Descartes and Gustl…what?

I’m always late for blog posts, sorry guys…heh heh – *nervously looks around for ways to escape*

Ok, so….

The lecturer (I kinda forgot his name BTW) mentioned Ernst Mach and his views on this story, and well I wanted to focus my presentation on that. So he brought up Descartes and his statement on “I think therefore I am”, and I decided to research a little bit of Descartes because it was not left entirely clear to me what the lecturer was trying to get at…or more like I didn’t have notes on it, after all, just dropping a reference to descartes is a big thing.… But umm so yeah I went and did a little research on Descartes and turns out he was a big rationalist right, that solely trusted in nothing more than the human power of logic. He believed in the importance of grounding all of our ideas in individual experience and reason raher than authority and tradition. But then we are presented to this charatcter that seems to be doing exactly the opposite. All his beliefs seem to be grounded on anything but what is logical and is just someone that simply looks like a person who believes in the opposite of “I think therefore I am”… his existence seems to be solely dependent of what others think of him, like how honourable he is. We are presented to a character that really doesn’t follow through values Descartes would admire such as the clarity of thought, and introspection guided by sound arguments, which made me think how much this man was shaped by the society he was enveloped in and how much it had affected him.  He just follows the social conventions  blindly, so why introduce Descartes…THAT IS DA QUESTION

So I was wondering if there were traces of the individual in Lt Gustl and how these have a relationship between those thoughts that can be identified as reflections of his society, like those thoughts that are clearly influenced by his auhority. And well, my question is can we identify the two as separate, is there clues of the man at its core or do all his thoughts have traces of society influenced by austrian conventions? Does he really think and therefore is, or his existence solely dependent on his society? And there is this extra one, could we interpret his walking and introspection like almost as a subconscious Cartesian attempt to reveal the truth of one’s self?