Self Of Damasio And Descartes

1. Explain Damasioís view as to what Descartesí error is, and why he thinks

Descartes is "in error"? How do Descartes and Damasio differ as to what the"self" is? Damasio and Descartes differ greatly as to what the "self" is
all about. They have different answers to the philosophical question of what
makes up the self, and determines who a person is. A personís identity is more
than just the body they both agree, but have different reasons why. Descartes is
also known as " the founder of modern philosophy" he is most known for his
cogito argument of "I think therefore I am". He thinks that one cannot doubt
their own existence because something must be doing the doubting. Although, that
statement was refuted later by some, who said the fact that you think
pre-assumes existence. Descartes also refutes skeptics by saying that they
cannot deny they are thinking and something must be undergoing that thinking, so
one cannot deny that they exist. Descartes starts his arguments by saying that

God is the guaranteed, and uses his existence to prove other things. First
though, he says he will not believe anything until he proves that God exists.

Once he does this using the circular argument, he proceeds to talk about the
separation of mind and body and his beliefs. The circular argument simply states
that if you believe in the light of nature, you believe in God, and if you
believe the causality principles you believe in the other two. He believes that
the mind and body are two entirely separate entities, the soul is independent
from the body, and the mind is for reason and rationality. The emotions of the
body are what interfere with reason, and the body is used for all of the sensory
things such as sound, sight, and pain. Based on this, he thinks that a person
cannot know a substance. The way a person can "know" a substance is only
through its qualities. For example, one cannot know soap; they can only
associate its qualities such as scent, shape, and color. "How does one know
the notion of color?" he speculates. One can only know a substance through
experience. Descartes argument with the wax shows his idea of how one does not
experience the thing itself, but its properties. These physical characteristics
are the only way to relate to the body, which one cannot know. One can only
experience or "know" the mind. This leads to his discussion of complex and
primitive ideas. Primitive ideas require experience, and complex ideas do not. A
complex idea is something like the notion of infinity, or language. Descartes
believed there was no definition of infinity, and would not accept a negative
definition to resolve his problem. He believed that God was the infinite thing.

The only widely accepted belief at that time was that mathematics were
undeniable, and ever present in the world. Essentially the world is composed of
mathematics, which gave a lot of merit to his proof of the existence of God.

Another two principles Descartes used to further his arguments were that of
formal and objective reality. The idea of formal reality is that formal reality
is what is actually out there in the world, kind of the ultimate truth.

Objective reality on the other hand is the ideas that are in our minds, what we
perceive to be true. Descartes comes to the conclusion that an idea must have at
least as much formal reality as objective reality. He also uses this notion to
further his proof of Godís existence. He wants to find an idea that has more
objective reality than formal reality. This, he deduces, is God. He also comes
to the conclusion that people cannot be the cause of an idea like God because it
doesnít have as much formal reality as objective reality. This means that as
humans we cannot know for sure what the formal reality is, but what we do know
is objective reality. Unless God is a deceiving demon this must mean that he
exists, because why would he create a world of deception, when he is a perfect
being? In other words, God obviously exists because what we know to be true
about him must be true, because there is no truer formal reality in regards to
the idea of God. Eventually a problem arises for Descartes known as the

Mind-Body problem. He observes that one can fully understand their own mind,
thus understand their "self" without knowing anything about the body. He
wonders how they are related,