From: Sam Norton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Oct 04 2004 - 20:00:00 BST
> 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.
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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