Caterpillar Inc.’s Strategies And Goals Essay Example For College

Caterpillar Inc.’s goals are directed to maintain its sustainability and profitable growth. The short-term goals for Caterpillar Inc. are water consumption, workplace injury rates, and by-product materials (Caterpillar, 2019). Its long-term goals comprise green emission intensity, energy intensity, and an increase in alternative energy source use (Caterpillar, 2019). As a new hire to the firm, I will use these goals, to help Caterpillar Inc. provide leadership in improving product sustainability through innovation and technology and enhancing the safety of employees handling its products (Caterpillar, 2019). Moreover since 2013, the company has purposed to increase managed fleet hours by 100 percent (Caterpillar, 2019). I will use the goals, both short- and long-term, to help the organization achieve its anticipated profitable growth and sustainability.

How Recent Mergers and Acquisitions have Contributed to Organizational Goals

Organizations achieve their goals by merging and acquiring other firms. Crunchbase (n.d.) shows that Caterpillar Inc. has acquired 30 companies throughout its history, and the last three have occurred in the last five years. On March 28, 2017, Caterpillar Inc. acquired Kemper Valve & Fittings Corp; on May 5, 2017, the Yard Club was acquired, and on June 29, 2020, acquired Marble Robot Inc. was acquired by Caterpillar Inc. (Crunchbase, n.d.) With the Kemper Valve & Fittings Corp acquisition, Caterpillar Inc. widened its product range, which helped it enrich its product portfolio in the market (Caterpillar, n.d.). Lawler (2017) shows that with Yard Club’s acquisition, Caterpillar Inc. got the help to advance its technology, which contributed to the firm’s fulfillment of organizational goals. through Marble Robots’ acquisition, Caterpillar Inc. gained an opportunity to leverage technology to assist it in making essential improvements to offer it consumers with solutions (Caterpillar n.d.). Caterpillar Inc. has strengthened its market position through its acquisitions, solidifying its institutional performance and contributing to its organizational goals.

The Most Critical Merger or Acquisition

The 2011 acquisition of Bucyrus International was the most critical acquisition for Caterpillar Inc. Through the procurement, the acquisition significantly contributed to Caterpillar Inc.’s organizational goals by impacting the firm’s success in its goals. Hitt et al. (2020) argue that a company is better positioned to lower its operation costs, increase its differentiation, and minimize its competitive intensity through mergers and acquisitions. Pope (2019) shows that for Caterpillar Inc., acquiring Bucyrus International created an opportunity for the firm to weaken pressure on its competition, especially Komatsu. Further, Pope (2019) shows that the acquisition was significant for Caterpillar Inc. since it allowed it to increase its product differentiation by adding large mining equipment to its production line. Additionally, the acquisition was friendly, positively contributing to Caterpillar Inc.’s attributes.

Caterpillar Inc.’s Operational Plan Effectiveness for Global Strategies

Since Caterpillar Inc.’s operational plan helps it achieve its institutional objectives, it can be considered adequate. When marketing their products at the international level, multinational companies can consider four global strategies; multi-domestic, transnational, global-standardization, and international (Hitt et al., 2020). Based on the above international marketing strategies, Caterpillar Inc., uses the transnational strategy and I know this since the company combines high-cost reduction pressure with high local responsiveness. To demonstrate this, Caterpillar Inc. acts as a local organization in international markets, which helps it add domestic characteristics to its products (Hitt et al., 2020). Further, according to Pope (2019), Caterpillar Inc.’s internal plants operating and dealer network in different regions aid in its ability to minimize operating costs. The strategy’s effectiveness lies in how it helps Caterpillar Inc. maintain its market position as a leading manufacturer of heavy equipment.

References

Caterpillar. (n.d.). Caterpillar acquires Kemper Valve & Fittings Corp: Expanding cat well service suite of product offerings. Cat.com.

Caterpillar. (2019). 2019 Sustainability Report.

Crunchbase. (n.d.). Caterpillar. Crunchbase.

