StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu
  • Home
  • Subjects
  • Philosophy
  • Locke's Criticism on Descartes' Philosophy of Calling Extension the Essence of Body

Locke's Criticism on Descartes' Philosophy of Calling Extension the Essence of Body - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Locke's Criticism on Descartes' Philosophy of Calling Extension the Essence of Body

Our body is not the essence of anything like extension as this concept lessens the significance of human body. Our body is solid while extension is empty space, hence there is no match between these two. Locke’s criticism on Descartes’ philosophy of calling extension the essence of body Rene Descartes, a French philosopher come mathematician of sixteenth century, is unanimously called as 'Father of Modern Philosophy' & the Father of Cartesian Doctrine which describes the relation between body and mind. "I think, therefore I am" is the most famous concept given by Descartes' about mind-body dualism. According to him, human beings are composed of two different things, body & soul or mind. The essence of soul (mind) is thought by which it controls the movements of body & the essence of body is extension. He argued that I can perceive my mind as an independent identity upon which there is no influence of extension (body) & I can distinctively perceive my body as a complete thing without the influence of my thoughts. Thus God has made the two things independent of each other so they behave like distinct objects. Here, the idea of extension is not very clear, i.e., whether it describes our body as a combination of solid parts which are there to move or extend, or is there something else Descartes wanted to explain? The idea was contrary enough as it says that there is no particular connection or relation between body & soul & they are independent of each other. He tried to explain the idea but could not provide enough valid points & arguments to prove this. One of his successors of seventeenth century, John Locke, an English philosopher, who is undoubtedly the philosopher of modern times & the originator of concepts like self & identity, presented his own theory of human understanding which is considered to be more authentic & reliable regarding the concepts of human identity & self. He contradicts Descartes’ Cartesian philosophy by saying that all human have innate ideas in their minds by birth & they acquire more knowledge through their vast experience & their individual use of senses & perception. According to him, the essence of body is not extension but consciousness & mind is nothing but a blank slate on which anything can be written by acquiring knowledge & wisdom. Children & babies from their early stages of development & even during their gestation period acquire simple kind of knowledge like color & taste distinction etc. The child is not born with such kind of knowledge but experiences such situations & learns from them, either by sensation or by reflection (perception). Thus every person’s body & mind are not two exclusive identities but they are linked together & body is used to perform according to mind’s instructions (Locke. 1959) In his famous book “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding”, Locke explained his point of view very deeply. He says that extension and body can never be the same things & if anyone says like that, he only tries to lessen the significance & importance of human body while the meaning or philosophy behind this still remains unclear & uncertain. Our body is not simply a combination of extended solid blocks of different shapes joined together for different movements; neither the extension only means the space or the area in which the body moves. Anything that simply occupies area or has some mass is termed as matter, not ...Show more


Locke’s criticism on Descartes’ philosophy of calling extension the essence of body Instructor Name December 5, 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…
Author : jeramie72
Lockes Criticism on Descartes Philosophy of Calling Extension the Essence of Body essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Locke's Criticism on Descartes' Philosophy of Calling Extension the Essence of Body"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Descartes Philosophy
Background of Descartes’ Mind and Body Theory In the scholastic tradition Descartes reacted against it is assumed that the world is as we perceive it. Aristotelian-scholasticism elucidated phenomena in relation to qualities, causes and effects. As regards to this, magnet’s trait or characteristic of attracting iron were stated in terms of the magnet having the quality of 'magnetism'.
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Descartes Mind Body Dualism in 6th Meditation
Rene Descartes who lived from 1596 till 1650 was the French physiologist, philosopher and mathematician. He was the first one to initiate the debate about the mind’s and the body’s interaction with each other. Descartes proposed that human mind is a non-bodily entity, so it can work independent of the body.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Plato through Descartes: Main Problems of Philosophy
It therefore becomes very difficult to have a clear cut difference between Socrates philosophies and Plato’s. The Ontological dualism is one of the philosophies presented by Plato. The philosophy is simply a theory of the ideas. Ontologically speaking, the ideas herein do not only include the real objects but rather, on an epistemological speaking, they comprise authentically objects of knowledge.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Possible Solution to Descartes' Mind-Body Problem
However, Descartes also admitted in his Meditations that somehow the mind and the body, despite their interdependence, happen to interact with each other and somehow this interaction results in a perceived unity: “…for in truth, I could never be separated from it or from other bodies: I felt in it and on account of it all my appetites and affections [and] I was affected in its parts by pain and the titillation of pleasure” (Descartes 1969:162).
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Descarte's Philosophy of Calling Mind as a Thinking Thing
He said that the essence of body is extension & the essence of mind is thought. He says that the mind thinks about every other thing in the universe & everything which is into being proves its existence. He said that our mind is not a material object but an intellectual thinking thing & our body is material & behaves like an ordinary matter which occupies space & has weight.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Meditations on First Philosophy by Ren Descartes
(Newman). His central break with the scholastic philosophy was in two parts; first, he disputed the reliance of sensations to the senses that he determined were capable of being deceived. He then tried to replace the model of scientific thinking with a more modern and mechanistic; one through the method of doubt by questioning as false anything that was subject to even the least amount of doubt.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Rene Descartes Philosophy
The author of the essay states that Rene Descartes was a major philosopher of the seventeenth century, belonging to the school of continental rationalism. Moreover, Descartes sets out in his Discourse on Method to doubt all that could be doubted, albeit not to end up believing in nothing, but rather so that he would believe in only that which really was true.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Philosophy: Skeptcism(Descartes and Hume)
Descartes believed that there should be no skepticism, especially when it has to do with learning, information, and the obtaining and retaining of knowledge. Hume, on the other hand, believed that skepticism was
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Philosophy of Plato and Descartes
In the case of Meno, he put forward that distinct kinds of virtue just exists for different race of people. Socrates opinion is that, Meno’s definition would probably be seen as a swarm of bees, with each bee representing each kind of virtue but his interest revolves around the quality they all share.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
What is the essence of philosophy
Before studying this program I used to think that philosophy was all about reading ancient books and memorising particular arguments. This is a very dry and complicated way of defining what philosophy is, and I think it misses the point entirely.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation