Study Questions for Descartesís Discourse, Parts V and VI
Please, read carefully Part V of Descartesís
Discourse. You can loosen your
attention at Part VI. Nevertheless, please, make effort to find out Descartesís main point of Part VI and try to answer (for
yourself) the questions below. Also read carefully Morowitzís
article. Some of the technical details might be challenging, thatís OK Ė but
pay attention to the philosophical
issues and consequences.
Discourse, Part V
is the point of Descartes's big "as
if" story of how the creation of the world might have run?
is the fundamental principle upon which Descartes establishes his
explanation of the laws of nature?
is† the central element of Descartesís explanation of the blood circulation?
is D's view of human animal bodies?
did D mean in saying that animals are machines? Did he deny them all
feeling, even sensations of pain?
reason(s) does Descartes give for the impossibility of imitating humans by
D's view of the human body, how can he believe in free will?
are the key differences between human beings and animals? What do these
Discourse, Part VI
is commonly charged with being a pure rationalist who ignores the
importance of experiment. Is this charge true? Isn't there a problem
in seeing how to apply pure reason, including mathematics, to the real
does Descartes think it is important to publish his ideas?
does Descartes refer to Aristotleís students? What metaphor does he use?
alludes to Galileo's trial by the Roman Inquisition. Does the Discourse
therefore end on a pessimistic note?
Rediscovering the Mind
does Morowitz define reductionism?
are Morowitzís examples for reductionism?
important aspect does he emphasize about Einsteinís Theory of Relativity?
What about Quantum Mechanics?
does he connect the three large fields of human enquiry: psychology,
biology, and physics?
does Morowitz mean by epistemological
do you think about the philosophical relevance of Morowitzís
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