Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rene Descartes VS Ludwig Wittgenstein; …Where are the differences in modes of thinking?

It would be repetition to quote Descartes’ most famous conclusion, “I think therefore I am”….however, we can’t escape quoting it ……as it is the core of Descartian Philosophy….. Descartes, started questioning what we can know?….and negating one by one everything knowable…. and boiled down to “I think therefore I am”….concluding that…the only thing we can know with certainty…..is consciousness of self as source of thinking…. Well, it came from a time of philosophy….when the trend was to construct a philosophical system…..so Descartian method was to deconstruct the existing philosophical systems and reconstruct a new system based on the knowledge of a thinking mind…..
In previous century….Ludwig Wittgenstein tried to challenge the Descartian system by adapting an quite an opposite approach….starting from the culture (Culture is the collective consciousness in response to individualistic consciousness)….he thought that there is no genuine philosophical problem….the philosophical problems arise from miscommunications…… later on he abandoned this idea to construct another one that…there are philosophical problems but they come from interactions of different language games….. Whatever…….In nutshell, his approach was based on collective consciousness………….
Here, I am not going to compare and judge Descartian and Wittgensteinian Philosophical system (s?)…. I just want to show…from where came the differences of their approaches?
Some of you might have reached to the point before I mention them….Yes, because they are thinkers…so the sources of the differences must come from unequal usage of the specialized parts of brain….As we all know that cerebral part of brain got two hemispheres…..Left hemisphere (Which is verbal part of brain and think in steps…. e.g, mathematical problems are solved step by step Or writing an article which are stepwise, title, introduction, main body and conclusion…. And so on…..It is also famous as logical thinking)…… and Right Hemisphere (Which is nonverbal part of brain and thinks as a whole….e.g, looking a scenery…. when we see the scene as a whole…. we don’t see in steps…to see e.g, grasses first, then to tree, then mountain and then sky and then sun and then scattered clouds…. We see them as a whole….It is also famous as visual thinking part of brain or creative thinking part of brain)…. It is believed that because philosophers are logical thinkers so they have L -thinking mode (Rely on their left hemisphere of brain for thinking)….
I brought here the examples of Descartes and Wittgenstein as philosophers of two different approaches….Descartes is a reducationist in his approach and relies on himself as a unit of consciousness…. And Wittgenstein is wholist in his approach and relies on the culture as a unit of collective consciousness….. Reductionist approach is the characteristic of the Left-hemisphere or L –mode of thinking….and wholist approach is the characteristic of the Right hemisphere or R – mode of thinking…..
Some may argue that Philosophy can’t be done without step-wise thinking…..Well, that is true…but if we take philosophy as an article….thinking (L-mode of thinking) make the introduction and body of the article…..the title and conclusion come from judgments (R – mode of thinking) ……..
Now coming back to Descartes and Wittgenstein…..we can easily understand that Descartes has focused more on the introduction and body….but Wittgenstein on title and conclusion…so we see the dominance of the L-mode of thinking in Descartian approach….and R- mode of thinking in Wittgensteinian approach…..
Having the knowledge of the L –mode of thinking and R –mode of thinking….and the examples are in the works of the previous philosophers/thinkers to illustrate them…..we need a new approach in philosophy and thinking mode…..I expect that the new approach would begin with an encyclopedic thinking to become refine later from its findings……………….
Perhaps what we call a new approach in philosophy is the rediscovery of the 5000 years old, Chinese Philosophy of Yin-Yang….or what is commonly known as duality….. In common expression people call the “judgments” as thinking by heart or the decision of the heart…. In is mostly stressed in East…. Though heart is an internal organ (and is involuntary) but it lays in left-side of body….perhaps as Right hemisphere controls left-side of the body….we feel that judgments come from heart…anyway, whether we say judgments come from right-hemisphere or heart is almost the same…..
In a simple way….it is needed that students are taught…how to use both hemispheres of the brain….and teach techniques that integrate both….Mnemonists are developing such techniques….I will write about them in another article….
Besides, I think that we live in time of mushrooming of inter-disciplinary fields …..and time is ripe for combining techniques and knowledge in thinking/mind sciences, physical trainings and nutrition….By integrating the techniques and knowledge of these fields….we can create an awesome tool for physical and mental developments and wellbeing :)…….

2 comments:

  1. The right brain, left brain concept of logical vs. creative is a myth. Work that out before you try Wittgenstein.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why do you keep...putting ellipses...all over...your blog...?

    ReplyDelete