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Subjectivity in Science (Interpretations of the Cartesian Project)
Subjectivity in Science (Interpretations of the Cartesian Project)
Description
About the Author

Dr Krishna Roy was a Professor of Philosophy at Jadavpur University. Her areas of interest include Phenomenology, Existentialism, Hermeneutics, Social and Political Philosophy. She has published Hermeneutics: East and West (Allied Publishers / Jadavpur University, 1993) and has edited Fusion of Horisonts: Socio-Spiritual Heritage of India (Allied Publishers, 2000) and Political Philosophy: East and West (Allied Publishers, 2003). She has co-edited five anthologies- Language, Knowledge and Ontology (Riddhi India / ICPR, 1988), Essays in Social and Political Philosophy (Allied Publishers / ICPR, 1989), Theory and Practice: A Collection of Essays (Allied Publishers / Jadavpur University, 2003), Understanding Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo (O.K. Print / Jadavpur University, 2007), Sri Aurobindo and his Contemporary Thinkers (O.K. Printworld / Jadavpur University, 2007). She was a member of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New Delhi.

At present she is associated with the Centre for Indological Study and Research at Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkata.

Foreword

Descartes is well known as the 'father of modern Philosophy' inasmuch as with his Cogito principle he effected a radical break with medieval thought which began with the idea of God rather than the idea of the thinking ego. At the same time Descartes was also a great mathematician responsible for the discovery of Cartesian geometry. Krishna Roy's book brings out another aspect of Descartes' contribution-namely, the way his Cogito principle serves as the foundation of modem science. This aspect of Descartes' contribution remains hidden under the mounting critique by contemporary thinkers of his seemingly untenable dualism between mind and matter, and his retreat into the interiority of the thinking self. But precisely these are ideas which became fruitful as laying the foundation of modem science; the former i.e., the much criticized dualism by freeing the reign of matter from interference by the mental, and the latter by anticipating and making possible the transcendental philosophy (of Kant and Husser!) as a way of grounding science. Krishna Roy shows these entire very well. In addition, she shows that even Heidegger's philosophy of modem science is based on the Cartesian subjectivity despite his well-known critique of subjectivity and attempts to overcome it. This chapter on Heidegger is consequently the most challenging one in the book. Other Cartesian thinkers, despite their critiques of the philosopher, are Merleau-Ponty and of course from this perspective, Hegel. They overcome dualism but not his priority of the subjective principle.

I believe this original interpretive study will arouse interest in Descartes, and free readers from that hasty critique of the so called 'Cartesian prejudice' - which only shows one of the abiding prejudices of contemporary anti-Cartesianism, fostered by ignorance of Descartes as also of much of contemporary thought.

Prologue

It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction that this research-work of mine is being published by the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkata. This has been possible due to the keen interest shown for this manuscript by Swami Sarvabhutanandaji Maharaj, Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Golpark and I am immensely grateful to him for kindly allowing it to be published by this Institute. I would also like to convey my deep reverence to Swami Prabhanandaji Maharaj, General Secretary, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission for graciously encouraging me to be associated with the Research Department of this Institute. I am thankful to Swami Prasannatmanandaji Maharaj and his associates in Research and Publication sections of this Institute for their co-operation in the publication process.

I started this work on Rene Descartes at the early stage of my academic career under the guidance of Late Professor K.K. Banerjee, the then Head of the Department of Philosophy, Jadavpur University, who initiated me to the fields -of Continental Philosophy with care and concern. I remember him with profound respect and gratitude.

I would like to convey my sincere gratitude to Professor D.P. Chattopadhyaya, Chairman, and Centre for Studies in Civilizations, for his help and advice in all my academic pursuits.

I acknowledge my gratitude to United States Educational Foundation in India for offering me the Fulbright Fellowship that enabled me to study at Pennsylvania State University, where I studied under Professor Joseph J. Kockelmans, who had graciously gone through the entire manuscript and suggested some improvements. I am extremely grateful to him.

I would like to thank Mrs. Santwana Ghosh for helping me by typing the entire manuscript.

