“To: R…”

all-seeing-eye-1235517

To: R…

 

All-seeing, the Eye blinks perspective.

Housed in the head, heated by the heart,

the Eye pulses with life.

 

Called “evil” as in warding off,

but… what is evil if not the reordering

of that which was once perceived as good?

 

The illumed see Truth

— sculpt reason, taste creation.

The Grand Observer, the Eye stares

into faces of untold struggles.

 

Woken, the “I” gazes universality,

relating theory as land-bridges,

building cities the blind cannot see.

 

The Woke are loathe to wait —

hurry the herd towards enlightenment.

But, the Eye knows: change is gradual,

not everyone is an “I”… not yet.

 

A. Shaffer July 2016

Hello Dear Readers and Fellow Writers…

I’m sharing “To:  R….” today, an electronic copy of my most recent works. We are fortunate to know R… and value his judgement and subjective outlook. That he also is on the Path of Optimism surely is not coincidence but maybe Quantum<>. For the original piece I invested more effort as the poem was a gift to my husband’s current closest friend. Their companionship is one of those unique connections that stand out in life. I created a “Thank You” card on the coolest textured paper, we’re going with pressed-bamboo. I wish I would have taken a pic of the card. I think it turned out well, even though I am not a “crafter.” The man, the myth, the legend, lol, is kinda a big deal because he is raising awareness right here in Wild n Wonderful — directly for Husband, it seems. Also, for me …not often enough do I encounter another “seeker,” and I value the philosophical hanglooses our friend endures. He has made the comment that he can understand how it is difficult for people to talk with me, in a sense that I am “too aware.”

He has a point, I come on very strong and lead with unsettling thoughts. Not many enjoy my thoughts, but… I will tell you a secret — I am not here for society’s enjoyment. My mission is to seek, find, question, contemplate, and create. There are plenty of others that may fill the role of performer. I am not here for amusement. I am looking for more. Entertainment is only entertaining if taken in proper doses. A life of constant amusement lacks substance. I am one that is more for substance. I take my amusement as a condiment, not a main course.

However, I sense a universal message:  “Use language as the communication that it is, but if none understand what is said then meaning is lost.”

The process of Awakening varies per subjective individual. I feel both of our ways could be correct — the value lay in effort. There are many people who will understand our friend as his charisma carries his intentions, he speaks words the majority of people comprehend. His works are good. I am not speaking to the same audience or through the same media. I will work at improving my interactions with others, but I do not intend on shifting my audience. I am here for those already Woke. I am ready for progression into higher depths. My concern is not for the herd but for the other shepherds. These minds are not shattered by my words, they already see similar truths.

The best way for my mind’s continued growth is through further contemplation and creation. Others who think like me are surely out there; the journey, then, is the leading together of like minds. O Philosophy! think of the thoughts formed by a society of seekers. This is the companionship I crave.

MmePhilosopher

Empirical Science – Question Everything

the scientists’ choice to utilize empirical evidence instead of traditional thought is historically significant. Philosophically, I see Rene Descartes assertion from 1637 intrinsic to empirical science; he said, “And perceiving that this Truth, I think; therefore, I am, was so firm and certain, that all the most extravagant supposition of the Scepticks [sic] was not able to shake it …”[1] On one hand his theory presents the dichotomy of humankind – the experience of mind and body – but it also constitutes a specific need for science to find out for themselves, via research and experimentation, instead of accepting what was “true” for the past.

{Peer} wrote: “One thing that really struck me about the battle between the Sociologist and the scientist was how Scientist was looked upon as less important during this time.”

I agree; science was not credited with much authority – but I think that could be because for hundreds of years society had believed scholasticism to be true. The Great Minds were honored almost on a deific platform until the Enlightenment thinkers decided to question them. This could be why the original position was afforded only to gentlemen – a means to make society see the scientist as valued and respected. I, too, am shocked by the history, and horrified that prior to doctors there were barber-surgeons. I spent twenty years in the beauty industry and am no way qualified to issue any medical procedure, lol. As historian – science itself is not truly that “old” in the modern sense. If we start the clock with modern science, that puts it at little over a couple of hundred years – and that further backs up the questionable authority of science. [Not for me, personally, I would take science over religion any day, but I’ve got a thing for evidence over belief.] Darwin is coming with biological mind-boggling discoveries, and sociology is left with picking up the pieces. Society has to swallow the biological truth: humanity is an organic creature; a lesson still considered today with conflicting sides.

