Rene' Descartes
(Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Science

  • Doubt as the foundation of philosophy
  • All our beliefs based on our sensations can be doubted
  • Everything can be doubted except my own existence
  • Two substances: matter has extension, mind has thought, each has its laws, they communicate via the pineal glande (Dualism)
  • Equivalence between living and non-living matter
  • Animals are machines
  • Everything material can be reduced to mechanics
  • Human bodies are machines too but the soul is not
  • Excerpt on machines vs humans
  • What is unique about humans is thought
  • The mind is capable of representing the world of objects
  • The mind is a stage where ideas are illuminated by the inner light of reason (Cartesian theater)
  • Mathematics is certain knowledge (what cannot be doubted), from which other certain knowledge can be derived
  • Planets revolve around the sun because it is surrounded by a vortex
  • God is the perfect thing
  • Existence is one of the perfections
  • Thus God exists
  • We can arrive at "useful knowledge _ by which, knowing the force and action of fire, water, air the stars, the heavens, and all the other bodies that surround us_ we might also apply them in the same way to all the uses to which they are suited, and thus render ourselves the lords and possessors of nature."

(Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )