I'm sure that more than one philosopher has made this criticism.
Including yourself. I agree with the criticism, but I dont see its
relevance with regards to the importance of subjectivity and introspection
with regards to knowledge. I admire Descartes as a man, not so much as a
philosopher. I admire his method more than his results, he looked inwards.
Like Hume, Berkley , Locke and countless others. These people were the
forefathers of science, not the resistance to it. Europe, having been freed
from the authority of dogma by commerce and free enterprise, these people
voiced a challenge that had been long suppressed.
I think you are attacking a straw man "realist".
Im challenging comments and attitudes I saw on this board. Introspection was
deemed an archaic relic of pre 16th century superstition, when in fact the
cogito was the cornerstone of the enlightenment and has been important ever
since. Not just in substance but in method too. People might not be happy
about 'souls' and worse 'soul stuff', but really Descartes participated in
putting thinking and rationalising back on the map.
I doubt very much for instance that there would be cognitive psychology were
it not for the work of Descartes filtered through Chomskian Linguistics. Our
conscious robot is a product of the idea that there are innate mental
structures. Its the pattern and/or process computable function - that has
become important in philosophy of mind - even if its at the most basic level
of a stimulated neural nets, weighted sums et al. We have reached this point
because in a subjective sense we all experience these intractable
processes first hand, like finding a word once lost at the tip of your
tongue. How do we know about that? Because we experience it!
Its the method thats worth saving, not the indivisible soul languishing
somewhere near the penal gland. Its not even whether souls provide a good
account of identity, its the method that Im defending, and the method that
I saw attacked. So far, Im still convinced Im right, which is very rare.
Want to block unwanted pop-ups? Download the free MSN Toolbar now!