Bibliography

Descartes, Rene. A Discourse of a Method for the Well Guiding of Reason and the Discovery of Truth in the Sciences. Online. iBooks. London: Thomas Newcombe, 1637.

Picture c/o:  http://cdn.quotationof.com/images/therefore-quotes-6.jpg

 

[1] Rene Descartes, Discourse, pp. 58-9.

Science & Religion

Science was filtered or directed by those who signed the check – this is not a new concept as history itself was victim to the designs of the victors. Yet, science seems to take personal offense to being limited by funds. I wonder if the attitude of the scientist is that the experimentation and research that they need funding for benefits the whole of society, and not just the scientist/field? Or is it capitalism in general that science disagrees with?

Seventeenth and eighteenth-century scientists wanted to demystify accepted thought; they abandoned traditional scholasticism for empirical experimentation – the scientific method. One way to humanize the New Science was to make it readable and available to the public; the process of discovering truth needed to be understood so that the outcome would be accepted.[1] Science did not want to hide behind smoke and mirrors – yet something changed because modern scientists do not appreciate other fields attempting to understand their procedures.

Religion and science, prior to the Scientific Revolution, did not necessarily oppose the other. Darwin’s discovery of natural selection, however, directly challenged the church’s theory of divine creation. In “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Natural Selection as an Algorithmic Process,” Daniel C. Dennett discussed the algorithmic process of evolution that has created Us; he said, “No matter how impressive the products of an algorithm, the underlying process always consists of nothing but a set of individually mindless steps succeeding each other without the help of any intelligent supervision; they are ‘automatic’ by definition: the workings of an automaton.”[2] Nature as automaton removed the need and purpose of God – the church was shaken. The more science revealed natural means to explain existence, the less authority the church could rightfully demand.

Bibliography

Bowler, Peter J. and Iwan Rhys Morus. Making Modern Science: A Historical Survey. 2005. Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press.

Dennett, Daniel C. “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Natural Selection as an Algorithmic Process (1995).” Darwin: A Norton Critical Edition. 2005. Ed. Philip Appleman. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, pp. 489-93.

Picture c/ohttp://40.media.tumblr.com/702dc6c21e963c18370e86f3f605b986/tumblr_n81k83wQij1s50vg8o1_1280.jpg

[1] Bowler and Morus, Making Modern Science, p. 45.

[2] Dennett, “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea,” p. 493.

Science Wars

The “science wars” involve the process of science and scientists who do not want other branches of knowledge poking around in their processes. Bowler and Morus said, “The modern ‘science wars’ – in which scientists have responded bitterly when the objectivity of science itself has been challenged by sociological critics – illustrate that there is more at stake here than a simple conflict between scientific fact and subjective values.”[1] Science aims for perfect objectivity, but as the scientist is human, this is impossible, human and perfect cannot happen – a human will always have a personal subjective perspective, even when addressing a topic objectively.

While conflicting views were offered in the readings, the advances and discoveries of the seventeenth and eighteenth century are rightfully labeled as the “Scientific Revolution.” The term revolution is applicable because the type of discoveries made upset and reorganized the general conception of natural philosophy, and a new science began to form. The science of 17th and 18th c was not modern science but the beginnings of understanding science with modern implementation – modern science’s great grandfather. Bowler and Morus said, “… the fundamental changes that took place in the ways in which Western culture viewed the universe and the methods used for finding out about the universe during this period were so cataclysmic that they deserve to be described as revolutionary.”[2] Humans, much like the earth, were not the center of existence.[3] Old science was based on scholasticism while new science followed a scientific method that required rigorous experiments in efforts to establish objective truth. Astronomy shifted from being a figurative appearance in geometry to a condition applicable to reality.[4] Mathematics earned esteem (yet weakened its social value by commonality of trade use) to rival philosophy because of its practicality for trade, business, and exploration: one could not navigate the seas without math – Galileo saw nature as mathematical.[5] Mechanical philosophy held the cosmos as a machine, but the new science was empirical and based on the authority of the senses instead of scholasticism.[6] Francis Bacon insisted that experience was to determine the outcome of natural laws – but the experimenter was required to be a gentleman so as to ensure the truth would be addressed in efforts to form a collective information system.[7]

Newton may be the father of science, but there were other members that made up the family – father alone cannot claim victory. Variant types of minds were needed, and men such as Copernicus, Descartes, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Brahe, Bacon, and Boyle were responsible for expanding knowledge. Newton’s contributions to science included: Principia and the Laws of Motion, the creation of Calculus, and Opticks on the theory of white light. Historically, Newton was not given credit for his activities involving alchemy, but modern science now finds it rather intriguing.[8] During the seventeenth-century, alchemy was negatively viewed by society – although noted as the beginnings of chemistry, alchemy is still not held as a scientific practice, but Newton addressed alchemy as experimentation with natural elements.[9]

Bibliography

Bowler, Peter J. and Iwan Rhys Morus. Making Modern Science: A

Historical Survey. Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press,

2005.

