Analysis Of John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding By Rene Descartes

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Locke says that a person is a “thinking intelligent being”. John Locke wrote An Essay Concerning Human Understanding in 1689. He strongly defends empiricism in this essay and states his views on human knowledge and true understanding. In Book II, Locke offers his theory of personal identity; namely the mind theory, also known as ‘the psychological criterion’, in the middle of his accounts of general identity where he draws lines between inert objects, living things and persons. He writes clear distinctions between inert objects and living things but the nature of persons and the subsequent identity is more complex to simply touch upon. Locke knows that providing a definition of ‘the man’ is complex, and faces many different opinions. Instead …show more content…

The book is comprised of six meditations, and he refers to each previous meditation as “yesterday”, but he began working on the book in 1639. Descartes uses the method of doubt (a process of being sceptical about the truth of a belief) in order to determine which of his beliefs he could be completely sure of, and which could be taken apart by simple doubts; “I realised that it was necessary… to demolish everything completely and start again right from the foundations if I wanted to establish anything at all in the sciences that was stable and likely to last.” In Meditation II, The nature of the human mind, and how it is better known than the body, Descartes finds truths which he knows for certain, and discovers that he exists, and is essentially a thinking thing (sum nes cognitas) Descartes believes that the self is essentially a “thinking thing” (82) – a thing that “doubts, understands, affirms, denies, is willing, is unwilling, and also imagines and has sensory perceptions.” He distinguishes between the mind and the body, or the thinking and extended substances. Through his musings, Descartes proposes that the “self” refers to only the soul or the mind, not the body. “It is certain that I am really distinct from my body, and can exist without it” (115). He can doubt the fact that his hands are moving, but he cannot doubt the fact that he is

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