Academic journal article Journal of Evolutionary Psychology

At the Edge of Contemplation

Academic journal article Journal of Evolutionary Psychology

At the Edge of Contemplation

Article excerpt

We live in a time, in which terrorism has become a "new" kind of war. The question that arises is: Why is this "new" war so difficult to understand? We are living in an age of excellent technological development. What is the diffilculty to understand this dilemma?

The French philosopher Rene Descartes coined a phrase which deals with human reasoning: "Cogito ergo sum"("I think therefore I am"--a human being). The French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre was unable to accept Descartes' phrase and changed it to: "Sum ergo cogito" (I am therefore I think). In what way are these two phrases different? Descartes emphasizes the mental capacity of the thinking person. Sartre emphasizes the human body as well as its capacity to think. Both are parts of human existence, according to Sartre. The German poet Hermann Hesse states in his short story "Der Dichter" (The Poet) : the physical aspect, i.e. the unconscious, is our origin and we strive to be spiritual as we grow up. Our physical existence is primary and the mental aspect is secondary. According to Sartre, the synthesis of body and mind must be created. It is remarkable that the expression "individual" reflects the notion that body and mind cannot be "divided". For thousands of years it was assumed that education is the source of becoming an "individual", i.e.an honorable, decent human being. Unfortunately, there are many examples of highly educated human beings who have received academic degrees, but are unable to remain decent, human beings. …

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