Saturday, August 31, 2013


We connect to the world through our emotions.  Emotions, at least in part, play the part of the "and".  Our emotions, to a large extent, determine how we interact with people and how we interact with objects. They determine which people we want to see and eventually do see, and what things we want to do.  (And doing things, while it may involve doing things with people, also involves doing things with objects.)   If I am happy and energetic, one set of possibilities show themselves to me, and if I am depressed, another shows itself to me (i.e. staying in bed; and a bed of course is an object) Of course some of the same possibilities may show themselves to me when I'm happy and when I'm depressed, but how I regard them -or what might be called my being towards them if you're a fan of the word being, differs.

Thus, the "and" participates in emotions.  But the "or" does as well.  For in order to have an emotion, I must be other than the object or person towards whom I have an emotion.   It is axiomatic.  Even if I'm happy and "am one" with everything and everyone, I can't be removed from the equation.  An equation by its nature involves more than one variable.  Thus, emotions are self referential, and as they are self referential, they draw away from other people and objects.

So am I a Cartesian?  You bet your life I am.  It has become fashionable to trash Descartes over the last few hundred years, to blame all of philosophy's problems on this poor man.  Blame yourself. Descartes had it right.