Newton’s Dark Secrets. PBS. Nova, 14 Nov 2005. Online video. 8 Dec

  1. http://video.pbs.org/video/2042275819/

Picture c/o:  http://i48.fastpic.ru/big/2013/0412/b2/d8ee737f9524afb30dbf47780d8df1b2.jpg

[1] Bowlser and Morus, Making Modern Science, p. 2.

[2] Bowler and Morus, Making Modern Science, p. 23.

[3] Bowler and Morus, Making Modern Science, p. 29.

[4] Bowler and Morus, Making Modern Science, p. 27.

[5] Bowler and Morus, Making Modern Science, p. 41-2.

[6] Bowler and Morus, Making Modern Science, p. 43.

[7] Bowler and Morus, Making Modern Science, p. 43-45.

[8] Newton’s Dark Secret.

[9] Newton’s Dark Secret.

Dionysian Origins

, I have not found a specific term to label Nietzsche’s alternative considerations, but he advised individuals to create themselves by experiencing pain and pleasure, allowing room for one’s own selfish concerns, and acknowledging progress to belong to evil intentions. Or, rather, asked for a redefinition/understanding of the terms “good and evil.” I think Nietzsche wants us to be honest and ask ourselves, “What do I think I want? Let us see…I’ll have to try each flavor, as I cannot rely on a universal demand to tell me I prefer lemon. I think I like chocolate better.” Here, duty would demand that lemon was the flavor and sucking a lemon tart was the moral thing to do. “Evil” urged that another flavor would not be as tart. Experience showed chocolate as personal preference. Evil encouraged change. {Imagine room full of stiff philosophers sucking on lemons, and Nietzsche stretched out with a box of Godiva. lol<>}.

Nietzsche saw the qualities of good and evil as motivating forces for humankind to determine their own path. However, the ability to improve fell on the side of evil and not good; Nietzsche said, “The strongest and most evil spirits have so far done the most to advance humanity… they forced men to pit opinion against opinion, ideal model against ideal model” (4). Real change were implemented by men of evil intent – the people who were not satisfied with current rule and used force to upend reality – while the men of good intent were attempting to keep life nice and easy. Nietzsche saw anything “new” as linked to evil because it disordered the previous good. Nietzsche said, “All refined servility clings to the categorical imperative and is the mortal enemy of those who want to deprive duty of its unconditional character…” (5). He saw duty as created obligation used as means to ensure that the average human fed the artificial system of society. He advised humanity to give up their moral high-horses and to recognize their own selfishness; Nietzsche said, “For it is selfish to consider one’s own judgement [sic] a universal law, and this selfishness is blind, petty, and simple because it shows that you haven’t yet discovered yourself or created for yourself an ideal of your very own…” (335). Selfishness is not all bad, as we have seen in previous texts this session. What matters is what one does with their selfish considerations.

The message I receive from Nietzsche is that we are all master’s of our own universes and not limited to strict morality as society understood it – individually, people are able to create themselves, and they do not need society to tell them how to do it. Dionysian pessimism was predicted for the future, in the hands of anarchists – those seized with romantic pessimism that extended their torture on the lot of humanity; Nietzsche said:

 

The desire for destruction, for change and for becoming can be the expression of an overflowing energy pregnant with the future (my term for this is, as is known, ‘Dionysian’); but it can also be the hatred of the ill-constituted, deprived, and underprivileged one who destroys and must destroy because what exists, indeed all existence, all being, outrages and provokes him (370).

 

Is this ‘Dionysian’ his term to replace morality? The becoming process was a path for unique and incomparable individuals who wanted to create their own laws as well as themselves, he said: “Sitting in moral judgement [sic] should offend our taste” (Nietzsche 335). Life was a process that required physicists to create reality.

 

Works Cited

Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Gay Science. Ed. Bernard Williams. Trans.

Josefine Nauckhoff and Adrian del Caro. Cambridge, United

Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Thank you for the picture:  http://content2.beyondretro.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/THE_DIONYSIAN_STILL_21.jpg

Faith, Reason, and Consciousness according to Herr Professor

{Peer} noted that faith and spiritualization, for Nietzsche, are separate from instinct. Let’s look for balance between faith, reason, and consciousness.

