A Critical Analysis Of Descartes’ Mind And Modern Scientific Epistemology


René Descartes, a philosopher of the 17th century, presents a novel viewpoint on the mind and scientific epistemology in his work “Meditations on First Philosophy.” This essay examines Descartes’ beliefs about the mind and education with an emphasis on pure concepts. Critical analysis is given to Descartes’ knowing theory. By closely examining its beginnings, Descartes’ epistemology sheds light on the human mind and the challenges of developing an all-encompassing theory of knowing.

Descartes’ View of the Mind and Knowledge Acquisition

In “Meditations on First Philosophy,” Descartes begins with extreme skepticism and rejection of all former convictions. Our senses can deceive us (Descartes. “Cogito, ergo sum” (Descartes)—”I think, therefore I am”—was the beginning of knowing for Descartes. Even if a demon deceives him, his skepticism and consideration prove he is a thinking object (Descartes).

Descartes valued certainty. He believed in plain mathematical facts (Descartes). Descartes believed that reason and instinct might lead to certainty. He claims a perfect and all-knowing God causes our inborn conceptions (Descartes).

Descartes’ rationalist epistemology holds that all knowledge is mental. Descartes encourages reason and succinct concepts to increase learning. Descartes believed the intellect could recognize undeniable truths to authenticate knowledge (Descartes).

Descartes’ view is flawed. Descartes favors natural knowledge and reason for sensory experience for learning. Perception uses reasoning, sensory data, and evidence. Descartes’ method undervalues sensory experience, which might obscure the mind-world relationship.

Descartes emphasizes reason and clarity when discussing the mind and learning. His idea ignores mind-environment interaction (Descartes). Descartes’ technique contains pros and cons, but we must also consider human perception’s complexity.

III. Critique of Descartes’ Theory of Knowledge

Descartes’ theory of knowing raises exciting questions, yet it has been criticized for failing to account for human cognition’s complexities.

Descartes’ epistemology was critiqued for valuing the mind over sensory perception. Descartes devalues human experience by minimizing senses. Disregarding sensory information and other empirical observation limits knowledge (Klempner).

Descartes’ ideal of distinct and unambiguous conceptions as the foundation for authentic knowledge could pervert reality. Ethics, aesthetics, and subjective experiences are not necessarily reducible to clear notions in the cosmos (Klempner). Descartes’ philosophy emphasizes rational, clear knowledge over ambiguity and uncertainty, overlooking human complexity.

Descartes’ approach neglects subjective and contextual cognition. We learn and think based on our prejudices, culture, and society. Descartes’ theory minimizes such illogical causes and misses the variety of views and interpretations that help us understand the world (Klempner).

Descartes’ claim that truth comes from a good God casts doubt on his theory’s generalizability. Non-believers may need to grasp this argument’s theological foundation. Descartes’ theory of knowledge may need to be more comprehensive to serve as a foundation for all epistemology (Klempner).

Descartes’ theory of knowledge has several important insights, but it has been criticized for overemphasizing objective reality, disregarding context and personal experience, and over-relying on theological presuppositions. A complete theory of knowledge should consider human cognition to recognize the numerous viewpoints that go into our quest for knowledge (Klempner).


Descartes’ theory of the mind and its importance in modern scientific epistemology provide impressive insights and draw serious criticism. Descartes’ theory needs to be revised due to his disregard for subjectivity, theological presuppositions, and the exclusion of sensory experience.

Since the intellect and physical world are interwoven, any comprehensive theory of knowing must include logical and empirical knowledge. It must also acknowledge and consider learning-supporting views and interpretations. Descartes’ epistemology needs more development to explain knowledge acquisition and human cognition fully.

Work Cited

Descartes, René. Meditations on First PhilosophyGoogle Books, Hackett Publishing, 1 Oct. 1993, books.google.com/books/about/Meditations_on_First_Philosophy.html?id=XctgDwAAQBAJ. Accessed 4 July 2023.

Klempner, Geoffrey. “Kant’s Critique of Descartes’ Theory of Knowledge.” Ask a Philosopher, 21 May 2020, askaphilosopher.org/2020/05/21/kants-critique-of-descartes-theory-of-knowledge/. Accessed 4 July 2023.

