Descartes’ Daydream and the Mind-Body Problem Essays

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Descartes’ Daydream and the Mind-Body Problem After exhorting us to wake up from our ‘daydreaming’ and revolutionize our modality of thought to that of conceptualization, Descartes seems to forget about this crucial matter of a discontinuous leap. So, too, it seems has the profession generally and this has infected philosophical research and teaching. It is urged here that discontinuous processes are crucial in the universe, in human life, in human thinking. Such ontological events cannot be handled by dualism, materialism or postmodernism. Concentration on such discontinuous processes is urged, an alternative is briefly indicated, and a criterion for ordering levels of human levels of reality is offered. It follows in the line of…show more content…
This is not merely an issue in the history of philosophy. I shall argue that Descartes' deficiency on this point has infected philosophical research to this day. What is more, in much contemporary pedagogy suffers from the same influence. Professors standardly ask beginning students to revolutionize their mental modus operandi, to make a leap from the level of associating images to that of rigorously tracing connections from concept to concept. But then, typically, the message which is communicated is that having mounted to this level the hard work has been accomplished, one has basically arrived; all that remains is to continue being conceptual and logical, to continue to add to the string of inferences. Once this piece of hard work is accomplished we tend to present — in both content and process — the subject as though hierarchies of mental and other realities did not exist. An important claim of this paper is that recognition of discontinuous processes is essential to gain a deep grasp on reality — that Descartes' first recognition is better and deeper than his ensuing answers. This implies that reductivism (notably, in the present context, about mind and brain) is a defective attitude. It also implies that Post Modernism which both tends to deny the existence of hierarchies and to defer serious treatments of differences is also defective. (What is

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