Descartes, Leibniz, And Spinoza Essay, Research Paper

Erik Irre

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Modern Philosophy

December 16, 1999

Paper 1, Section 2

If these great minds ( Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz ) were to discourse alternatively the psyche? s connexion to the organic structure, what might each state ( both on his ain behalf and in response to the other ) ? Would they happen any topographic points where they might hold? If non, why non? ( These are, after all, smart cat! )

Though this kind of meeting would strike me as a argument with as furiously disparate and sturdy ideals as one would happen in a meeting of Andrew Weil, Jerry Falwell, and David Duke, I expect that the philosophers would happen some surprisingly common land. Descartes, the Christian castaway, Spinoza, the Judaic castaway, and Leibniz, the originative mathematician all acknowledge that what we know better than anything is the head. Given this, we can infer that any cognition we get of our sensed organic structures does non needfully associate to some external world, physical substance, or biological organic structures. However, from this point on the three bookmans meander off in separate unequivocal statements.

Descartes grounds in? Meditations on the First Doctrine: In Which the Existence of God and the Distinction Between Mind and Body are Demonstrated? that head and organic structure are existent, extant, and separate merchandises of God. He does this by proposing that if the organic structure were non existent, so God would be lead oning us, which is improbable from a perfect God. He besides arrives at a cogent evidence for his head? s being by contending the celebrated cogito, ergo amount? he could non be mistaken about thought ( for that would affect idea ) , and the head must logically be in order for it to believe. Although Descartes? claims of the organic structure? s necessary being follows from the cogito? if the head exists, so it must be in contrast to other, external things & # 8211 ; I presume that both Spinoza and Leibniz would take the chance to indicate out that Descartes presupposes the being of the God that needfully created his organic structure and head before theorizing on whet

her or non his organic structure and head exist. Nice claim, bad account.

Spinoza? s staunch, pantheistic monist position of the universe establishes that the head and organic structure are non separate entities in themselves, but merely two of an infinite sum of properties of the same and lone substance in being? God. One can associate this concluding to two properties of a juicy fire hook? ruddy and hot. Does this entail that ruddy and hot are ever dependent on a fire hook and that they are in kernel the same thing? Although this is non a likely decision, Spinoza raises the of import inquiry of how far we can analytically divide parts of a universe that are ever interacting with each other. Try acquiring a metal fire hook to glow ruddy without heating it, or heating a fire hook without finally holding it glow ruddy. This is unlikely, albeit possible in theory. The head and organic structure may be two individually identifiable things, but one will more than probably happen the two collaborating with each other as properties of the natural universe.

Such cooperation takes a dosage of epinephrine in the head of Herr Leibniz. With the infinitely varying and believing Monads representing all of being, this math prodigy claims that substance ( and hence the organic structure ) exists, but merely as contemplations of the head. The human head, he proposes, is but collections of clever Monads working closely together. If substance is a contemplation of all the Monads, we can reason that head and organic structure are non separate in the sense that they can be independently, but instead together and stemming from the same beginning, in the Spinozian sense. Stretching this farther, we can see that Leibniz does non allow the cognition of an external world ( or hence organic structures ) , but holds that everything we learn is applicable merely to our human position? ? ? external cause can hold no influence on the interior being of a Monad. ? However, this of class says nil about the possibility of an external world or populating organic structure until we province that the sensed human organic structure does impact our heads? we hurt, get hungry, and so on. Following the quotation mark, merely heads are existent, and organic structures merely exist within.