While publishing this research-work I acknowledge with thanks that it is Professor Tirthanath Bandyopadhyay, my former colleague at Jadavpur University, who repeatedly insisted me to publish it but I was hesitant for I felt the need of incorporating many new ideas which were gradually being available to me over the years.

My foremost indebtedness is to my former teacher Professor J.N. Mohanty, the noted Phenomenologist, who always encouraged and helped me in all my academic endeavours. I am extremely grateful to him for writing a Foreword for this book. Inspite of his failing eyesight he has carefully gone through this entire manuscript and has suggested some improvements, which I have tried to incorporate. Here I would like to admit that the mistakes and shortcomings of this volume are only due to me. Professor Mohanty's guidance and Mrs. Mohanty's affection and concern for me have changed the course of my life and as a mark of my deep gratitude and profound respect I dedicate this book to them.

Introduction

The present work makes an attempt to understand and evaluate the Cartesian principle - Cogito, ergo sum - primarily in the light of some developments in contemporary philosophy and so to treat it at a new level. A word may be said here about the need felt for this kind of treatment of the Cartesian principle after these four intervening centuries. F. Waismann in his article entitled 'How T see Philosophy' invites our attention - not to the 'metaphysical quibbles' of the Cartesian philosophy- but to the 'spirit' of Descartes in formulating such speculations. I But the' spirit' as understood by F. Waismann may not be what it may appear to others. There might be alternative and equally cogent accounts of the spirit. In fact, even the Cartesian Cogito" principle has been interpreted in different ways: either as founding the sciences or as introducing the element of subjectivity in philosophy. The present work attempts to bring under one comprehensive account both these interpretations of the Cogito, ergo sum and to do justice to what Descartes intended and consequently, to accommodate the two parallel, if not rival, accounts of the Cartesian spirit.

Since its formulation in the seventeenth century this Cogito principle has received various interpretations, but most of them seek to reveal its idealistic or subjective aspects. Another significant aspect of this principle is not taken due notice of and this is the importance of the principle in founding- and justifying the sciences. A few contemporary writers have given attention to this aspect of the Cartesian principle and I would like to explore it by analysing and understanding the Cogito principle in its depths.

Besides this preliminary task of studying the relation of this Cogito principle to the sciences or to the foundations of them, the present work, further, intends to view this Cartesian principle in the light of two parallel contemporary philosophical developments i.e., the philosophy of subjectivity and the philosophy of science. Attempts have been made to bring these two trends closer to one another, since both these tendencies may be said to trace their descent from Descartes. In other words, Descartes - through his Cogito principle - not only introduced the element of subjectivity in philosophy, which was missing both in Greek and Medieval times, but also wanted to justify the-then 'new science' through it. Strictly speaking, the principle of subjectivity or the Cogito was not absolutely new, for St. Augustine and others were not unaware of it and some of them had considered it in some detail. But Descartes' treatment of it, as well as his attempt to relate it to the question of the foundations of science, was new. Indeed, his attempt to enrich the natural sciences by reversing the prevalent practice of arriving at metaphysics from physics and by attempting to reach physics from metaphysics with the help of this principle is very remarkable. Accordingly, both the philosophers of subjectivity and those of natural sciences develop their philosophies, though largely independently, yet inspired by him. This forms a part of the basic contention of this project, viz., whether and how far the sciences need a foundation of subjectivity. This question has haunted many famous philosophers and scientists through the ages and like many other philosophical problems still remains a polemical one. I have attempted to give a tolerably reasonable answer to the question, though I know that it would not satisfy everybody concerned. But then my main emphasis has been to analyse and understand the question from the Cartesian perspective and when it has been felt to be necessary to go beyond and reinterpret the Cartesian position in view of some current developments, which an orthodox Cartesian may not relish.