Hitt, M. A., Ireland, R. D., & Hoskisson, R. E. (2020). Strategic management: Competitiveness et globalization, concepts and cases. 13th ed. MA Cengage.

Lawler, R. (2017). Caterpillar acquired Yard Club, a marketplace for construction equipment. Techcrunch.com.

Pope, S. (2019). Caterpillar Innovates as Competition Escalates. Morningstar, Inc.

New Developments And Current Challenges In Psychology

Introduction

It is important to note that the given literature review will utilize an integrative conceptual framework, which not only reviews the relevant literature but additionally critiques and synthesizes the acquired knowledge as well as insights. The review will be organized in accordance with the sections below, which include discussion, analysis, critique, synthesis, and conclusion. The emphasis will be put on four core domains of psychology, which involve developmental psychology, psychopharmacology, psychopathology, and personality theories. For the former, the guiding theory is that human behavior, cognition, and emotion change with growth and progression through various stages of development. Psychopharmacology is based on the principle that medication can be an effective tool to treat and improve mental health disorders. Psychopathology is concerned with psychological aspects of maladaptive behaviors and mental diseases. Personality theories are a collection of insights into how a range of personality disorders can explain the personality developments experienced by an individual.

All four domains of psychology are tightly interconnected with a number of overlapping areas of interest. They primarily focus on human psychology, cognition, development, and behavior. For example, psychopharmacology can propose an effective medication-based treatment through observations made in psychopathology and human physiology. Similarly, personality theories, as well as psychopathology, can learn more within their fields by referring to the findings of developmental psychologists since the latter can define what falls into a normal range of psychological manifestations. However, there are competing points of view across the domains, where developmental psychology might consider the environment as a root cause of a mental health disorder and thus, critique psychopharmacology for excessive focus on drugs. Another competing point could be found between personality theories and psychopathology in regards to the role of genetic factors against personality elements.

The integration of all four domains is important in order to obtain a more comprehensive picture of a mental health problem. Historically, developmental psychology can be dated back to German physiologist Wilhelm Preyer who created his first publication on the topic in 1882 (Hothersall, 2022). David Macht was the first expert to use the term psychopharmacology to define and separate the domain (Hothersall, 2022). In the case of psychopathology, Karl Jaspers should be noted as a founder of the field in 1913, whereas the personality theories became their own unique area of expertise through Sigmund Freud (Hothersall, 2022). The related theories in all four domains include behaviorist theory, humanistic theory, and biological theory. The literature was identified through the keywords describing each domain. The analysis was focused on the contents of literature, methodologies, the dates of publication, and types of sources, with journal articles and textbooks being the most preferred ones. The synthesis is derived from comparative and individual observations, insights, and interconnected facts as well as evidence.

The presented literature was chosen and included in the given integrative review due to its relevance to the topic and a sound methodological framework. In addition, a key consideration was dedicated to the credibility of the sources and authors behind them as well as the recentness of the publications. It should be noted that the key focus of the literature review is to conduct an integrative analysis of the four domains by reviewing their current and existing states by relying on recently published credible sources. The central claim of the review is psychology needs to revise its methodologies, classification systems, and cohesiveness of its theories.

Discussion

Developmental Psychology

The current state of developmental psychology is well-reflected in the credible literature published within the last five years. A study on the cultural diversity of human development found that “a more integrated perspective, combining the strengths of the breadth & depth approaches, can help better elucidate the developmental origins of human behavioral diversity” (Amir & McAuliffe, 2020, p. 430). The authors essentially argue that an excessive amount of focus in the area of developmental psychology was given to Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) children, which means there is no breadth in the field. They suggest that developmental psychology can obtain a greater degree of insight and understanding by learning more about different cultures, which implies a cross-cultural examination (Amir & McAuliffe, 2020). Another publication makes similar observations in regards to developmental stage focus, where infants and older adults are left out of the important observations, and the proposition is to interpersonal aspects of their development (Stern, 2019). In other words, developmental psychology can expand its areas of interest both in-depth and breadth.

