Rene Descartes

An overview of the ideas and theories of the philosopher, Rene Descartes.

In attempting to connect philosophy and theology, Rene Descartes made certain novel assumptions that, at the outset, would appear to contradict themselves. He believed that only the physical world could be proved according to mathematical evidence, yet, stated that the very existence or presence of an idea of a perfect God in the mind already suggests His reality and existence. The paper discusses Descartes’s views that, in the act of perceiving reality, the human soul goes through activities, such as understanding, conceiving, doubting, affirming, denying, willing, refusing, imagining, feeling, and desiring. These activities share the common quality of deliberate thought or perception. The paper explains Descartes’s idea that thought, then, is the essential attribute of the soul.

Paper Outline
Rationale for the Choice of the Philosophy
Historical Background
Strong Points
Weak Points
Applicability of Descartes?s Philosophy
“It is however, disastrous to accept Descartes? concept of passions as animal spirits circulated by the blood and originating from our pineal gland. If they were inherently physiological, then we need not worry about being responsible for our deliberate acts. There will cease to be any difference between what is right and what is wrong. Civilization will collapse and life itself will vanish from the planet. We should not blame the bleakness or dignity of human existence to the pineal gland.”