Now, a brief outline of the present work may be given here. The first part of the work seeks to explain the nature of the Cartesian dictum - Cogito, ergo sum. Though we are familiar with the description of Descartes as the father of modern philosophy, yet it should be remembered that Descartes' primary interest was in physics and mathematics. In order to find justification for his scientific speculations, he turned towards philosophy and the Cogito principle became the first indubitable starting point of his philosophy. The various motives which led to the formulation of this significant principle have been discussed in the first chapter. The discussion of motives purports to show that by this Cogito principle, Descartes originally intended mainly to give a stable foundation to the sciences. After a brief discussion of the axiomatic, non- syllogistic nature of the Cogito principle, various implications of the principle have been discussed. Besides, how the other aspects of the Cartesian philosophy can be derived from it has been explained too. It may be mentioned that the treatment of the subject in the first chapter is chiefly from the orthodox points of view and accordingly the contemporary treatments of the subject have been left out.

The first chapter states that the Cogito principle was used by Descartes to found the sciences. But it does not show how he used it. This is discussed in the second chapter. The Cogito principle seeks to justify the sciences by providing a criterion of truth. Descartes applied this criterion to reassess the concepts of matter and mind and this reassessment of him or his reconstruction of the concepts helped the sciences of physics and psychology to advance. So, some significant consequences of the Cartesian reconstruction of the concept and its importance in anticipating some modem tendencies in physics, physiology and psychology have also been discussed briefly.

Now, Descartes tried to found the sciences on something other than science. Some famous philosophers after Descartes also tried to do so. In the third chapter attempts have been made to discuss the contentions of some of these philosophers. These philosophers have not been discussed in detail for each of them requires a special study for himself. But then, as it is evident, that their differences from Descartes were fundamentally in their methods and philosophical perspectives (not in their desire to analyse scientific knowledge), attempts have been to concentrate, though briefly, on these differences.

The second part of the book seeks to trace the development of the conc.ept of subjectivity in phenomenology and existentialism and thereby to consider the influence of the Cartesian Cogito on such development. The transition from the first part to the second may appear sudden and discontinuous and a word is necessary to show the link between the first and the second part. In the first part, it has been argued that Descartes sought to found the sciences on subjectivity. While reviewing the relation of science and subjectivity in contemporary times or in the period intervening between Descartes and contemporary times, it cannot but be noticed that the attempts at analysing the concept of subjectivity as such, or as providing the foundation of the sciences, as well as the attempts at philosophising on the nature and foundation of the sciences, have undergone substantial changes and so if an adequate understanding of the Cartesian project is aimed at, it can only be done in the light of these changes.

Thus, now-a-days, neither the philosophers nor the scientists take 'subjectivity' to refer to reason or conceptual consciousness. By 'subjectivity' they often mean personal, conditioned, contingent, perceptual consciousness. Such transformation of the sense and implication of the notion of subjectivity is primarily due to the influence of phenomenology and existentialism. But it may be added that even in these reconstructions of the subjectivity, Cartesian Cogito plays a prominent role, for such attempts at reconstructions (and those who make them), take great pains in showing the improvisations of the Cogito or the grooming of it properly.

Consequently, the discussion of the second part of the book is somewhat comparative in nature, for an attempt has been made there to reassess the influence of Descartes on the philosophies of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, which gradually determine the course of transformation of the concept of subjectivity. Accordingly the discussion of the second part begins with an account of Husserl's phenomenology. The discussion purports to show the similarity of Husserl and Descartes in respect of their philosophic-goal and method; and though Husserl was greatly influenced by Descartes in his account of subjectivity yet he gave it a new and original turn in that he treated it as something transcendental, a concept with which Descartes was hardly acquainted and to which he would not have given his approval. Husserl introduced a new way of viewing the concept, viz., the phenomenological way. After a brief discussion of the notion of subjectivity, as understood by these two philosophers, efforts have been made to show that both of them wanted to employ subjectivity for explaining the objective, natural world. But in the case of Husserl, we find that this subjectivity, unlike in Descartes and Kant is neither separate from, nor constituting, the world; it is, rather, involved or embedded in the world itself. So, the 'crisis' of the sciences, as envisaged by Husserl, is to conceive it as a completely mathematical, objective, de- humanized 'nature of the physicist' and to him the nature-as- experienced is, really speaking, the nature as conditioned by 'our consciousness' or subjectivity.

