philosophy"we"could"know"the"power" and"ac=on"of"re,"water,"air,"the"stars,"the" heavens"and"all"the"other"bodies"in"our" environment,"as*disBnctly*as*we*know*the* various*cra<s*of*our*arBsans;"we"could"use*this* knowledgeas"the"ar=sans"use"theirsfor"all"the" purposes"for"which"it"is"appropriate,"and"thus* make*ourselves,"as"it"were,"the*lords*and*masters* of*nature.""(Descartes,"Discourse,"pt."6)
Thursday, 10 January, 13

Descartes Privilege
Living&here,&amidst&this&great&mass&of&busy& people&who&are&more&concerned&with&their& own&aairs&than&curious&about&those&of& others,&I*have*been*able*to*lead*a*life*as* solitary*and*withdrawn*as*if*I*were*on*the* most*remote*desert,*while*lacking*none*of* the*comforts*found*in*the*most*populous* ciBes.&&(Descartes,&Discourse,&pt.&3)
Thursday, 10 January, 13

Thursday, 10 January, 13