René Decart

Rubí writes her Tuesday thinking blog:

Hello it’s the first Tuesday of the not-holidays and we have been fed at a reasonable time.  But hold it there. When I say “reasonable” do I really know what I mean?  Can we call anything reasonable? I very much doubt that most people ever consider that, whether they are ordinary people or donkey people.  That’s exactly why we have Tuesday thinkings and today in my Tuesday thinkings I shall evaluate the thinkings of philophoser René Decart.

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Morris has been reading to me from Decart, who did his writtings about four hundred years before Matilde was born and about three hundred and ninety-eight years before I was born because I am younger than she is but we both originally came from the same stable in Parcent where there were donkeys, horses, a mule and some goats. But I digress.

Decart did regular thinkings, as I do each week, and he decided one Tuesday to think that the body and the soul are two distinct things.  The soul is what does thinkings but the body is like my ears, which can’t keep still and keep swiveling round to hear what’s going on while I’m doing my thinkings.  The soul and the body – the thinkings and the ears – are quite independent, according to Decart.  The soul and the body are not connected.  This thinking of Decart is known as dualism, like my Tuesday thinking is known as Rubism.

I twitch my ears backwards: there’s a little bird cheeping in the lemon tree behind me. Flick one ear forward and there’s a distant sound of a fishing boat chugging out from Vilajoiosa port, while I hear the bird in the lemon tree behind me sharpen its beak on the tree bark. Then I angle both ears back crossly as Morris sneaks up behind and bites my leg.  I kick Morris and swing both ears to and fro, in side-lowering mode, to monitor the situation.

Decart was probably quite good at thinking about all that sort of thing, but he didn’t fully understand the connection between his soul and his ears.  While he undoubtedly moved his ears around while doing his thinking like me, he strangely claimed that ears are not connected to the soul and our identity has nothing to do with our ears.

Decart reached these conclusions by the “doubting method”.  Everything can be doubted except the fact that I am here doubting it! Because I doubt and do thinkings on a Tuesday, I must exist. Thus the inescapable conclusion is that I, Rubí am a thinker who happens to be connected to some furry ears, but the ears don’t really have anything to do with my soul. Rubbish!

Excuse me while I just roll in the dust.  ROFLMAO (with additional ass.)

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If you ask me, Decart hasn’t even got the limited intelligence of a horse.  I am Rubí because I have the soul of Rubí, and the nice soft furry ears are part of who I am.  It is time to examine more of Decart’s writtings, so I remind Morris that it’s my Tuesday thinking day and he must help by reading more of the Decart book to me. Morris always does the reading and I do the thinking.  He dutifully goes off and returns with the Decart book which he has hidden in the stable.

I ask him why he hid it and he says Matilde wanted to eat the book because she finds it heretical and offensive.  Her position as a Catholic is that the soul and the ears are a unity. The soul is the life of the ears. I gave this matter some further careful Tuesday thinking.  For once, Matilde seems to be quite right. This Decart philophoser fellow seems to be trying to deny our animal nature. He clearly thinks we are some sort of braying machine with moving ears that are not connected to Tuesday thinking.  Decart seems a bit of a fool.  Can’t he see that the whole of journey of God’s creation is from the very beginning a continuum, and the thinking donkey is the ultimate rational animal?  The soul and the ears are one.

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Allo allo, I am René and I had a peaceful café in Paris but it became full of German thinkers like Hegel and Nietzsche.

OK René, if you want a simple way of summing it up, I’ll give it to you: “I think therefore it’s Tuesday.”

Morris is getting a bit irritable.  He doesn’t like too much Tuesday thinking.  He tells me he has even stopped supporting Barcelona Football Club now they’ve gone political and declared Catalonia independent, but I can’t quite imagine Morris becoming an Atletico Madrid supporter.

I ask him to read a bit more of René Decart, and he does:

“I am accustomed to sleep and in my dreams to imagine the same things that lunatics imagine when awake.” 

It is not entirely clear to me, from the bits Morris has read to me, whether Decart was really in a long and complicated philophosical correspondence with Elisabeth, Princess of Bohemia, Abbess of the convent of Herford, or whether he made up the whole story to give his thinkings more credibility.

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Elisabeth of Bohemia questions René’s ideas about dualism while on a day out from her convent

Morris says he has got a headache.  I decide that’s enough for today.  If this is the rational basis for the modern human world that our Keeper inhabits, I pity him.  Enough of monsieur Decart.  But one last question still troubles me.

“Morris, what came before Decart?”

Morris snorts, lifts his top lip in a silly grin, and brays.

“Dedonkey!”

Rubí and Morris contemplate Decart
Rubí and Morris ponder Decart

__________________________

Next week Rubí will either consider John Locke’s monumental An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, the first great defence of empiricism; or if Morris can’t be bothered to read it to her she may focus on the relative merits of apples and carrots, and whether their respective sugar content is contributing to her weight problem and general skittishness.

2 thoughts on “René Decart

  1. Ah Rubi darling…you are priceless! I laughed all the way through your wonderful Tuesday ruminations. Morris needs to spend more time in intellectual pursuits rather than chewing on your pretty legs – cheeky boy. I look forward to your next reflections in a week’s time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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