Descartes and The Fall

Western dualism: first there was Plato, for whom the immortal soul was liberated from mortal flesh by death; then Aquinas, and finally there was René Descartes, for whom the body was no longer ensoulled nature, but a machine, an object, the possession and instrument of the soul.

Descartes’ thinking (sic – it is only thinking, and not feeling) lays open the way for the analysis, domination and exploitation of all nature, including the human body, which is now devoid of any spiritual worth. Descartes choses thinking over feeling, and knowledge over wisdom. In doing so, Descartes completes the biblical fall. We in the West, pervaded as it is by dualism, of which Cartesian dualism is the epitome, reap his fruits: the complete separation of the soul from the body, and the consequent lack of meaning and value of all creation.

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~ by scalambra on April 27, 2009.

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