Descartes And Whitman 's Views On The Self, Affected By The Outside World?

Good Essays
Is the “self” affected by the outside world? Whitman seems to think so, but Descartes claims that all external things cannot trusted because we are being deceived by an evil demon. Both philosopher’s obviously differ on what can and cannot consider to be true. Descartes and Whitman had very different ideas of the self and what could affect the self. While Whitman believed that man could achieve knowledge of the self through the senses, Descartes argued that man should throw the senses to the side and only believe in what we could distinctly perceive and truly understand. However, if man mixes both of these philosopher’s thoughts on the “self” then he can really grow to understand and experience the world around him in a much meaningful way…show more content…
He also goes on to disregard race, gender, and socio-economic status as potential dividers for man. In the 19th section, Whitman described his meal and how he invited everyone. He invited “The kept-woman, sponger, thief, are hereby invited, the heavy-lipp’d slave is invited” no one was excluded because everyone who exist serves a purpose. Every human serves an equal purpose, for if the “the Fourth-month showers have, and the mica on the side of a rock has” So then do all man. (Whitman Sec. 19.) This “meal” is extremely democratic and served its point; that man is not to judge, or be racist, he called for the acceptance of all no matter what. In order to realize how the acceptance of others affects the “inner self” man has to acknowledge that the outside world influences him, not just physically, but also spiritually. Through the senses man grows to know and really comprehend the “self.” Whitman describes what he learned from looking deep into the eyes of an ox as “more than all the print” he has “read” read in his “life” (Whitman Sec. 13.) Through experiencing the world, he gained more knowledge than he ever could from just analyzing it from afar and without having a relation with it. Whitman wanted man to know that the only way he could get to know and allow the “self” to grow was through experiencing the world around him. Section 13 called man to look at nature and all of God’s creation. In Section 45 Whitman asked himself
Get Access