Similarities Between John Locke And Rene Descartes

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Are you real? Are you really sitting at home reading this, or are you imagining it? Do you really exist, or do you just believe you do? These questions plagued many people during the Great Awakening, especially philosophers like John Locke and Rene Descartes. How does one know for certain that he/she is real? How do we explain the meaning of life? What exactly is love? Is someone capable of changing into someone completely different over time or do we have a core self that never changes, like a soul? A couple of philosophers decided to start theorizing about what self and understanding of self is. One philosopher named John Locke believed that without memory of oneself that you not only don’t remember who are you, but you are not yourself anymore. …show more content…
He expressed that he believed if he were to sit and think about if he was real or not that the thought itself was proof he was real. Hence his famous phrase, “If I think, therefore I am.” I identify more with this phrase than any other. I believe memories are changeable. That may not be popular belief, but what if someone is hypnotized? What if a certain memory is removed from them? Is that person still the same person? If that memory removal has a great impact on that person’s identity, do they suddenly identify as a different person? One could argue that person is no longer themselves, no matter if they still have the same body and even the same finger prints, they are a completely different person. However, one cannot argue rather one’s existence is real or not simply because thinking about it is proof in itself. Which is why Descartes supported logic over religion or traditions. He believed one could think for themselves and learn on our own by experiences, rather than follow the command of others. This is why he was such a hero to the leaders of the French revolution. He explained that engaging in thinking helps prepare a person for the task at hand called life. He even made fun a few friends that stopped by his house in the early hours and were surprised to still find him in bed. They questioned why he wasn’t out of bed, and he replied that he was thinking. His friends were not only confused by the response but stunned as well. He then criticized them for wanting to do repetitive and pointless task over a calming, relaxing day reflecting on and thinking about one’s life. I believe Descartes is correct. Taking care of your mental state is more important than satisfying simple physical pleasures that won’t last or help anyone in the long run. To do things that don’t matter or help you mentally is beyond Descartes, and he found it foolish. Overall, self is described different ways by different

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