ABSTRACT: The problem of traditional epistemology is the relation of subject to external world. The distinction between subject and object makes possible the distinction between the knower and what is known. Starting with Descartes, the subject is a thinking thing that is not extended, and the object is an extended thing which does not think. Heidegger rejects this distinction between subject and object by arguing that there is no subject distinct from the external world of things because Dasein is essentially Being-in-the-world. Heidegger challenges the Cartesian legacy in epistemology in two ways. First, there is the modern tendency toward subjectivism and individualism that started with Descartes' discovery of the 'cogito.' Second, there is the technological orientation of the modern world that originated in the Cartesian understanding of the mathematical and external physical world.
Descartes stands at the beginning of modern philosophy and Heidegger accepts Descartes' role in the history of metaphysics. Descartes is the first thinker who discovers the "cogito sum" as an indubitable and the most certain foundation and thereby liberates philosophy from theology. He is the first subjectivistic thinker in the modern philosophy and he grounds his subjectivity on his epistemology.
The orientation of the philosophical problems with Descartes starts from the "ego" (the "subject") because in the modern philosophy the "subject" is given to the knower first and as the only certain thing, i.e., the only "subject" is accessible immediately and certainly. For Descartes, the "subject" (the "ego", the "I", "res cogitans") is something that thinks, i.e., something that represents, perceive...
... middle of paper ...
...icture", The Question of Technology and Other Essays. Trans. by William Levitt. (New York: Harper and Row Pub., 1977.), 127.
(27) Bernard Charles Flynn, "Descartes and the Ontology of Subjectivity", Man and World, (Vol. 16, No: 1, 1983), 10.
(28) Ibid., 10.
(29) Ibid., 14.
(30) Ibid., 14.
(31) C. D. Keyes, "An Evaluation of Levinas: Critique of Heidegger" Research in Phenomenology. (Vol. II, PP 121-142, 1972), 131 and Martin Heidegger, Being and Time 46.
(32) Ibid., 131.
(33) Martin Heidegger, Basic Problems of Phenomenology, 119.
(34) John Richardson, Existential Epistemology: A Heideggerian Critique of Descartes Project, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986), 91.
(35) Aristotle, Physics Book IV The Basic Works of Aristotle. Ed. and Intr. by Richard McKeon. (New York: Random House, 1941.), 219b.
(36) Martin Heidegger, Being and Time , 376.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Every since Plato introduced the idea of dualism thousands of years ago meta-physicians have been faced with the mind-body problem. Even so Plato idea of dualism did not become a major issue of debate in the philosophical world until the seventeenth century when French philosopher Rene Descartes publicized his ideas concerning the mental and physical world. During this paper, I will analyze the issue of individuation and identity in Descartes’ philosophical view of the mind-body dualism. I will first start by explaining the structure of Cartesian dualism.... [tags: Rene Descartes, Plato, Cartesian dualism]
1098 words (3.1 pages)
- Descartian dualism is one of the most long lasting legacies of Rene Descartes’ philosophy. He argues that the mind and body operate as separate entities able to exist without one another. That is, the mind is a thinking, non-extended entity and the body is non-thinking and extended. His belief elicited a debate over the nature of the mind and body that has spanned centuries, a debate that is still vociferously argued today. In this essay, I will try and tackle Descartes claim and come to some conclusion as to whether Descartes is correct to say that the mind and body are distinct.... [tags: Cartesian Dualism, Mind-Body Problem]
1632 words (4.7 pages)
- Descartes and Dualism "I think therefore I am," the well known quote of Rene Descartes, is the basis of his theory known as dualism. The intermingling of mind and body or res extensa (extended substance) and res cogitans (thinking substance) displays Descartes' ideas of a "genuine human being" (Cottingham 7). Known as the father of modern philosophy, Descartes realized that one could not analyze a problem simply on the common sense level, but that one must "probe to the micro-level" (Cottingham 4).... [tags: Dualism Essays]
612 words (1.7 pages)
- Rene Descartes' Argument from Divisibility is the argument in which he claims that the mind and the body are two completely different things and thus cannot be identical. His argument is that the body is divisible because it can be physically altered like being cut in half. His belief is that the mind is indivisible because it is not a physical thing. Descartes believed that if two things do not have identical properties then they couldn't be the same. What Descartes was suggesting was that human beings' bodies are separate from their thoughts and that when the body dies the mind still lives, which had undertones of suggesting that there is an afterlife.... [tags: Dualism Essays]
1101 words (3.1 pages)
- Descartes' Theory of Substance Dualism Throughout the history of man, philosophers have tried to come up with an explanation of where our minds, or consciousness, came from and how we are able to have a nonphysical characteristic of ourselves. Does our physical brain automatically give us nonphysical characteristics like feelings, thoughts, and desires or is there something else there, the mind, that interacts with our bodies and makes us feel, think, and desire. Also, is the mind the only nonphysical entity in our universe or do other entities exist such as ghosts or souls.... [tags: Dualism Essays]
795 words (2.3 pages)
- In this paper, I will explain and argue for two-way interactive substance dualism. Dualism is a term referred to the idea that there are only two basic kinds of things and everything real is categorized under those two things. Dualism is split into two types, substance dualism, and property dualism. Substance dualism is the idea that the mind and body are two different sorts of basic substance, whereas property dualism is our mental and physical properties are two separate types of basic properties even though they may be properties of the same thing (lecture).... [tags: Philosophy of mind, Mind, Dualism, Brain]
1311 words (3.7 pages)
- Comparison of Descartes and Heidegger According to Descartes, the essence of material substance is simply extension, the property of filling up space. (Med. V) So solid geometry, which describes the possibility of dividing an otherwise uniform space into distinct parts, is a complete guide to the essence of body. It follows that there can be in reality only one extended substance, comprising all matter in a single spatial whole. From this, Descartes concluded that individual bodies are merely modes of the one extended being, that there can be no space void of extension, and that all motion must proceed by circular vortex.... [tags: Papers]
652 words (1.9 pages)
- I believe that the popular or "ghost in the machine" form of substance dualism best solves the mind body problem. My views in this area have been influenced by my twelve years of Catholic education. The soul, or mind, depending on your level of belief, was a complete and separate entity and was the center of a human being. The body was an ambulatory device that the soul directed. The idea that the mind is a separate entity and that it is independent of the physical body is the central point of substance dualism.... [tags: Dualism Essays]
1005 words (2.9 pages)
- Arguments of Dualism Dualism is the theory that mind and matter are two distinct things. The main argument for dualism is that facts about the objective external world of particles and fields of force, as revealed by modern physical science, are not facts about how things appear from any particular point of view, whereas facts about subjective experience are precisely about how things are from the point of view of individual conscious subjects. They have to be described in the first person as well as in the third person.... [tags: Dualism Essays]
1030 words (2.9 pages)
- Anne Conway’s Critique of Cartesian Dualism ABSTRACT: I describe and analyze Anne Conway’s critique of Cartesian dualism. After a brief biographical introduction to Conway, I sketch some of the influences on her philosophy. I then describe her non-Cartesian view of substance. According to Conway, there is only one substance in created reality. This substance contains both matter and spirit. A purely material or spiritual substance is, she argues, an impossibility. Next, I discuss several of Conway’s arguments against Cartesian dualism.... [tags: Dualism Essays]
3234 words (9.2 pages)