Du Bois and Descartes on the Self Comparison Essay

An examination of Du Bois' and Descartes' concepts of self.
# 150608 | 1,072 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Mar 26, 2012 in African-American Studies (Black Philosophy) , Philosophy (General)

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The paper discusses Du Bois' concept of "double consciousness" and how it addressed the black community that was severely discriminated against. The paper then discusses Descartes' concept of skepticism, and his phrase, "I think, therefore I am." The paper explains the conclusions of these two philosophers and their implications for the idea of race.

From the Paper:

"Du Bois' concept of self, "Double Consciousness", is, as Du Bois puts it, "a sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity" (3). Here Du Bois states that the black community is viewing themselves through the eyes of the dominating society, which happens to be the white community. This is a crippling factor to the black community; it keeps them at a stagnation state and gives the dominating race a more secure hold of them. This inevitably leads to what Du Bois refers to as a, "...two-ness, - an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two un-reconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body..." (3). Meaning that the African American's view themselves as two different people, Americans and then Africans, both very different people that are trying to combine into one person, African-American. This flows right in hand with the double consciousness concept; they view themselves with their own eyes and then step into the surrounding society's eyes and view themselves again, creating a glass ceiling."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Descartes, Rene. The Philosophical Works of Descartes.Trans. Elizabeth S. Haldane and G. R. T. Ross. Cambridge: The UP, 1911-1912. Print.
  • Du Bois, W.E. B. The Souls Of Black Folk. Seventh ed. Chicago: A.C. McClurg& Co., 1907. Print.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Du Bois and Descartes on the Self (2012, March 26) Retrieved April 18, 2024, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/du-bois-and-descartes-on-the-self-150608/

MLA Format

"Du Bois and Descartes on the Self" 26 March 2012. Web. 18 April. 2024. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/du-bois-and-descartes-on-the-self-150608/>