Faith:

  • in oneself – hard to come by; people spend too much time convincing their inner skeptic that the self is worth supporting; may require genius (284).
  • errors of – Nietzsche sees many truths exposed as erroneous and the weakest form of knowledge; to include: “that there are enduring things; that there are identical things, kinds of material, bodies; that a thing is what it appears to be; that our will is free; that what is good for me is also good in and for itself” (110).
  • cause and effect – Faith relies on belief, not factual evidence or empirical truth. It is an extended working of the imagination. Nietzsche noted that one’s belief would change dependent on experience; he said, “Before the effect one believes in causes different from those one believes in after the effect” (217).

Reason:

  • Nietzsche sees reason as clouded because humanity assumes too many false truths to really work out any hard-core expressions of reason.
  • e. How can one find reason in a soup of belief?
  • the add-on-liars – Custom, or handing down one tradition from a previous age and forcing it on a new age, results in people supporting false notions. Nietzsche said, “… one lied to oneself, inventing reasons for these laws, simply to avoid admitting that one had become used to them and would no longer have it any other way. … And that is what one does, and has always done, within every prevailing morality and religion: the reasons and intents behind habits are invented only when some people start attacking the habits and asking for reasons and intents” (29).

Consciousness:

  • The aware, knowing element to the human mind. The singular force inside each human that must determine what is true and how to roll through life.
  • {much notation present in forum discussions}

As displayed over these past weeks, I like to break things down to see how they may be connected. If one of those things disprove the other, then I cannot see how a bridge could be formed – though there may be a way, I just cannot kin it. Consciousness is dependent on being aware of the truth, and reason further addresses the truth to discover motivation and intent as well as process and expectancy of outcome. Faith is dependent on belief. One of these is not like the other<>. Truth and belief are nemesis, on a serious level. Truth requires proof, evidence, and empirical considerations while belief is secured to superstition, religion, mysticism, spiritualism, occultism (and Santa Claus}. While Yin and Yang balance the other out, Truth and Belief are not comparable – one makes the other false, not equal. Imagine Truth as a baseball field and you are running the bases. Belief comes into play, and suddenly the ground is made up of water. Try to continue running the bases. You cannot. The bases are gone. There is no balance because one cannot reason themselves out of the situation. The moment one realized it was water and started to swim, the mind was already twisting around “how in the world did this happen? If the field is a pool then why would my coach tell me to wear cleats?” There is no reason here, no logic to deduce. Anything could happen. Down the rabbit hole we go! Reason and truth do not live in belief.

 

Works Cited

Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Gay Science. Ed. Bernard Williams. Trans.

Josefine Nauckhoff and Adrian del Caro. Cambridge, United

Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Thank you for the picture:  http://ldsmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/IllusionofMind-1024×768.jpg

Essay: on Boethius’ Gifts of Fortune, Philosophy, and Reason

Contemplative Nature of Humankind:

on Boethius’ Gifts of Fortune, Philosophy, and Reason

by A.D. Shaffer

{Graduate Studies; originally written for Humanities 520 Fall 2014}

Who better to offer guidance than real aspects of human nature? Human aspects that assist the self in distinguishing emotional experience are displayed through contemplative reasoning and the guidance of Wisdom, Truth, Fate, and naturally – Philosophy. Boethius invokes the celestial elements of the universe along with the human experience; Reason and Philosophy grant him comfort: “There is a moral here for you to learn: / Deceitful are the goods you first discern. / Withdraw your neck, and leave their yoke behind; / Then truth at once will infiltrate your mind” (Boethius Book 3 Chapter 1 Verse 11-14).  Speaking of the autonomic self and the ability to contemplate appropriate actions via Reason, man is able to achieve fulfillment to duty while maintaining a decent grasp on self-love and community expectations. Philosophy suggests he look inward first, and return to the natural now that deceitful pleasures cannot sate his hunger. His exile and eventual death equated to a separation of the luxuriant and worldly customs which his position afforded him, raised as a privileged, though orphaned, child.