After Husserl, phenomenology received a distinctive existential hermeneutic turn in Heidegger, who, like his predecessor, seeks to disclose the tacit dimensions of Cartesianism in order to reveal its significance for the contemporary 'world picture'. Heidegger represents Descartes as the liberator from bondage and tradition and hermeneutically reconstructs Cartesianism as the fulfillment of an incipient metaphysical urge. He further explores how with the Cartesian inspiration man, once determined to investigate and behold the truly real, finds himself in that self-certainty to be more and more the determining centre of reality. In that Cartesian emphasis on man's self-assurance Heidegger notices the dawn of the Neuzeit.

Contents

Publisher's NoteIX
ForewordXII
PrologueXIII
AcknowledgementXV
Introduction1
Part I
Chapter One : Descartes' Formulation of the Cogito, ergo sum11
Chapter Two: The Cogito Principle as the Foundation of Science40
Chapter Three: Understanding of the Cartesian Goal in the Post-Cartesian Period56
Part II
Chapter One: The Cartesian Influence on Husserl's Phenomemology71
Chapter Two: Heideggerian Retrieval of Cartesianism95
Chapter Three: A New Approach to the Cogito: Jean Paul Sartre113
Chapter Four: Merleau-Ponty's Interpretation of the Cartesian Concept of Subjectivity139
Epilogue167
Science and Subjectivity
Notes and References195
Bibliography219
Index of name237
Index of Subjects241

Subjectivity in Science (Interpretations of the Cartesian Project)

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2009
ISBN:
9788187332558
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243
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About the Author

Dr Krishna Roy was a Professor of Philosophy at Jadavpur University. Her areas of interest include Phenomenology, Existentialism, Hermeneutics, Social and Political Philosophy. She has published Hermeneutics: East and West (Allied Publishers / Jadavpur University, 1993) and has edited Fusion of Horisonts: Socio-Spiritual Heritage of India (Allied Publishers, 2000) and Political Philosophy: East and West (Allied Publishers, 2003). She has co-edited five anthologies- Language, Knowledge and Ontology (Riddhi India / ICPR, 1988), Essays in Social and Political Philosophy (Allied Publishers / ICPR, 1989), Theory and Practice: A Collection of Essays (Allied Publishers / Jadavpur University, 2003), Understanding Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo (O.K. Print / Jadavpur University, 2007), Sri Aurobindo and his Contemporary Thinkers (O.K. Printworld / Jadavpur University, 2007). She was a member of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New Delhi.

At present she is associated with the Centre for Indological Study and Research at Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkata.

Foreword

Descartes is well known as the 'father of modern Philosophy' inasmuch as with his Cogito principle he effected a radical break with medieval thought which began with the idea of God rather than the idea of the thinking ego. At the same time Descartes was also a great mathematician responsible for the discovery of Cartesian geometry. Krishna Roy's book brings out another aspect of Descartes' contribution-namely, the way his Cogito principle serves as the foundation of modem science. This aspect of Descartes' contribution remains hidden under the mounting critique by contemporary thinkers of his seemingly untenable dualism between mind and matter, and his retreat into the interiority of the thinking self. But precisely these are ideas which became fruitful as laying the foundation of modem science; the former i.e., the much criticized dualism by freeing the reign of matter from interference by the mental, and the latter by anticipating and making possible the transcendental philosophy (of Kant and Husser!) as a way of grounding science. Krishna Roy shows these entire very well. In addition, she shows that even Heidegger's philosophy of modem science is based on the Cartesian subjectivity despite his well-known critique of subjectivity and attempts to overcome it. This chapter on Heidegger is consequently the most challenging one in the book. Other Cartesian thinkers, despite their critiques of the philosopher, are Merleau-Ponty and of course from this perspective, Hegel. They overcome dualism but not his priority of the subjective principle.

