Descartes and the Life of Term Paper
- Length: 7 pages
- Sources: 1
- Subject: Psychology
- Type: Term Paper
- Paper: #78004893
Excerpt from Term Paper :
This is indeed an absolutely profound concept in that it can't help but support the idea of the autonomous individual, existing in connection to thought. The truth of these emotions, be them good or bad, speak to the authenticity of the self. There's a notion of realness -- of the self that is a facet of the genuine, as emotions and desires are founded upon the genuine. This notion of genuineness and authenticity implies that there's a core aspect of the human experience which is not manufactured or artificial -- it just is, as thoughts and emotion occur organically with truth attached to them. This demonstrates that the internal processes of the self are based in the real, the actual and the genuine, offering more support to the idea, "I think therefore I am."
However, this is not to imply that there is a perfection in the human being's processes. Rather, the internal processes of the human being, particularly the mental ones, are of course subject to fallibility, particularly when it comes to when the human being engages in judgment. "And the mistake they most commonly involved is to judge that my ideas resemble things outside me. Of course, if I considered the ideas themselves simply as aspects of my thought and not as connected to anything else, they could hardly lead me into any error" (Descartes, 10). it's important to realize again that thought does not need to be perfect or infallible. Just as the fact that a human being can understand some things in his world and not others, still means that he exists, so goes the same for the act of judgment. Fundamentally, one can view judgment as the human being simply trying to exist in his world with a greater sense of comprehension and safety -- judgment, correct or incorrect can also express a desire to learn. Judgment in many respects represents a fallibility of thought, but this fallibility still means that the human being is creating, developing and fostering ideas about this world and things beyond this world and reality that indicate a beingness. In fact, the human being's imperfection, foibles and failures support the notion of this beingness, just as much as the authenticity of one's emotions do. In both cases there's an element of distinction, separation and autonomy from one's reality.
For instance, as Descartes points out, it's not the correctness of one's ideas which are important, it's only the fact that one has them. "For example, my ideas of heat and cold have so little clarity and distinctness that they don't enable me to know whether •cold is merely the absence of heat, or •heat is merely the absence of cold, or •heat and cold are both real positive qualities, or •neither heat nor cold is a real positive quality. If the right answer is that cold is nothing but the absence of heat, the idea that represents it to me as something real and positive deserves to be called 'false'" (Descartes, 13). As Descartes attempts to demonstrate, it simply doesn't matter which of these alternatives is the correct one. All that matters is that the human being is having these processes distinct from his environment, distinct from his reality. There is a processing and an interpretation of all that is, which is occurring here which speaks fundamentally to the existence of a human being's existence or beingness.
Thus, the text "Meditations on First Philosophy" by Rene Descartes offers strong and continual support for the idea of "I think therefore I am." The bulk of the evidence that Descartes presents revolves around the idea of the being who thinks and the wealth of different thoughts that a human being can have. The most compelling are the thoughts which sense or imagine. The veracity of human emotion contributes to the idea of an existing being. Even the fallibility of the thought process indicates that a human being does exist, even if that existence is in a dream state, because the thought process still signifies a separation from one's environment.
Descartes, R. "Meditations on First Philosophy in which are demonstrated the existence of God and the distinction between the human soul and body."earlymoderntexts.com. Jonathan Bennett, n.d. Web. 22 Apr 2013.…