Descartes New Concept Of Self As A Thinking Person Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… All of the features of the wax such as its smell, taste, sight, and touch that he acquired through the senses are nonexistent after the wax has melted. Our senses would tell us that after the wax had melted it was no longer the same wax. Though after the wax has melted and everything the wax was (its color, taste, and smell) is taken away, there is still left the thought of the wax. However, our intellect, our only certain faculty of reasoning and understanding would tell us that it was the same piece of wax. We know that it is the same piece of wax after it has melted but the flame has caused it to appear differently. If the solid and melted piece of wax are the same, how does the intellect know this? Descartes concluded that his ability to understand the wax was not only through the senses acquired by the physical body but also by the reasoning and understanding of his own intellect. In order to determine what is certain, all previous knowledge and beliefs must be doubted. By doubting everything, the senses acquired by the physical body become unreliable and all is left is the reliable nature of thought and intellect. In order for those things in which we become aware of through the senses to have meaning there must be thoughts. The certain belief that thoughts do exist allows for the establishment of a self, the faculty of intellect and thought. The self, the faculty of thought is distinguishable from all other things in that it cannot be …show more content…
According to Buddhism, to say that there is a self is to say that there is one part of a person that can control the different parts and that there is one part that can account for the identity of a person over time. Overall, to say that there is a self is to say that there is some part of a person that is necessary in order for that person to exist. This one necessary part would therefore be what “I” is named in Descartes mediations. The different parts of a person are called the skandhas and include corporeality, feeling, perception, mental forces, and consciousness. Buddhism states that there is no more to a person than these five elements, and it is only with all five elements that a person can form. There are two reasons as to why the skandhas are not the self, one being that they are impermanent and the other being that they are not under any sort of control. For instance, the physical body does not last forever and when the body dies, it disintegrates. The body’ impermanence shows that it is not a self. In regards to the skandha of perception, it is a simple mental event and sensory content to the mind, like the smell of bees wax. Our perceptions cannot be controlled nor do our perceptions remain the same over time, therefore perception is not the self (Siderits

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