Preview
Preview

Aristotle, Rousseau and Descartes on Technology Essay

:: 3 Works Cited
Length: 1337 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

While it is relatively easy to confuse the ideas of Aristotle, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and René Descartes, ancient philosophy, eighteenth century politics, and mathematics all appear to be considerably disconnected subjects. Associated with these divisions are three different opinions on a common subject matter: technology. It appears that Rousseau directly opposes technology, Aristotle’s opinion rests in the middle but also shares similarities with Rousseau, and Descartes favors technology. After reading Rousseau’s Discourse On the Origin of Inequality, Aristotle’s The Nicomachean Ethics and Descartes’s The Discourse on Method, one can draw these conclusions. When looking at Rousseau’s opinion on the natural man, it is clear he believes that all things manmade are disadvantageous; Aristotle’s view on friendship can be both supportive and antagonistic, while Descartes’s method for pursuing the truth points solely to a pro-technology point-of-view.
Although Rousseau does not plainly say that technology is bad, his discussion about the natural state of man compared to the modern man clearly communicates his negative attitudes towards the artificial things in life. To convey these feelings, he says that the lifestyle of the average human being does not provide for a beneficial balance. Rousseau gives examples such as “the overly refined foods of the wealthy, . . . which overwhelm them with indigestion; the bad food of the poor, . . . who, for want of food, are inclined to stuff their stomachs greedily whenever possible . . .” (22). These illustrations point to the fact that the suffering of the human species is caused by our own hands. To put this example in contemporary terms, think of a congregation of well-to-dos sharing a ...


... middle of paper ...


...ced that with each field of study comes a different thought process. Aristotle, an ancient philosopher, is able to see both the good and the bad regarding technology; Jean-Jacques Rousseau, an eighteenth century politician deeply rooted in self-preservation, saw that the only way to improve oneself was through natural means; René Descartes, a mathematician, believed the only way to better the human species was through scientific assessments and technological advancements.




Works Cited
Aristotle, and W. D. Ross. "Book VIII." The Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle. London: Oxford UP, 1954. N. pag. Print.
Descartes, René, and Donald A. Cress. "Part II." Discourse On the Method. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Pub., 1998. 11. Print.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, and Donald A. Cress. Discourse on the Origin of Inequality. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 1992. 20, 22, and 34. Print.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on How did Descartes Explain the Relationship between Mind and Body? - Across the years, many scientists and philosophers believed that a human being is made up by mind and body (Radner, 1971). Some of them believed that the mind-soul is something different from the body and each of them works by themselves without any interaction between them (Radner, 1971). The other point of view said that body and mind works together as a unity and mutually influences each other and the result is the human being. This view had been held by great figures like the Greek philosopher Aristotle and Aquinas (Radner, 1971)....   [tags: rene descartes, mind and body, aristotle]
:: 7 Works Cited
1105 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Descartes and Aristotle Essay - People live life one day at time with the same guidance from their ancestors, and they often question their existence in the universe and try to understand the world around them. People often question their existence in the universe. Philosophers try to answer questions that most people will not think of in their daily lives. Most philosophers try to get to the truth of logical questions through epistemology. Epistemology is a “branch of philosophy that studies the nature and possibility of knowledge” (Soccio)....   [tags: Rationalism, Priori, Posteriori, Philosophers]
:: 2 Works Cited
1353 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Descartes View on the Senses Essay - Descartes first meditation included a few arguments that Descartes studied and analyze. The one I choose to analyze was his argument of sense deception. The actually argument is the following: (1) My senses sometimes deceive me. (2) If my senses sometimes deceive me, then they might always deceive me. (3) If my senses might always deceive me, then I cannot be certain about any beliefs acquired through my senses. (4) If I cannot be certain about any beliefs acquired through my senses, then I must suspend judgment on those beliefs....   [tags: Descartes] 661 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Age of Enlightenment Essay - The 18th century was filled with Enlightenment philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians, each contributing to the way our world thinks today. The Enlightenment prompted society to part from the ancient views of superstition and traditionalism, and transition to basing findings and concept on reason and logic. Each of the brilliant minds contributed to the worldly movement, their purpose was to reform society by challenging ideas that were grounded firmly in faith, emphasize reason and intelligence, and to advance knowledge through science and the arts....   [tags: Descartes, Rousseau] 1415 words
(4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Jean-Jacques Rousseau and The Essence of Human Nature - Rousseau starts his discourse with the quote, “What is natural has to be investigated not in beings that are depraved, but in those that are good according to nature” (Aristotle. Politics. II). It is this idea that Rousseau uses to define his second discourse. Rousseau begins his story of human nature by “setting aside all the facts” (132). Rousseau believes the facts of the natural state of humanity are not necessary to determine the natural essence of human nature, and adding facts based on man’s condition in society does not show man’s natural condition....   [tags: Jean-Jacques Rousseau]
:: 1 Works Cited
1435 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Descartes and the Existence of Physical Objects Essay - Descartes and the Existence of Physical Objects In his sixth meditation Descartes must return to the doubts he raised in his first one. Here he deals mainly with the mind-body problem and tries to prove whether material things exist with certainty. In this meditation he develops his dualist argument; by making a distinction between mind and body; although he also reveals that the are significantly related. He considers existence of the external world and whether its perception holds any knowledge of this world....   [tags: Descartes]
:: 1 Works Cited
669 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Review of Descartes: An Intellectual Biography and Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain - Review of Descartes: An Intellectual Biography and Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain Descartes' error, Antonio Damasio tells us, was his belief in "the abyssal separation between body and mind . . . " (250). As Damasio notes, there are certainly many specific "errors" in Descartes' writings--that heat causes the circulation of the blood, for example, or that movement is translated instantaneously through the plenum from one object to another--but all these notions have been "corrected" by subsequent theory in ways that we can imagine Descartes himself might easily accept....   [tags: Descartes ] 733 words
(2.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Rousseau's Critique on Natural Man vs. Modern Man - Rousseau's Critique on Natural Man vs. Modern Man in Second Discourses Rousseau, in the Second Discourses, examines the differences between natural and modern man. As used in his writing, natural man refers to mankind unfettered by social norms, morals, obligations, and duties. Modern man, however, is bound by these factors. Conformity with these factors allows modern man to experience virtue, whereas non-conformity results in vices. In the passage in question, Rousseau explores how natural man is better for himself and society because natural man has no moral relationship or obligations to other men and no subjugated inequality....   [tags: Philosophy Rousseau Philosophical Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
889 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Rousseau Essay - Rousseau starts his discourse with the quote, “What is natural has to be investigated not in beings that are depraved, but in those that are good according to nature” (Aristotle. Politics. II). It is this idea that Rousseau uses to define his second discourse. Rousseau begins his story of human nature by “setting aside all the facts” (132). The facts of the natural state of humanity are not necessary to determine the natural essence of human nature, and adding facts based on man’s condition in society does not show man’s natural condition....   [tags: Psychology] 1753 words
(5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Descartes Essay - Descartes 1. In the Discourse on the Method, Descartes laments that as a young man he was forced to conclude at the end of all his studies that “there was no doctrine [i.e., teaching or body of knowledge] in the world that was of the sort that I had previously been led to hope for.” In your essay, I would like you to discuss the nature of the body of knowledge he was looking for a s well as the place of the cogito (that is, the utterance “I think, therefore I am”) in it. You may discuss his criticism of the learning of the time, but do not spill much ink over it; the focus of your paper should be on the new science he is seeking, not the old....   [tags: Papers] 857 words
(2.4 pages)
Good Essays [preview]