The significance in contemplation and the acknowledgement of human thought thrives passionately in his words, retreating back to when man and nature held closer bonds, when man remembered the plentiful splendor of the earth. Philosophy reminds Boethius that long ago, when man was natural, he loved the earth and succeeded in his life. She said, “Acorns at hand, when day was spent, / Sated their hunger. None then knew / the liquid honey to apply / To Bacchus’ gifts; nor to imbue / The sheen of silk with Tyrian dye” (Boethius Book 2 Chapter 5 Verse 4-8). Manners of old are noted as wholesome; man would benefit from a natural approach to life. The narrator speaks to the elements, as old as time, and personifies the abilities of man – to think and put into action possible changes which effect the world at large. The winds and sky are prevalent in The Consolation of Philosophy which implies respect and significance of the air and/or the vastness of the unknown; the sky as a natural wonder sure to offer hope.

The writing style of the text, at once personable and quick to empathize with, utilizes the sense of the divine through verse, and then on a deeper level demonstrates that man holds great gifts which he needs only to activate by acknowledgement of the struggle of man – that joy may be appreciated only when great sorrow is inflicted, that lifelong gifts of Fortune, once withdrawn, were still grand gifts to be pleasantly remembered in times of strife. Philosophy sings of the greed of man: “Relentless greed devours those earlier gains, / Reopens wide its jaws; / Can headlong lust be curbed by any reins, / Be bounded by fixed laws? // Thirst for possessions* blazes all the more, / The more those gifts extend; / With anxious sighs, believing he is poor, / The rich man hates to spend” (Boethius Book 2 Chapter 2 Verse 13-20). Man is greedy, filled with a lust for riches but loathe to let them go once attained; man is constantly wanting more without the appreciation of what he already has/is experiencing. Philosophy urges to absorb happiness as it comes, to store it up in memories so that in times of strife grand pleasure may be contemplated.

The imagery cast by Boethius in divine revelry of the celestial bodies {such as: the directional winds, firey volcanoes, abundant sands, crashing waves, bountiful soil, natural man} imply not only that man is related to an a priori connection and understanding of life, but also that Wisdom, Fortune, and Reason may or may not assist during the mortal struggle. The key factor is that man, once enlightened to life’s systematic offerings, understands the need for his suffering – one cannot know safety without experiencing fear, or recognize happiness if misery had not been a shadow. The careful man is noted by Philosophy as wise for respecting the east and south-west winds, steep mountainous terrain, consumptive sands, and wave-tossed deep and building, appropriately for safety and success (Boethius Book 2 Chapter 4 Verse 1-14). She goes on to say, “Enclosed by your walls’ silent strength, / You’ll live untroubled for the length / Of all your days; and by and by / Smile at the anger of the sky” (Boethius Book 2 Chapter 4 Verse 15-18). A careful man will succeed once he accepts his slice of the vast universe of life – man is not the center of existence but a mere counterpart.

Work Cited

Boethius. The Consolation of Philosophy. Trans. P.G. Walsh. New York: Oxford

University Press, 2008.

Picture c/o:  http://rjgeib.com/thoughts/boethius/hover.jpg

Essay: Beware the Imagination

Beware the Imagination

by A.D. Shaffer

{Graduate studies; originally written for Humanities 530 Spring 2015}

The French philosopher, Michel de Montaigne, takes a new approach with expository writing in the form of the essay. His tone is unlike other philosophers in the sense that the writing itself is very casual and easy to read. Faculties of thought are expressed in his Essays, and Montaigne’s initial perspective of the imagination is that it is a tremendously powerful thing – if one perceives the imagination to be true, it may conjure a new reality. By his empathetic nature, Montaigne notes his avoidance of his imagination as much as he can as: “…the very sight of another’s pain materially pains me, and I often usurp the sensations of another person” (364). Empathy, or understanding another person’s grief so truly that it resonates inside the self, to Montaigne is a wonder of the imagination. He recommends keeping the imagination in check so as not to arrive at a misfortunate end.

Too much authority is awarded by the imagination. In Gallus Vibius’ case, his fascination with madness drove him out of his mind, and he was known to be lost to wisdom (366). The capabilities of the imagination appear limitless, according to Montaigne’s stories, as long as one fully gives over to the power of internal thought or awkward mishap. Mary Germain underwent serious physiological changes due to a robust leap – she became a he. Mary Germain was a girl from her birth till her twenty-second year; Montaigne met with Germain who was: “…very full of beard, old, and not married. He told us, that by straining himself in a leap his male organs came out; and the girls of that place have, to this day, a song, wherein they advise one another not to take too great strides, for fear of being turned into men, as Mary Germain was” (368). Biology was not understood fully in the Renaissance, but the altering of one sex to another seems a bit extreme for a power of thought. If manliness were related to exertion alone, then all women – in wanting to maintain their sex – would avoid leaping about in fear of physical activity encouraging the growth of male organs.

