Political Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes and Rene Descartes

1396 Words Sep 23rd, 1999 6 Pages
<center><i>"Politics should be the application of the science Of man to the construction of the community" Explain this remark and discuss what reasons there might be for thinking it is not true</i></center><br><br>In this essay I intend to examine the political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes and Rene Descartes, in particular their ideas relating to the science of man, and attempt to explain why their ideas prove that it is not possible to construct a science of man.<br><br>I will also briefly mention the philosophy of Donald Davidson in regards to a science of man.<br><br>The theories of Hobbes and the contemporary socio-biologists attempt to recognise how man works and on that basis build a society.<br><br>"Hobbes wished to be seen as the …show more content…
This is due to the fact that many psychological and political theories are founded on the basis that there is a science of man. Without this "science of man" these theories are in turn questioned and therefore cannot be viably backed as reasons for the construction of the community.<br><br>Another prolific philosopher whose arguments should be taken into account is Rene Descartes. Descartes thinks that we, as humans, are made up of two separate substances. The body is the physical stuff and the mind - the res cogitans (thinking thing) - purely mental stuff.<br><br>The res cogitans can will your body to move. The difficulty with Descartes' theory is that the mind and body interact; if you pour boiling water on you hand, you will feel pain. Again we have to take into account voluntary and vital motions.<br><br>A voluntary motion is me moving my arm. A vital motion is my arm moving. I move my arm because I want to; but I may not necessarily want it to be moved. This can happen for a number of reasons. It may be possible that I have a muscle spasm in my arm or that somebody moves it.<br><br>All of this suggests that for Descartes' theory to be correct there must be some kind of connection between a material substance (the body) and an immaterial substance (the mind).<br><br>However, we will find it impossible to
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