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Question: Does this paper suck!? its a one pg double space for philosophy!?
explain why descartes feel that animals do not have minds like humans

Descartes believes that animals do not have a brain like humans do because they lack the ability to reason and they have no real language!. He initially explains that one could not tell the difference between an animal and a machine but it is possible to tell the difference between a human and a machine!. The reason being is that a machine cannot declare its thoughts as humans do and cannot make sense of what a human says in its presence so that it can respond meaningfully!. Neither animals nor machines can use words or create signs to declare their thoughts to others as humans do!.
Descartes further refutes the opinion that animals have minds by saying that they recite words or perform actions based on fear, joy, hope and instinct; thus inferring that they do it without any thought!. For example, humans eat without thought as do animals eat without thought!. It’s just a natural occurrence, it’s innate!.
He emphasizes that because animals do exhibit more skill than humans in some instances, it does not prove that they have minds because if they did, they would be able to excel past us in every aspect!. He contributes animals excelling us to nature, comparing them to a clock, which can measure time better than humans can ever measure with our minds alone, yet lacks a mind!.
He mentions that men who are born deaf-mutes create a way to communicate to others in their surroundings which obviously takes thought!. However, animals do not have the same ability to do so or they would have ways to communicate with humans and their fellows!.
Overall, Descartes is basically saying that everything that animals are capable of doing is based upon nature and the natural make up of their body!. For example, a cheetah will outrun man because of the natural makeup of its body and not because of thought!. If animals actually had minds, they could ultimately outsmart humans and that has yet to be the case!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker:
I'm currently completing my MA in phil, maybe that counts when I say your paper does not suck at all!. Being concise and complete are the two hardest things to do at the same time and you manage the task quite well!. That being said, let me offer a few edits here!.

First off, your first paragraph is near perfect (for the task)!. I wouldn't change it at all!. Very precise, especially your first sentence!.

The line "Descartes further refutes the opinion that animals have minds!.!.!." should not include "recite words" because you only mention animals, not machines there!. Instead, leave it at "!.!.!.animals have minds by saying that they perform actions based solely on fear, joy !.!.!."

Next line: "thus illustrating that they do it without any thought"!. I think you're not using inferring correctly there!.

Next paragraph: "He emphasizes the point that because animals do exhibit more skill than humans in some instances, it does not prove that they have minds!. If they did, they would!.!.!." !. just sounds more elegant by breaking it up into a couple sentences!.

Next line: "He contributes animals excelling us to nature!.!.!." That's an awkward line!. I would rephrase it!. The "excelling us to nature" doesn't make much sense (except maybe to Descartes :)

Next (the last) paragraph: Change to "In short, Descartes' fundamental premise is that everything that animals are capable!.!.!."

I hope that helps!. It really is written quite well, save for a few awkward parts!. But remember clarity, being concise, and complete are the keys to good philosophy!. You definitely achieve these goals!. The edits above are just points on style, which develops over time!.

One thing though!. Make sure you are making proper citations and referencing ( if it is actually a requirement of the course/professor)!. If they require you to do so, and you don't, you could run into trouble!.

I hope this helps out somewhat!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

I agree that it needs more work!. It is very stilted and doesn't flow well!.
also, a bit of inference and criticism is needed!. Possibly showing the inherent weakness in his argument!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

AdamDW has said pretty much everything I was going to!. To those of you talking about citations and anticipating counter-arguments, you have to realize what the assignment is: ONE DOUBLE-SPACED PAGE; SUMMARY!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

It has some work to do, but it doesn't really suck!. I would go into some criticism of his views at the end as well!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Some really good answers above!. Wow, a lot of people are really hardcore with the references and the MLA/APA formatting!. I just would like to add , start out your paper with a paragraph that introduces your thesis!. Then have 3 paragraphs that support your thesis, and then 3 paragraphs that doesn't support your thesis!. These will be the pros and cons of your thesis!. And then end with your conclusions and thoughts on your thesis!. Okay, good luck!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Well, what level are you writing on (high-school paper or college!?) and how long is the paper!? I can't really find a strong thesis statement in there and if it's a simple 1000 word essay it should be in the first paragraph, but if it's longer then it's possible you haven't gotten to that point yet, if so disregard my comment!.

I think your english is decent, but if it's a higher level essay then make sure those are all your own words, otherwise you need to work on your citations (they're not so anal about citation in high-school) I say this because you say "he emphasizes" or "he contributes" and when you paraphrase someone you need to include an in-text citation according to the writing style you're using (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc)!.

I would have to say that I disagree with Descartes, because I have seen many people be outsmarted by their pets, including myself!. I have also seen animals act altruistically, and show emotion, and I think emotion, however simple, speaks to some level of self-aware cognitive functioning!. But that's just my opinion!. Otherwise it seems to be a good paper, but you need to define your thesis statement and properly reference/cite your material!. also try to give use more information on the paper itself (grade, college level, number of words, and what the purpose is [compare, contrast, etc!.])

Additional: the first two posters make good points, I like the idea of looking at both the strong and weak points of his philosophy, you're writing from the perspective that he is 100% right, being more objective might be a better idea!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

pretty good essay, here's some suggestions to improve it though:
In your first sentence change "brain" to "mind" or "consciousness"--animals have brains, but the point is they don't have minds!. In the third sentence change "the reason being is that" to "the reason is that" or "the reason being that"!. Then after machine in that sentence add "like an animal" to reinforce your point!. "recite words" sounds weird if you don't make it explicit you're talking about parrots, so maybe you should delete that phrase or make it into a more coherent example!. Don't include humans in the "eat without thought" example it weakens your point, change it to something like "while animals eat solely on instinct and habit, humans often consciously prepare their foods and turn eating into an aesthetic experience!." Try rewording your second paragraph second sentence a bit so it flows better, maybe say something like "because they don't have mind and the doubts that come with it, they can be considered to be more efficient at some specific tasks!." Maybe add something at the end to make the distinction more explicit like say the cheetahs speed is a blessing of its nature, but because it relies on nature it is limited!. The human mind gives humans the capacity to exceed their nature creating things like cars that let them travel faster than any cheetah could ever run!. I'm just trying to give you some ideas that could strengthen your argument, but it's important you use your own words and ideas when you fix your paper up!.

You might want to add a challenge to Descartes at the end!. What if our minds are just an example of really complicated machinery so we are actually machines in a sense ourselves!? Do you think this is possible!? You could support Descartes and suppose how he world argue against this or give an example that you think would make this seem reasonable!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

I think you have a great start, but you should go through and make your sentences more clear!. I know what you are talking about because I have studied Descartes, however the paper may be difficult to understand for someone with little to no knowledge about his philosophy!.

Making your meaning clearer will also lengthen your paper without the need for additional information!.

Don't forget to properly cite the source(s) you used, which will also increase the length!.

I would give it a an 80%--but I'm not a professor so take it for what it's worth!Www@QuestionHome@Com