I believe this original interpretive study will arouse interest in Descartes, and free readers from that hasty critique of the so called 'Cartesian prejudice' - which only shows one of the abiding prejudices of contemporary anti-Cartesianism, fostered by ignorance of Descartes as also of much of contemporary thought.

Prologue

It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction that this research-work of mine is being published by the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkata. This has been possible due to the keen interest shown for this manuscript by Swami Sarvabhutanandaji Maharaj, Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Golpark and I am immensely grateful to him for kindly allowing it to be published by this Institute. I would also like to convey my deep reverence to Swami Prabhanandaji Maharaj, General Secretary, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission for graciously encouraging me to be associated with the Research Department of this Institute. I am thankful to Swami Prasannatmanandaji Maharaj and his associates in Research and Publication sections of this Institute for their co-operation in the publication process.

I started this work on Rene Descartes at the early stage of my academic career under the guidance of Late Professor K.K. Banerjee, the then Head of the Department of Philosophy, Jadavpur University, who initiated me to the fields -of Continental Philosophy with care and concern. I remember him with profound respect and gratitude.

I would like to convey my sincere gratitude to Professor D.P. Chattopadhyaya, Chairman, and Centre for Studies in Civilizations, for his help and advice in all my academic pursuits.

I acknowledge my gratitude to United States Educational Foundation in India for offering me the Fulbright Fellowship that enabled me to study at Pennsylvania State University, where I studied under Professor Joseph J. Kockelmans, who had graciously gone through the entire manuscript and suggested some improvements. I am extremely grateful to him.

I would like to thank Mrs. Santwana Ghosh for helping me by typing the entire manuscript.

While publishing this research-work I acknowledge with thanks that it is Professor Tirthanath Bandyopadhyay, my former colleague at Jadavpur University, who repeatedly insisted me to publish it but I was hesitant for I felt the need of incorporating many new ideas which were gradually being available to me over the years.

My foremost indebtedness is to my former teacher Professor J.N. Mohanty, the noted Phenomenologist, who always encouraged and helped me in all my academic endeavours. I am extremely grateful to him for writing a Foreword for this book. Inspite of his failing eyesight he has carefully gone through this entire manuscript and has suggested some improvements, which I have tried to incorporate. Here I would like to admit that the mistakes and shortcomings of this volume are only due to me. Professor Mohanty's guidance and Mrs. Mohanty's affection and concern for me have changed the course of my life and as a mark of my deep gratitude and profound respect I dedicate this book to them.

Introduction

The present work makes an attempt to understand and evaluate the Cartesian principle - Cogito, ergo sum - primarily in the light of some developments in contemporary philosophy and so to treat it at a new level. A word may be said here about the need felt for this kind of treatment of the Cartesian principle after these four intervening centuries. F. Waismann in his article entitled 'How T see Philosophy' invites our attention - not to the 'metaphysical quibbles' of the Cartesian philosophy- but to the 'spirit' of Descartes in formulating such speculations. I But the' spirit' as understood by F. Waismann may not be what it may appear to others. There might be alternative and equally cogent accounts of the spirit. In fact, even the Cartesian Cogito" principle has been interpreted in different ways: either as founding the sciences or as introducing the element of subjectivity in philosophy. The present work attempts to bring under one comprehensive account both these interpretations of the Cogito, ergo sum and to do justice to what Descartes intended and consequently, to accommodate the two parallel, if not rival, accounts of the Cartesian spirit.

Since its formulation in the seventeenth century this Cogito principle has received various interpretations, but most of them seek to reveal its idealistic or subjective aspects. Another significant aspect of this principle is not taken due notice of and this is the importance of the principle in founding- and justifying the sciences. A few contemporary writers have given attention to this aspect of the Cartesian principle and I would like to explore it by analysing and understanding the Cogito principle in its depths.