The domain is subject to critique from the expert within the field in regards to attrition and sampling bias. A group of researchers found that “attrition reporting is not following APA recommendations, quality of reporting did not improve since the APA publication, and a low proportion of authors provided sufficient information” (Nicholson et al., 2017, p. 143). The term attrition refers to the dropout of participants in studies, particularly in applied and longitudinal formats. Thus, failing to report the attrition massively undermines the generalizability and validity of the research. Another group states that “high-impact-factor developmental journals are heavily skewed toward publishing articles with data from WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic) populations … there is a habitual dependence on convenience sampling” (Nielsen et al., 2017, p. 31). Sampling bias is a threat to research integrity, accuracy, validity, and applicability.

However, despite such critiques, there are new developments within the domain. For example, socially assistive robots (SARs) are being introduced to developmental psychology as intervention and support instruments for a wide range of patient groups (Marchetti et al., 2020). In other words, the domain is becoming more practical and application-based by utilizing recent achievements in robotics. In addition, novel theoretical frameworks are being proposed, where the focus is put on more ethics-driven approaches. For instance, the developmental perspective of kindness is a model which assumes that “intervention efforts will be beneficial at nurturing kindness when they a) acknowledge that the balance between self- and other-oriented tendencies is beneficial” (Malti, 2021, p. 629). However, such measures need to be enhancive for a multitude of facets of kindness, and they need to be developmentally sensitive.

Psychopharmacology

The domain of psychopharmacology is booming due to the extensive growth of the pharmaceutical industry and the emergence of novel public health issues. It is stated that “we live in an age of psychopharmacology. One in six persons currently takes a psychotropic drug” (Braslow & Marder, 2019, p. 25). Such widespread use of drugs cannot be left untouched by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. A study found that “COVID-19 impacts multiple organ systems, including gastrointestinal, renal, cardiovascular, pulmonary, immunological, and hematological systems. This may lead to pharmacokinetic changes that impact psychotropic medications and increase sensitivity to psychotropic-related adverse effects” (Bilbul et al., 2020, p. 411). In other words, the viral influence on the mechanisms of actions of various drugs targeting psychological elements is significant. Another major public health issue is cardiovascular disease, and psychopharmacology has a strong role in it. It was reported that “the link between depression and cardiovascular disease mortality has been established. Depression is also common in patients with heart failure … drug-drug interactions are more common and potentially dangerous” (Pina et al., 2018, p. 2346). Thus, the domain has major implications in regard to a multitude of key public health challenges.

Moreover, psychopharmacology needs to become more sensitive to gender-based issues. It was found that “clinicians deal with a number of disorders like premenstrual syndrome, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and postpartum depression, which affect women specifically and for which treatment and biological pathways are still unclear” (Bolea-Alamanac et al., 2018, p. 125). It is important to note that reducing discontinuation and other issues in the domain since 25% of the population will be exposed to some form of disabling anxiety (Cassano et al., 2022). Some reports suggest that discontinuation of medication treatments can worsen the symptoms compared to the conditions that were before the procedure (Baldessarini & Tondo, 2019). Therefore, it is a serious problem in the domain is treatment adherence, which not only reduces the effectiveness of the medication but additionally poses risks.

Psychopathology

The domain of psychopathology deals with an understanding of experiential and behavioral manifestations of mental disorders. The field is developing significantly by accounting for a diverse set of factors to the degree where new propositions are being made about personalized approaches. It is stated that “the personalized approach to psychopathology holds promise to resolve thorny diagnostic issues, generate novel insights, and improve the timing and efficacy of interventions” (Wright & Woods, 2020, p. 49). The sheer complexity of the domain is additionally addressed with the use of the network approaches. It is reported that “the central idea that an episode of mental disorder arises from causal interactions among its symptomatic elements has especially resonated with those clinical scientists whose disenchantment with traditional categorical … approaches” (McNally, 2021, p. 31). For example, p factor, which is “a superordinate factor of general psychopathology,” is described as an indicator of impulsive responses to emotional triggers (Carver et al., 2017, p. 880). Thus, there are shifts in establishing new perspectives to collectively comprehend the complex aspects of mental illnesses.

