Chris writes > I admire Descartes as a man [I would have said scientist and mathematician], > not so much as a philosopher. I admire his method more than his results, > he looked inwards.
He also did a tremendous amount of good work in science and math. > 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. Yes > Brent wrote > > > 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. Interesting that you denigrate the guy's philosophy (so do I), but then say this. Yes, he did contribute to the foundations of rationalism. > 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. Yes. > 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! Yes, that's right. That's how we first knew something was going on in humans. So far as I know, the best way to then investigate the phenomenon is not through further introspection---however helpful that may be in suggesting hypotheses---but by actual lab work in psychology. > 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. Might you say a few more words about the method you refer to? I know that I may be asking a lot with the following so please ignore it if inconvenient: about this "method": is there a body of work based upon this method? Is it at all falsifiable? (perhaps an unfair question---I don't know.) What other practitioners have there been? Lee