Besides this preliminary task of studying the relation of this Cogito principle to the sciences or to the foundations of them, the present work, further, intends to view this Cartesian principle in the light of two parallel contemporary philosophical developments i.e., the philosophy of subjectivity and the philosophy of science. Attempts have been made to bring these two trends closer to one another, since both these tendencies may be said to trace their descent from Descartes. In other words, Descartes - through his Cogito principle - not only introduced the element of subjectivity in philosophy, which was missing both in Greek and Medieval times, but also wanted to justify the-then 'new science' through it. Strictly speaking, the principle of subjectivity or the Cogito was not absolutely new, for St. Augustine and others were not unaware of it and some of them had considered it in some detail. But Descartes' treatment of it, as well as his attempt to relate it to the question of the foundations of science, was new. Indeed, his attempt to enrich the natural sciences by reversing the prevalent practice of arriving at metaphysics from physics and by attempting to reach physics from metaphysics with the help of this principle is very remarkable. Accordingly, both the philosophers of subjectivity and those of natural sciences develop their philosophies, though largely independently, yet inspired by him. This forms a part of the basic contention of this project, viz., whether and how far the sciences need a foundation of subjectivity. This question has haunted many famous philosophers and scientists through the ages and like many other philosophical problems still remains a polemical one. I have attempted to give a tolerably reasonable answer to the question, though I know that it would not satisfy everybody concerned. But then my main emphasis has been to analyse and understand the question from the Cartesian perspective and when it has been felt to be necessary to go beyond and reinterpret the Cartesian position in view of some current developments, which an orthodox Cartesian may not relish.

Now, a brief outline of the present work may be given here. The first part of the work seeks to explain the nature of the Cartesian dictum - Cogito, ergo sum. Though we are familiar with the description of Descartes as the father of modern philosophy, yet it should be remembered that Descartes' primary interest was in physics and mathematics. In order to find justification for his scientific speculations, he turned towards philosophy and the Cogito principle became the first indubitable starting point of his philosophy. The various motives which led to the formulation of this significant principle have been discussed in the first chapter. The discussion of motives purports to show that by this Cogito principle, Descartes originally intended mainly to give a stable foundation to the sciences. After a brief discussion of the axiomatic, non- syllogistic nature of the Cogito principle, various implications of the principle have been discussed. Besides, how the other aspects of the Cartesian philosophy can be derived from it has been explained too. It may be mentioned that the treatment of the subject in the first chapter is chiefly from the orthodox points of view and accordingly the contemporary treatments of the subject have been left out.

The first chapter states that the Cogito principle was used by Descartes to found the sciences. But it does not show how he used it. This is discussed in the second chapter. The Cogito principle seeks to justify the sciences by providing a criterion of truth. Descartes applied this criterion to reassess the concepts of matter and mind and this reassessment of him or his reconstruction of the concepts helped the sciences of physics and psychology to advance. So, some significant consequences of the Cartesian reconstruction of the concept and its importance in anticipating some modem tendencies in physics, physiology and psychology have also been discussed briefly.

Now, Descartes tried to found the sciences on something other than science. Some famous philosophers after Descartes also tried to do so. In the third chapter attempts have been made to discuss the contentions of some of these philosophers. These philosophers have not been discussed in detail for each of them requires a special study for himself. But then, as it is evident, that their differences from Descartes were fundamentally in their methods and philosophical perspectives (not in their desire to analyse scientific knowledge), attempts have been to concentrate, though briefly, on these differences.

The second part of the book seeks to trace the development of the conc.ept of subjectivity in phenomenology and existentialism and thereby to consider the influence of the Cartesian Cogito on such development. The transition from the first part to the second may appear sudden and discontinuous and a word is necessary to show the link between the first and the second part. In the first part, it has been argued that Descartes sought to found the sciences on subjectivity. While reviewing the relation of science and subjectivity in contemporary times or in the period intervening between Descartes and contemporary times, it cannot but be noticed that the attempts at analysing the concept of subjectivity as such, or as providing the foundation of the sciences, as well as the attempts at philosophising on the nature and foundation of the sciences, have undergone substantial changes and so if an adequate understanding of the Cartesian project is aimed at, it can only be done in the light of these changes.