Montaigne is leery of the imagination in which he charges passion with violent causation – to give into the illusion of the imagination is to give it grounds to grow into an accepted reality. The power of the mind and the human conception of reality are subjected to various weaknesses of fancy, and mankind must keep their emotions in check: “Neither is this disaster to be feared, but in adventures, where the soul is overextended with desire or respect, and, especially, where the opportunity is of an unforeseen and pressing nature; in those cases, there is no means for a man to defend himself from such a surprise, as shall put him altogether out of sorts” (372-73). Care should be taken, in regards to passionate thought, so as to cement the minds of men in realistic reason over imagination.

Montaigne’s credibility is rooted in reason. The anecdotes he shares in Chapter XX, to expound on the powers of imagination, do not belong to him: “…for the tales I borrow I charge upon the consciences of those from whom I have them. The discourses are my own, and found themselves upon the proofs of reason, not of experience; … if I do not apply them well, let some other do it for me” (391). The importance of his stories is not in the absolute truth of the happenings but more concerned with the plausibility of thought. Montaigne concerns himself with what may happen, and given that the power of imagination resides inside all of mankind, he urges caution to the avenues of adventurous thoughts.

Works Cited

Montaigne, Michel de. The Essays of Michel de Montaigne, Complete. Trans. Charles

Cotton. Ed. William Carew Hazlitt. Ebook #3600: Project Gutenberg, 2012

Picture c/o:  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/34/Michel_de_Montaigne_1.jpg

Essay: Synopsis of Descartes: On A Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences

Synopsis of Descartes:

On A Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason

and Seeking Truth in the Sciences

by A.D. Shaffer

{Graduate Studies; originally written for Humanities 530 Spring 2015}

Rene Descartes developed his personal philosophy through his own experiences inside of nature while addressing outside influences in which the self is formed. Cartesian dualism involves the separation of mind from body, or the spiritual experiences from the physical. Throughout the creation of his philosophy, Descartes notes that he is leery to publish his findings because his truths may not be the same as the truths of others. The truth, he moves, is subject to experience and cannot be learned from another individual insomuch that a person will better educate themselves by experiencing life.

Beginning in the academic sciences, Descartes holds that mathematics alone can be recognized as purely true as two plus two will always be four: “Beyond all, I was most pleas’d with the Mathematicks, for the certainty and evidence of the reasons thereof; but I did not yet observe their true use and thinking that it served only for Mechanick Arts…” (17). For his profession he choses the writing of letters so as to better experience the wonders of the world.

The importance of experience over lessons cannot be stressed enough as Descartes leads by example for the rest of humanity. He takes to travel to glean his own experiences: “I wholly gave over the study of Letters, and resolving to seek no other knowledge but what I could finde in my self, or in the great book of the world, I imployed the rest of my youth in Travell, to see Courts and Armies, to frequent people of severall humors and conditions, to gain experience, to hazard my self in those encounters of fortune …” (20). Through living life and writing of his objective opinion, Descartes advises to stick to the roads to avoid the dangers of the uncivilized woods in which he means for the individual to take advantage of known truths found in custom.

In architecture, Descartes preferred one builder to many because too many designers on one object would result in a catastrophic structure. He also favored fewer laws as the less laws there were in play, then more attention could be applied with strict observance. In his quest for truth, Descartes developed four laws of his philosophy: to accept nothing as true unless he was sure it was a known truth, to divide any difficulties into subsequent groups, to orderly lead his thoughts, and to critique his findings with specific calculation (35-36). False reason is seen as contemptible to Descartes as his religious beliefs ensured that God does not let falsity be present in the mind.

Cartesian dualism notes the separation from the physical of the mind, or two levels of existence: that of the material self and the thinking self or soul. Descartes said, “I knew then that I was a substance, whose whole essence or nature is, but to think, and who to be, hath need of no place, nor depends on any material thing. So that this Me, to wit, my Soul, by which I am what I am, is wholly distinct from the Body, and more easie to be known then it…” (59). The human act of contemplation allowed for Descartes to recognize the separation of materialism and spiritualism.

Works Cited

Descartes, Rene. A Discourse of a Method for the Well Guiding of Reason and the Discovery of

Truth in the Sciences. London: Thomas Newcombe, 1637. Project Gutenberg Ebook.

Picture c/o:  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/Frans_Hals_-_Portret_van_Ren%C3%A9_Descartes.jpg