A Critical Analysis Of The Film “Migrant Dreams”


This paper critically analyzes the film “Migrant Dreams,” directed by Min Sook Lee, which exposes the struggles faced by migrant workers in Canada’s agricultural industry. It examines the film’s themes, events, plot, and characters while drawing upon relevant theories and concepts presented in scholarly articles. By delving into labor exploitation and shifting immigration policies depicted in the film, this analysis highlights the urgent need for fair working conditions and comprehensive immigration reform. The “Migrant Dreams” film reveals the systematic mistreatment of immigrants working in Canada’s agricultural sector via the lens of labor exploitation and shifting immigration policies, emphasizing the urgent need for fair and just working conditions and comprehensive immigration reform.


The interconnectedness between Canadian immigration policies that prioritize ‘flexible’ immigrants based on their human capital and the challenges immigrant families face. The article demonstrates that immigrant households play a crucial role in the migration process by providing essential support and enabling immigrants to employ adaptable strategies to navigate precarious circumstances, facilitating their integration into Canadian society (Creese et al. (2008, P. 275). Contrary to considering immigrant households as problematic, the study highlights the pivotal contribution of women’s support roles within these households to successful integration. By drawing on interviews conducted in the Greater Vancouver area, the research underscores the significance of recognizing the importance of immigrant households and calls for a broader societal understanding of the experiences and needs of immigrant families (Creese et al. (2008, P. 277). This aligns with the documentary “Migrant Dreams,” which sheds light on the mistreatment and exploitation of immigrant workers in Canada’s agricultural sector, emphasizing the detrimental effects of changing immigration policies on family reunification. Combining personal narratives with socio-political analysis, the article and the film advocate for systemic changes to address immigrant workers’ challenges and promote a more inclusive and equitable society.


Labor Exploitation/Human Capital Discourse:

Creese, Dyck, and McLaren’s articles on labor exploitation and the human capital discourse provide compelling evidence that resonates with the themes depicted in the film “Migrant Dreams.” According to Creese et al. (2008), the articles shed light on the abusive conditions faced by migrant workers, including lengthy workdays, inadequate pay, and substandard living conditions that barely meet necessities. These scholars argue that such conditions indicate a more severe problem: immigrant workers’ lack of agency and bargaining power due to institutional exploitation. Through dramatic visuals and testimonies, the movie “Migrant Dreams” successfully depicts and portrays these challenges, bringing attention to the perilous conditions endured by migrant workers.

The film highlights dangerous workplaces where immigrant workers are often required to work without the requisite safety gear or training, putting their health at risk. This is consistent with the conclusions made by Creese et al. (2008), who highlight the connection between hazardous work environments and labor exploitation. The movie “Migrant Dreams” depicts these unsafe circumstances by showing immigrant laborers handling harmful chemicals without the proper safety equipment. The documentary supports the claim made by Creese et al. on the exploitation of labor and the hazards encountered by migrant workers by graphically illuminating the health issues connected to their working surroundings.

The film also discusses the restrictive system of tied work permits, which makes migrant laborers even more vulnerable. This is consistent with Creese, Dyck, and McLaren’s study, which contends that linked work permits place migrant employees at the whims of their employers and severely restrict their autonomy and bargaining power. One of the main characters in the movie “Migrant Dreams,” Min Sook Lee, bravely exposes the unfair treatment of migrant laborers in Canada’s agriculture industry. The film “Migrant Dreams” focuses on her experiences. Through her experience, the film illustrates the significant risks these people take in defending their rights, often dealing with intimidation, threats, and possible penalties. The movie’s accounts humanize the experiences of migrant workers by highlighting the psychological cost of labor exploitation and the crushed hopes brought on by such incidents, adding credence to the points made by Creese, Dyck, and McLaren.

 Family Reunification and Shifting Immigration Policies

Bragg and Wong’s article delves into the issue of family reunification and shifting immigration policies, an important aspect also explored in the film “Migrant Dreams.” The research by Bragg and Wong provides a comprehensive analysis of how these policies perpetuate family separation, leaving migrant workers torn between their aspirations for a better life in Canada and their longing to be reunited with their loved ones. The film effectively brings these issues to light through powerful stories that unveil the emotional toll and shattered dreams resulting from such policies (Creese et al., 2008).