Furthermore, many experts in the field raise their concerns that classification in psychopathology is problematic. It is stated that “the evidence clearly supports the hypothesis of continuity … psychopathology dimensions can be arranged in a hierarchy, ranging from very broad “spectrum level” dimensions to specific and narrow clusters of symptoms” (Krueger et al., 2018, p. 282). For the network approaches, it was found that the key goals should be “the identification of robust empirical phenomena and (b) the development of formal theories that can explain those phenomena” (Robinnaugh et al., 2019, p. 353). The drivers of such developments are that “the reliability and validity of traditional taxonomies are limited by arbitrary boundaries between psychopathology and normality, often unclear boundaries between disorders, frequent disorder co-occurrence, heterogeneity within disorders” (Kotov et al., 2017, p. 454). Therefore, one can see the recent literature questions the traditional methods of classification.

Personality Theories

It should be noted that personality theories cover primarily four areas of interest. These include psychoanalysis, behaviors, traits, and humanistic focus (Lester, 2019). The former accentuates its attention on the unconscious part of the human mind as well as childhood experiences, whereas humanistic theory is about free will, awareness, and inner growth (Corr & Matthews, 2020). The trait perspective is more measurement-driven in regards to specific trait elements, but the social cognitive perspective approaches situational impacts, self-efficacy, and observational learning (Gaines, 2019). In practice, personality theories can be applied in diverse settings. For example, the Five-Factor Model of personality can be utilized to enhance the teacher’s role in the educational process (Goncz, 2017). Key trait theoretical frameworks can have relevance in explaining the spiritual and religious development of adolescents (Schnitker et al., 2021). However, one of the most critical elements in social dynamics is a habit. It is stated that “understanding of habits also holds promise for reducing intergroup discrimination and for understanding lay theories of the causes for action … the field gains an understanding of a central mechanism” (Wood, 2017, p. 389). Personality theories are specific and narrowly focused, but they can be powerful at explaining unique phenomena.

Analysis

The main idea in developmental psychology is the lack of breadth of research. The analysis reveals that the majority of literature in developmental psychology is significantly studied within the context of WEIRD. However, the reviewed articles themselves specifically address the western publications, which might eliminate other non-WEIRD studies from similar observations. Psychopharmacology’s core emphasis is on the prevalence of major public health threats that leads to concerns about drug interactions with themselves as well as health conditions. Psychopathology is mainly working on taxonomy and reforming the old traditional systems, whereas personality theories are being utilized in narrow fields of education and adolescent social development.

The psychopathology’s efforts of revising the classification are tightly interconnected to personality theories, where a newly continuum-based framework would be able to integrate these theories. The bias and methodology issues of developmental psychology can drastically impact the practice manifestation of psychopharmacology by making drugs poorly applicable in non-WEIRD societies. These four domains can be integrated within the larger field of psychology as challenges in taxonomy, methodology, narrow focus, and complex applicability. A claim can be made about the need to reformat psychology in regards to all four aspects stated previously. It is supported by a wide range of peer-reviewed scientific evidence presented in the literature review above.

Critique

The majority of research findings come from respectable and credible research journals. The reliability is evidenced by the fact that similar observations are made by other independent researchers. The validity of the sources is high as well since the methods used to measure the key metrics accurately and representatively since they address inherent flaws of psychology. The generalizability is limited since the sources are mostly from western research journals and institutes, which is why the same trends might not be present on the international scale. The literature represents the issues outstandingly across the four domains since it comprehensively addresses the relevant questions and problems in the field. For deficiency, a critique can be made about the fact that WEIRD is established as the standard for normal behavior, which blinds itself to inherent structural problems of western societies.