Thus, now-a-days, neither the philosophers nor the scientists take 'subjectivity' to refer to reason or conceptual consciousness. By 'subjectivity' they often mean personal, conditioned, contingent, perceptual consciousness. Such transformation of the sense and implication of the notion of subjectivity is primarily due to the influence of phenomenology and existentialism. But it may be added that even in these reconstructions of the subjectivity, Cartesian Cogito plays a prominent role, for such attempts at reconstructions (and those who make them), take great pains in showing the improvisations of the Cogito or the grooming of it properly.

Consequently, the discussion of the second part of the book is somewhat comparative in nature, for an attempt has been made there to reassess the influence of Descartes on the philosophies of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, which gradually determine the course of transformation of the concept of subjectivity. Accordingly the discussion of the second part begins with an account of Husserl's phenomenology. The discussion purports to show the similarity of Husserl and Descartes in respect of their philosophic-goal and method; and though Husserl was greatly influenced by Descartes in his account of subjectivity yet he gave it a new and original turn in that he treated it as something transcendental, a concept with which Descartes was hardly acquainted and to which he would not have given his approval. Husserl introduced a new way of viewing the concept, viz., the phenomenological way. After a brief discussion of the notion of subjectivity, as understood by these two philosophers, efforts have been made to show that both of them wanted to employ subjectivity for explaining the objective, natural world. But in the case of Husserl, we find that this subjectivity, unlike in Descartes and Kant is neither separate from, nor constituting, the world; it is, rather, involved or embedded in the world itself. So, the 'crisis' of the sciences, as envisaged by Husserl, is to conceive it as a completely mathematical, objective, de- humanized 'nature of the physicist' and to him the nature-as- experienced is, really speaking, the nature as conditioned by 'our consciousness' or subjectivity.

After Husserl, phenomenology received a distinctive existential hermeneutic turn in Heidegger, who, like his predecessor, seeks to disclose the tacit dimensions of Cartesianism in order to reveal its significance for the contemporary 'world picture'. Heidegger represents Descartes as the liberator from bondage and tradition and hermeneutically reconstructs Cartesianism as the fulfillment of an incipient metaphysical urge. He further explores how with the Cartesian inspiration man, once determined to investigate and behold the truly real, finds himself in that self-certainty to be more and more the determining centre of reality. In that Cartesian emphasis on man's self-assurance Heidegger notices the dawn of the Neuzeit.

Contents

Publisher's NoteIX
ForewordXII
PrologueXIII
AcknowledgementXV
Introduction1
Part I
Chapter One : Descartes' Formulation of the Cogito, ergo sum11
Chapter Two: The Cogito Principle as the Foundation of Science40
Chapter Three: Understanding of the Cartesian Goal in the Post-Cartesian Period56
Part II
Chapter One: The Cartesian Influence on Husserl's Phenomemology71
Chapter Two: Heideggerian Retrieval of Cartesianism95
Chapter Three: A New Approach to the Cogito: Jean Paul Sartre113
Chapter Four: Merleau-Ponty's Interpretation of the Cartesian Concept of Subjectivity139
Epilogue167
Science and Subjectivity
Notes and References195
Bibliography219
Index of name237
Index of Subjects241
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I have received the parcel yesterday and the shiv-linga idol is sooo beautiful and u have exceeded my expectations...
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Yesterday I received my lost and through you again found order. Very quickly I must say !. Thank you and thank you again for your service. I am very happy with this double CD of Ustad Shujaat Husain Khan. I thought it was lost forever and now I can add it to my CD collection. I hope in the near future to buy again at your online shop. You have wonderful items to offer !
Joke van der Baars, the Netherlands
I recently ordered a hand embroidered stole. It was expensive and I was slightly worried about ordering it on line. It has arrived and is magnificent. I couldn't be happier, I will treasure this stole for ever. Thank you.
Jackie
Today Lord SIVA arrived well in Munich. Thank you for the save packing. Everything fine. Hari Om
Hermann, Munchen
Thank you very much for keeping such an exotic collection of Books. Keep going strong Exotic India!!!
Shweta, Germany
TRUSTe
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