Thinking Things And Extended Things

Submitted By ayisha1992
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Pages: 12

Student ID - 10011675

8. Descartes argued that there were either ‘thinking things’ or ‘extended things’. What were the consequences for sociological theory?

Throughout sociological theory Descartes is known for his Cartesian dualism theory which states two different sorts of beings. Thinking things which are the subjects and extended things which are objects. The subject is defined as the conscious mind and the object would be the world of objects, which consist of height, weight, colour and so on, and is also the way these objects interact. The subject and the object have different ontological statuses. From an objectivist approach we would focus on the object world which would be 'out there' and beyond the conscious mind. A famous objectivist approach is Marx's approach, when he put the concious mind to one side in his theories that involved the force of production and the relations of production. In contrast to objectivism, there is subjectivism which focuses on the conscious mind, putting the object world to one side.

“I think; therefore I am.” This famous quote by Renee Descartes coined in 1637, was a primary step in demonstrating the possibility of bound information. It's the sole statement to survive the trial of his methodic doubt. The first argument in Cartesian doctrine is that the Argument from doubt. Rene Descartes starts by saying that though he will conceive the likelihood that his perception of his own body may in truth be false, he cannot conceive the likelihood that he's while not a mind. This is often as a result of by the terribly act of distrustful that he's a thinking issue, there should be one thing there within the initial place to try and do the distrustful. Future steps Rene Descartes takes is to propose that the mind and body area unit two separate and distinct entities, and his argument goes as follows: The statement is beyond doubt, Rene Descartes argued, that “even if an almighty demon were to undertake o trick me thinking that I exist when I do not, I would have to exist for the demon to deceive me. Therefore, whenever I think, I exist.” Furthermore, he argued, the statement “I am” (sum) expresses an immediate intuition, not the conclusion of dubious reasoning, and is thus indubitable. Whatever I know, I know intuitively that I am. Descartes did not believe that the information we receive through our senses, is necessarily accurate. The first argument in Cartesian Dualism is the Argument from doubt. Descartes starts by saying that although he can understand the possibility that his perception of his own body could actually be false, he cannot comprehend the possibility that he is without a mind. This is because for Descartes, the very act of doubting that he is a thinking thing, there must be something within him in the first place that has caused this doubting. Descartes then says that the mind and body are two separate and distinct entities, and his argument goes on to state that: “I am certain that I am a thinking thing. I am not certain that I am a physical thing. Therefore, I am not a physical thing.”

The second argument is that the Argument from clear and distinct perception, and is that the part of The Meditations wherever Rene Descartes tries to prove that the mind is doubtless distinct from the body. Once proposing that people are thinking things and not physical things, Rene Descartes goes on to argue that the mind is separate from the body, however can even live without it. The train of thought follows that if two things will exist excluding each other, then they have to be distinct and separate things. If it's potential to imagine that these things may exist apart, then God should be able to bring it to attention. Therefore if God will bring it about that these things do exist apart, they have to so be distinct from one another. If this is often then applied to body and mind, then it's potential that the two distinct, as they each exhibit properties that they are doing not