Rene Descartes Assignments

Rene Descartes just lost his daughter Francine to scarlet fever the year before, in Amersfoort, Netherlands; he is still distraught, lately is amenable to company.  The philosopher has just completed the Meditations in 1639 and is standing in front of a local bookseller; you had a chance to read them and consider the implications of Descartes’ thoughts found in Sixth Meditation, concerning distinguishing mind and body, later to be known as Cartesian Dualism. As a sympathetic but contrarian student of philosophy you ask to talk with him about his ideas.  Summarize his arguments, identify the core issue, give your own thesis and defense, and write out the objections Descartes would have with your view and your responses to the philosopher.  Provide a specific example or area of application, such as AI, robotics, machine consciousness, medicine, comatose people, non-human animal life, etc. to populate the theoretical discussion.
Please use Rene Descartes book: Meditations, objections and replies.

Step 1: Summary – Give a synopsis of the opposing positions, being careful to avoid editorializing or indicating a personal opinion.
Step 2: Identifying the Core Issue – Cut through the details and succinctly state the central issue of the discussion as a “yes” or “no” question.
Step 3: Thesis & Defense – Decide your position (“yes” or “no”) and then defend it with compelling arguments.
Step 4: Objections & Responses – Raise some reasonable objections to the arguments presented in Thesis and answer them.

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