What Is Mechanism, What Does It Mean?July 2, 2021
Machinery, the understanding of the fundamentality of physical laws in the universal order. The understanding of the foundation of the laws of physics in the universal order, based on the source of Leucippos and Democritus of the Ancient Age, reached its most competent form in the teaching of Descartes. That’s why Cartesianism, in a way, is also called Machinery as opposed to Vitalism. Descartes saw nature as an order operating with the laws of physics.
The inanimate and the living were moving by these laws of physics. It was a displacement phenomenon, caused by motion, pressure and impact. Everything was taking up space and shifting. There were neither coincidences nor supernatural influences in this mechanical order. Living things were also material beings, so they were subject to the laws of matter, that is, to the laws of physics.
It was an unfounded assumption, as the vitalists argued, to dream of a life force in live adolescence. Nature, plant, animal and human operated by the same mechanical laws. The soul existed only in man among all of these, but it could not affect and move the body, which is the material side of man. The movements that man made with his mind and will were not bodily movements, but soul movements. blood circulation, nutrition breathing, etc. body movements, such as inanimate and non-human, were mechanical movements subject to the same mechanical laws as in living things.
With this materialistic dualism of Descartes, it was the first time that Aristotelianism, which had dominated the entire medieval period, was opposed. Because, according to the understanding of Aristotle, which gained strength in scholastic philosophy, his body was a dynamic spirit. While he developed materialism on the one hand, he developed spiritism on the other. The reactionary side of Descartes and Cartesianism against the progressive side carries great errors. First of all, machine human design is based on the degradation of the human concept. Man also has machine-like movements, but man is never human with these movements.
Man never acts and lives by mechanical laws of motion. Besides, mechanical laws are laws that exist and are studied outside of concrete machines, how can these laws, which are even outside of metal machines, be reduced to concrete machines, and especially how can they be treated as internal laws of concrete human beings? This machineism of Descartes and Cartesianism should not be confused with the modern understanding of mechanics in the sense of the science of machines. There is no relation between these two different meanings of the same concept.