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Descarte's Philosophy of Calling Mind as a Thinking Thing - Essay Example

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Descarte's Philosophy of Calling Mind as a Thinking Thing

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 ...Show more

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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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