Lecture 6 - Rousseau I Conclude Descartes-Could not prove...

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01-26-15 Rousseau I) Conclude Descartes -Could not prove the existence of God through the use of reason. -Did help to transition away from the medieval way of thinking. -Before Descartes, God was assumed. -Tried to prove God systematically and through the use of reason, but could not do it and no one since then was able to prove the existence of God either. -Since God is now a question, so is the good. -If we have no sense of whether God exists or not, this raises the question of how to live a good life? -Cannot just assume because how do you know you’re living life to the correct God? -Then comes the introduction of subjectivity. -Before Descartes, there was an assumption of a world that existed that was different, and shaped how we made sense of the world. -The way in which how we try to make sense of the world starts from our own individual position and trying to make sense of it ourselves. -Our understanding of reality becomes subjective. -The way in which you and I as beings is from within our own particular position. -Before Descartes, your individuality did not mean anything at all because Dante just assumed the existence of God. -Cartesian Dualism (mind/body split). -In the modern period, we assume the authentic you is what is going on in your mind, and your body is not who you actually are. II) Brief Explanation of the Development of the Social Contract Tradition -Hobbes’ Leviathan is the start of the Social Contract Tradition (SCT), but derives a lot from Descartes. -If it’s the case that we are all acting as individuals trying to make sense of things and cant agree on what is good, how can we live together?
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