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Essay sample - Descartes and Darwin
Religion and Theology
Pages 4 (1004 words)
Descartes & Darwin Human nature is a complex thing, comprising of a number of psychological, biological and philosophical elements that make it difficult to define and explain. Descartes, in Discourse on the Method, suggests that human nature is so complex that it cannot be explained fully by science…
Secondly, the paper will explore how history and modern science has added more weight to the views of Darwin which suggests that this view may be more ‘correct’ in its nature. The Debate on Human Nature One of the most well-known parts of Descartes’ philosophical views is the concept that to be human is to be composed of two incompatible pieces; the body and the soul. The body is full of the natural processes, whilst the soul contains all the information that we need to be ourselves, including all of our decision-making faculties and our personalities (Descartes, 2006). These two components, perhaps communicating through the pineal gland, are thoroughly different in composition and matter. Descartes would argue that human nature is partially comprised of the soul which cannot be explained by science and therefore there are elements of ourselves that science cannot explain. Descartes did, however, suggest that “the mind depends so much on temperament and the disposition of one's bodily organs that, if it is possible to find a way to make people generally more wise and more skilful than they have been in the past, I believe that we should look for it in medicine” (Descartes, 2006, p45), meaning that there are some elements of human nature which should look to science for explanation. Charles Darwin had very different ideas. ...
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