One poignant example from the film is Evelyn’s story, which exemplifies the detrimental impact of changing immigration regulations. Despite Evelyn’s dedication to her job and significant contributions to the Canadian economy, her child is denied entry into the country, causing immense heartbreak. This aligns with the findings of Bragg and Wong, who argue that changing immigration policies often result in the separation of families, leading to profound emotional distress and a sense of loss. Furthermore, the film exposes the exploitative practices of recruitment agencies that hinder family reunification (Creese et al., 2008). By charging exorbitant fees and making false promises, these unethical practices prey on the hopes and dreams of migrant workers, perpetuating economic exploitation and contributing to the despair of fragmented families. This evidence from the film strongly supports the arguments made by Bragg and Wong, highlighting the detrimental effects of immigration policies on family unity (Bragg & Wong, 2016).

By interweaving personal narratives with socio-political analysis, “Migrant Dreams” underscores the complex relationship between economic exploitation and family separation, aligning with the insights provided by Bragg and Wong. By highlighting the significance of protecting the social fabric of migrant workers’ life, the movie compels viewers to confront the disastrous effects of such policies. It demands immigration laws that put human dignity and family unity first, acknowledging the importance of families to a person’s well-being and absorption into a new society. The documentary’s evidence supports the claims made by Bragg and Wong, which strengthens the necessity for legislative reforms to deal with the problem of family reunion and safeguard the rights of migrant workers (Bragg & Wong, 2016).


In summary, the film “Migrant Dreams” portrays the systematic mistreatment of immigrant workers in Canada’s agricultural sector, shedding light on labor exploitation and shifting immigration policies. The documentary highlights the physical, emotional, and psychological repercussions of migrant workers’ challenges by humanizing their situations through personal testimonies. This study highlights the critical need for decent working conditions, comprehensive immigration reform, and policies that put family reunions first by relying on the ideas and concepts covered in the course texts. The film is a call to action, calling society to acknowledge the suffering of migrant workers and demand structural reform to guarantee their welfare and dignity. It becomes evident that migrant workers deserve the same recognition, respect, and fair treatment as the natives when viewers critically consider the film’s central theme. For instance, immigrants’ hopes and goals should not be crushed but rather encouraged and nurtured. All members of society must work together to promote change and work toward a culture that recognizes the rights and contributions of every person, regardless of immigration status.


Bragg, B., & Wong, L. L. (2016). “Cancelled dreams”: Family reunification and shifting Canadian immigration policy. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, 14(1), 46–65.

Creese, G., Dyck, I., & McLaren, A. T. (2008). The ‘flexible immigrant? Human capital discourse, the family household, and labor market strategies. Journal of International Migration and Integration/Revue de l’integration ET de la migration Internationale, 9, 269-288.

Sook Lee, Min. (2016). Migrant Dreams. Tiger Spirits Productions

Analyzing “Heat” In Light Of The Dark Side Of Society: Connections To Criminology


Crime has always captivated audiences because it exposes the worst aspects of humanity. Examining morality, justice, and deviance in the film is made more accessible by crime. The “Heat” by Michael Mann is the basis for this analysis’s investigation into the social effects of crime movies. In “Heat,” a detective goes after professional thieves nonstop. With believable characters and thrilling action, “Heat” submerges viewers in a world where good and evil are hazy.

Film Overview:

Al Pacino plays veteran detective Vincent Hanna in “Heat” (Berardinelli), and Robert De Niro plays expert thief Neil McCauley (Cornish). Michael Mann’s movie examines the murky link between law enforcement and the criminal underworld.

Mann’s particular focus on detail gives “Heat” its authenticity. The director’s dedication to realism is evident in the movie’s realistic depiction of police procedures, investigative techniques, and expertly choreographed action sequences (Horn). The bank heist sequence in “Heat” demonstrates how well-planned and exact a heist must be.

The portrayals of Vincent Hanna and Neil McCauley by Al Pacino and Robert De Niro are excellent. Hanna’s character is intimate and emotional because he is a committed detective who fights to balance his work and wife (Berardinelli). On the other hand, McCauley lives alone to emphasize the repercussions of crime.

The realistic depiction of the criminal underworld, meticulous attention to detail, and excellent cast make “Heat” stand out among crime dramas. These factors combine to create an unusual crime scene.

