Discourse On The Method Of Reasoning by Rene Descartes

By Rene Descartes

'A Discourse at the process' is among the such a lot influential works within the heritage of recent philosophy, and demanding to the improvement of traditional sciences. during this paintings, Descartes tackles the matter of skepticism, which had formerly been studied by way of Sextus Empiricus, Al-Ghazali and Michel de Montaigne. Descartes converted it to account for a fact he chanced on to be incontrovertible. Descartes began his line of reasoning by means of doubting every thing, in order to verify the realm from a clean standpoint, away from any preconceived notions.

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Qxd 8/28/2007 2:17 PM Page 37 • • • Sociology and the Criminological Subject • • • connect them with drug use (learning, in other words, to get high); and (3) learning to enjoy the sensation he perceives. In the course of this process he develops a disposition or motivation to use marijuana which was not and could not have been present when he began use, for it involves and depends on conceptions of the drug which could only grow out of the kind of actual experience detailed above. On completion of this process he is willing and able to use marijuana for pleasure.

The whole process is self-perpetuating, in that poverty, low intelligence, and early school failure lead to truancy and a lack of educational qualifications, which in turn lead to low status jobs and periods of unemployment, both of which make it hard to achieve goals legitimately. (ibid: 681–2) Thus, despite the dynamism implicit in the processual model and the possibility of things turning out differently, this subject who is an amalgam of risk factors is also a very passive, determined one: given a high loading of relevant risk factors, antisocial tendencies arise early and tend to persist; only the particular manifestations change through the life course.

But whatever the shortcomings of the early psychoanalytic criminology, its sensitivity to the issue of ‘mental conflict’ was not misplaced. Rather, what was needed was a more thoroughgoing attempt to free psychoanalysis from the discourses of psychopathology; greater commitment to empirical analysis; a more radical rethinking of the relationships between conscious and unconscious dynamics, including ‘intra’- and ‘inter’-subjective processes and ‘identity formation’ and ‘identification’; and a more complex understanding of the subject’s relation to the social world.

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