Sunday, June 11, 2006

Beyond Cartesian

I'm a big supporter of thinking (and, of course, the arts). The different processes people use to think, how they think, why they think, what I think of what they think... Fran just interrupted my train of thought (should've taken the bus anyway). Hmm... if "I think, therefore I am," if I don't think or perhaps get distracted what am I? Would not thinking before speaking be an exercise in futility or non-existence? you understand my interest (or obsession) in thinking, yet?

Most modernists would point to Rene Descartes as one of the most significant influences on modern thought. However, I think most people would hold to feelings (emotions and experiences) as their cue to reality. Y'know, "I feel, therefore I am."

I just finished reading The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. A very well written and intriguing mystery. I found it fascinating, however, how many of the characters were completely sold out to science (including one who was both cursed and employed by science). Not that this was all that bad, but there seemed to be an unrelenting faith in rational thought and reason. It was written in the middle of the 19th century in the midst of burgeoning modernism so maybe Collins was a sold-out rationalist (like the aforementioned character, Collins was also cursed with a reliance on opium). However, I'm not convinced that this is so. You see, the characters that are the most logically minded, though they figure large pieces of the puzzle out, make fatal errors in their deductions because they lack a personal connection to certain events. Also, the most noteworthy character in the book, an old butler, has a curious philosophy throughout that condemns logic on a few occasions.

So, where on earth am I going with this? I'm not really sure. In some ways I'm just exploring my own thought process with the hope that some of you will comment and I can explore yours too. At the same time, I've been reflecting lately on the value of thinking and its relationship to feeling. I think (or feel) that I am just mentally (or emotinally) preparing myself for Oxford.

On another unrelated note, check out this guy.

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