Themes and Elements:

The consequences of criminal action are explored in “Heat.” Criminal activity consumes one’s entire existence, both personally and professionally. Work comes before relationships for Neil McCauley, a professional burglar who lives alone (Berardinelli). Good man Detective Vincent Hanna must balance his time between work and his divorce. By contrasting and comparing law enforcement and other criminal justice jobs, we can learn more about the challenges and risks associated with each.

The heroic code compromises the principles of the film industry. McCauley and Hanna are industry authorities who have dedicated their lives to overcoming obstacles to success. (Horn) The viewers of these paintings are presented with moral dilemmas.

What makes “Heat” work are the directors’ candor and care. The bank robbery was skillfully planned and executed (Berardinelli). The movie’s success can be linked to how accurately police enforcement is portrayed (Cornish). “Heat” examines crime from several angles. The movie’s meticulous attention to detail emphasizes moral and ethical concerns.

Connections to Criminology:

“Heat” integrates criminology with the legal system to understand crime and its effects. The rational choice hypothesis suggests that illegal action emerges from assessing pros and cons (Cornish). Think of Neil McCauley from “Heat,” whose forethought and composure often yield excellent outcomes (Berardinelli). This graphic supports rational choice theory and criminal decision-making.

The movie’s police representations shed light on social control. In order to punish violent offenders and uphold peace, the criminal justice system is embodied by Vincent Hanna (Cornish). Students can learn about the difficulties and morals of police work via Hanna’s acts (Horn).

Thematic parallels between “Heat” and criminal activity allow abstract ideas to be implemented. Students can better comprehend social control and rational choice theory by examining the movie’s depictions.

Discussion Questions:

How does “Heat”‘s portrayal of criminals and law enforcement agents create a moral dilemma for viewers? (Berardinelli) How does the audience’s view of crime and punishment change when right and wrong are fuzzy?

Discuss how “Heat” mixes the protagonists’ private and professional life. (Horn) How do Neil McCauley and Vincent Hanna’s struggles and sacrifices impact their criminal and law enforcement behavior?

How do the film’s realism and detail enhance the viewing experience? (Berardinelli) These additions may help viewers understand criminals and law enforcement better. How does this affect our view of the criminal justice system’s complexity?

Discuss Neil McCauley’s (Cornish) criminal behavior and rational choice theory. This criminological hypothesis does not explain his extensive preparation and contemplation. Does McCauley violate the rational decision framework?

Vincent Hanna’s (Cornish) role emphasizes social control. He faced many obstacles in his pursuit of Neil McCauley. How does this reflect societal order? What does Hanna’s pursuit of justice imply about law enforcement personnel’s struggles to balance their personal and professional lives?

Students can apply their knowledge of “Heat” to more significant criminological concepts by answering the following discussion questions. By contemplating these concerns, students can better grasp morality, ethics, and logical decision-making in crime and justice.


“Heat” is a compelling examination of crime and its effects that casts doubt on moral and ethical principles. The movie’s portrayal of criminals and law enforcement is accurate, advancing criminology. Studying crime’s themes and characteristics and relating them to concepts in criminology and the legal system will help students comprehend crime and its impacts.

“Heat” is for viewers who want to analyze crime, be intellectually challenged, and see the dark side of humanity on screen. Viewers are affected by its genuineness, emotional depth, and thought-provoking storytelling. Students gain an understanding of crime, justice, and how cinema can shed light on complex societal issues through the film’s themes, criminology linkages, and thought-provoking discussion questions.

Work Cited

Berardinelli, James. “Heat.” Reelviews Movie Reviews, 15 Dec. 1995, www.reelviews.net/reelviews/heat. Accessed 30 June 2023.

Cornish, Derek Blaikie. “The Reasoning Criminal.” Google Books, 2014, books.google.com/books/about/The_reasoning_criminal.html?id=_lnTAAAAIAAJ. Accessed 29 June 2023.

Horn, Shawn Van. “‘Heat’: The True Story That Inspired Michael Mann’s Crime Classic.” Collider, 1 Dec. 2022, collider.com/heat-inspired-by-true-story-michael-mann/.

Mann, Michael. “Heat.” IMDb, 15 Dec. 1995, www.imdb.com/title/tt0113277/. Accessed 30 June 2023.