- Grew up in the medieval world where the questions of science
- Structured deeply by Aristotle and theology
- Descartes’ project:
- To establish new foundations for science
- Lodge the new foundation into mathematics
- A new source of veridicality (absolute certainty or truth) > new sense of self > Thinking “I”
- Discourse on Method
- Thesis of book: Good thinking can proceed logically and systematically by following certain procedures
- Posit that your object of investigation consists of parts and wholes
- Study this structure and take it apart
- Rebuild your object
- Describe and discuss and critique with others
- In order to have a soul you have to have inward thought/reflection
- Descartes begins by recognizing that he needs to clear his mind
- How: methodic doubt
- Passions = Descartes view on affectivity (anger, love, jealousy)
Operations of Mental=Mind
- Ratiocination = calculative reasoning(2+2=4)
- Pull things together, synthesize
- Attention (focussing and retaining)
- Logic – can perform logical operations:
- Deductions (if A=B, and B=C, then A=C)
Can We Doubt Our Mental Acts?
|Synthesis/dysfunction||Truth of mathematics|
Math guarantees truth because 1) conclusions are indubitable, 2) universal conclusions, 3) necessary
|Attention/focus||Mind cogitates (thinks)|
Perceiving, doubting, willing, etc…
Pulling things together
What Descartes Thinks of Humans
- We are thinking things
- A body
- “I” = ego
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