Descartes and the Mechanization of Nature   Descartes makes the following claim about the human being in Part 5 of the Discourse on Method: “I had also shown what changes must take place in the brain in order to cause wakefulness, sleep, and dreams; how light, sounds, odors, tastes, heat, and all other qualities of external objects can imprint various ideas there through the mediation of the senses; . . . . This will in no way seem strange to those who are cognizant of how many different automata or moving machines the ingenuity of men can make, without, in doing so, using more than a very small number of parts, in comparison with the great multitude of bones, muscles, nerves, arteries, veins, and all the other parts which are in the body of each animal. For they will regard this body as a machine which, having been made by…    read more