Tag Archives: Rene Descartes

December 15

The Emancipation of Imagination

In 1817 the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge described “the willing suspension of disbelief” as an act of “poetic faith” through which a reader’s accepts fanciful aspects of a fictional work. Without this willingness the reader cannot surrender into any story that contain extraordinary circumstances or characters. Those of us who believe that human beings […]

Staying on the Inside – Unifying the Self with Reality

We live in fractured times. Our experience of reality and ourselves often seems to be dominated by a sense of isolation and separation. In the cannon of philosophy this sense of division is often spoken about as a product of The Western Enlightenment.The Enlightenment’s monumental leap forward in consciousness was in large part a movement […]

Why Does the World Exist?

We are here. That much seems clear. We can’t deny our own existence. Well actually great philosophers have denied our existence. What we can’t deny I suppose is that something exists. There is an experience of existence, of being, that is undeniably the foundation of everything. If nothing existed there would be nothing to contemplate […]

The Ego Tunnel and the Nature of Reality

Thomas Metzinger’s new book The Ego Tunnel weaves research in out-of-body experiences, lucid dreaming, phantom limbs and other extraordinary human occurrences with leading edge neuroscience to create a convincing picture of how neural activity constantly creates what we experience as reality. Our entire experience of what is; our bodily sensations, our identity and our experience […]

The Assumption of Reality

When we think about reality or talk about reality the big assumption we almost always make is that there is a reality to think and talk about. When Rene Descartes drew an astonishingly original distinction between the subject and the object he began a stream of thought that solidified a certain relationship to the concept […]

The Integral Assumption of American Philosophy

Mind cannot exist without matter; matter cannot exist without mind. This is what I have come to see as perhaps the most essential theme that runs through American philosophy. In the modern western world it is the French genius Rene Descartes that is cited as having definitively cleaved mind from matter res cogitans and res […]