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Cartesian anxiety: Wikis

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Cartesian anxiety refers to the notion that, ever since René Descartes promulgated his highly influential form of body-mind dualism, Western civilization has suffered from a longing for ontological certainty, or feeling that scientific methods, and especially the study of the world as a thing separate from ourselves, should be able to lead us to a firm and unchanging knowledge of ourselves and the world around us. The term is named after Descartes because of his well-known emphasis on "mind" as different from "body", "self" as different from "other".

Richard J. Bernstein is recognized as having coined the term in his 1983 book Beyond Objectivism and Relativism: Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxis.


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