Good Creative Writing On How To Understand The Human Mind AND The Natural World
In the book Discourse on Method, Descartes claims to have found an effective method of controlling his reason that has been of help to him in making several important discoveries in his scientific research. He starts to explain his method by use of an autobiography in which he tells the story of his cognitive and intellectual development, together with how he devised this method (Descartes).
Descartes developed the method hugely as a response to the schooling he had received that was based on Aristotelian philosophy. He had been notified of the fact that he would acquire knowledge and certainty in his education, but he nonetheless came out disappointed. He had found no certainty, and as a result he dropped out of school and embarked on a journey all through the world, during which he learned about different people their cultures (Descartes).
According to the book, Descartes affirms that good sense is naturally equal to all men and that they have the ability to distinguish the truth from fiction. Therefore, what matters is how they use their minds (Descartes).
“Our opinions differ not because some of us are more reasonable than others, but solely because we take our thoughts along different paths and don’t attend to the same things.” (Descartes).
This shows that different people think differently. For example, Descartes through his childhood benefited from education because people convinced him that he could get a clear knowledge of everything useful in life. However, he was disappointed on completion (Descartes).
“but no sooner had I completed the whole course of studyI changed my mind about what this education could do for me I found myself tangled in so many doubts and errors that I was convinced I had advanced no fartherthan the discovery at every turn in my own ignorance” (Descartes).
This indicates that a human mind is able to differentiate classes of knowledge that differ in relation to the level of accuracy a person might expect to reach.
While in Germany, he observes that buildings, cities, and nations are more beautiful when they are made according to a single patched together than those that have grown organically. This indicates that a human mind has the ability to discover things including the fundamental truths about the basic structure of reality. He goes ahead to cite God’s law as an instance of this perfection.
“Similarly the true religions whose rules purely are God’s work must certainly be ever so much better than any other religion” (Descartes).
Descartes tries to proof the existence of God and soul. Through his own process of thinking, he realizes that I THINK and THEREFORE I am a proof of His existence. He states that God exists and is perfect being and because everything in us comes from him (Descartes).
“ since I am not perfect in every way, I cannot have caused myself, so something else might have caused my existence and no matter what that something is, we could ask what caused it to exist” (Descartes).
He argues that the external objects like the sky, the earth, light are all delusions of the mind. He asserts that the same is not possible with God. Descartes discusses the idea of law of nature; the sun and the stars as the source of light, the sky as the transmitter of light, heavenly bodies that reflect light, objects on earth that have colour are transparent and human beings as perceivers of light. He concludes that God is perfect and that he is imperfect.
In the nature of reality, Descartes asserts the existence of three substance; God whose essence is perfection and capable of existing on its own, matter whose essence is an extension in length, width, and depth. The essence of mind is thought besides duration and existence. The mind has the power of perceiving in which it can be pure, imagination and sense perception. He argues that he can doubt the existence of the material world but cannot doubt the existence of himself as a thinking thing. He states that he could doubt the existence of matter (Descartes).
In his arguments, Descartes discusses how the body and the mind in the sense that as this happens, our sensations serve us well in avoiding harms and pursuing benefits. He describes this as not perfect as sometimes our minds present things differently than they are (Descartes).
Descartes discusses that the fact that animals have many of the same organs as human beings, they lack the power of speech or reason. Though parrots can imitate speech, it cannot use the language to express itself with the versatility displayed by humans. He suggests that if these were a result of intelligent they would be far more intelligent than humans are. As a result, their behavior is governed solely by instincts. He uses this argument to assert that we as humans are distinct from animals and those we have an immortal soul that will survive our death (Descartes).
The finding that the idea of self-nature relationships conflicts with the perceptions held by different people of unnatural and natural environments can have implications linked to environmental values, attitudes, and researches conducted on behaviors. This contradiction in people’s minds can reflect cognitive dissonance that can make decision-making and execution of environmentally responsible behavior more complicated. Cognitive dissonance arises when individuals have two conflicting ideas, thoughts, or feelings about a particular concept (Descartes).
The disagreement is unpleasant and as a result it will normally lead a person to discharge him or herself of the conflicting perceptions by rationalizing or rejecting consequential behaviors and thoughts. Even though individuals generally perceive themselves as part being part of nature, many of them view natural places as being independent of human interference and contact, thus creating dissonance and contradiction. Resolving this conflict in views can easily lead to bigger quantities of behavior that is viewed as being environmentally responsible. However, the opposite path, that is followed when people who view themselves as being part of nature rationalize behavior that is viewed as being environmentally destructive for the purpose of relieving dissonance (Descartes).
Further research should be carried out to shed more light about how individuals’ mental activities and views of self-nature relationships are linked with behaviors termed as being environmentally responsible or destructive. The studies will help us to develop a better understanding of the complexities involved with the management of mankind’s natural areas. It is known from previous research that the level of connectedness a person feels towards an environment will consequently impact on the level of concern for, and management choices directed towards that particular environment (Descartes).
Analysis of the text in the book indicates that the connection a person feels towards nature can be more complicated than a dichotomous selection. A better view of the human-nature relationship is important in the formation of appropriate and constructive environmental management and policy (Descartes).
Descartes, Rene. "Discourse on Method". Hackett Classics, 2003. Print.