Open Philosophy 5 (1):330-339 (2022)

Richard Polt
Xavier University (Cincinnati)
The essay investigates two personae: Socrates as depicted by Plato and Descartes as narrator of the Discourse on Method and Meditations. Socrates is aware of his ignorance and insists on remembering to care for the self; Descartes claims to have overcome ignorance through a method that breaks problems into simple and certain elements, establishing a self-certain yet impersonal subject that comprehends and controls objects. The Cartesian approach has led to the modern process of “liquidation” that reduces beings, property, and truth to resources, wealth, and information – initiating the dangerous and unprecedented epoch known as the Anthropocene. The Socratic approach offers some promise of reintegration and resistance to liquidation by urging us to care for wholeness and recognizing that being exceeds what we comprehend.
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DOI 10.1515/opphil-2022-0206
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References found in this work BETA

Pensées.Blaise Pascal - 1670 - In Aloysius Martinich, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger. London: Blackwell. pp. 111-112.
Time and Trauma: Thinking Through Heidegger in the Thirties.Richard Polt - 2019 - London: Rowman & Littlefield International.
Pensées.Blaise Pascal - 2004 - Hackett Publishing Company.

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