Re: MF Discussion Topic for October 2004

From: Sam Norton (
Date: Mon Oct 04 2004 - 20:00:00 BST

  • Next message: David Buchanan: "RE: MF Discussion Topic for October 2004"

    > This months topic is
    > #1 From Sam Norton
    > "Is 'subject-object metaphysics' just another word for Cartesianism? If not, is there
    > another description of it that might be recognised by the academic community?"
    > I'm interested in exploring for connections between the MoQ and present day
    > academia, to try and break out of our ghetto.

    Dear all,

    I'll try to ensure that this month's topic fares better than last months (even though I didn't
    propose last months, I still felt responsible for its failure). So here goes. From the first google
    website enquiry on Cartesianism: "The central idea of Cartesianism is that the mind is separate from
    the body and that the mind can be better and more fully understood than the body. One's essential
    identity is one's mind and the interior processes of the mind have more reality than the physical
    processes of the body. It follows from this that what you think (subjectivity) is more important
    than anything outside you in the physical world (objectivity); from this would be developed the
    Enlightenment concept of the subject."

    Which I think is fair enough as a description, and I'm sure you can see why I think SOM is just
    another name for Cartesianism. Now, there is an awful lot of academic material which takes
    Cartesianism apart, and which provides for a more interesting metaphysical (or even
    post-metaphysical) way of understanding life the universe and everything.

    My real question is how the MoQ relates to those things. (I'm thinking of writers like Stephen
    Toulmin in particular, but there are loads of others, not least my favourite philosopher, Ludwig
    Wittgenstein). Do people agree that SOM is the same as Cartesianism (and therefore the same as
    modernism, in large part)? That might be the place to start. Coz if we all agree on that, then
    things will be much simpler afterwards.


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