In addition, it is likely that many standards and interventions are based on such an understanding. A connection can be observed between taxonomy in psychopathology and the currently limited methods, which result in problematic interactions with drugs related to psychopharmacology. The studies fail to recognize the environmental changes affecting mental health disorders as well. In addition, their literature does not reflect on the integration of effective theories into a larger conceptual framework. No key points or arguments were omitted, and the literature reviewed above does not have major inaccuracies, which is partly due to their focus on others’ research inaccuracies. No particular evidence can be identified as being contrary to the central claim. The APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct might influence the reliability and generalizability of the chosen findings by requesting larger sample sizes and more informational inputs. The literature did not explore sensitive issues, which is why no ethical concerns can be noted. However, psychopharmacology was evidently more considerate of ethical elements compared to other domains due to the nature of the area.

Synthesis

New knowledge and perspective can be made from the literature presented above. By integrating the existing ideas with new ideas, it can be stated that the current classification system needs to shift to a continuum-based one. Such an endeavor can be done with a network approach utilizing theories having a diverse degree of relevance in specific ranges of the spectrum. As shown in the literature review, WEIRD studies do not address the prevalence of bias in developmental psychology only, but psychology in general. The controversy is rooted in the fact that most psychologist researchers opt for convenience sampling skewing the generalizability of data. An alternative opinion is to have a continuum-based system, where a cross-cultural network approach is incorporated. The presented evidence is strong and supports the major conclusions being made by having several sources indicating one trend. The synthesis is rooted in the notion of transforming the domain into a cross-cultural and substantive field, which is open to newer developments in both theoretical and practical aspects.

Conclusion

In conclusion, psychology should revise its methodologies, classification systems, and cohesiveness of its theories. In developmental psychology, an excessive focus due to sampling bias is made on WEIRD societies hurting the generalizability of data. In psychopharmacology, the dynamic interactions of drugs present a challenge under the pressures of large public health threats, such as COVID-19 and cardiovascular diseases. For psychopathology, the taxonomy is a key issue that mandates a shift from traditional frameworks toward continuum-based ones. Personality theories have application in narrowly focused areas with poor integration into a larger conceptual framework. These findings create questions on how the implementation of new taxonomy with cross-cultural breadth can impact psychopharmacology.

The argument’s implications will not alter the theories themselves but their relationship with one another. In everyday life, people will no longer be diagnosed as having A or B disease but rather will be aware of their position in the spectrum. A continuum-based cohesive framework could become a novel theory or hypothesis for future research, and the need to do so is shown in the overarching implications of the studies. From this point, research should focus on introducing cross-culturalism as a breadth factor to ensure the generalizability of evidence.

References

Amir, D., & McAuliffe, K. (2020). Cross-cultural, developmental psychology: Integrating approaches and key insights. Evolution and Human Behavior, 41(5), 430-444.

Baldessarini, R. J., & Tondo, L. (2019). Effects of treatment discontinuation in clinical psychopharmacology. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 88, 65-70.

Bilbul, M., Paparone, P. Kim, A. M., Mutalik, S., & Ernst, C. L. (2020). Psychopharmacology of COVID-19. Psychosomatics, 61(5), 411-427.

Bolea-Alamanac, B., Bailey, S. J., Lovick, T. A., Scheele, D., & Valentino, R. (2018). Female psychopharmacology matters! Towards a sex-specific psychopharmacology. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 32(2), 125–133.

Braslow, J. T., & Marder, S. R. (2019). History of psychopharmacology. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 15, 25-50.

Carver, C. S., Johnson, S. L., & Timpano, K. R. (2017). Toward a functional view of the p factor in psychopathology. Clinical Psychological Science, 5(5), 880–889.

Cassano, G. B., Rossi, N. B., & Pini, S. (2022). Psychopharmacology of anxiety disorders. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 4(3), 271-285.

Corr, P. J., & Matthews, G. (2020). The Cambridge handbook of personality psychology (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Gaines, S. O. (2019). Personality psychology: The basics (1st ed.). Routledge.

Goncz, L. (2017). Teacher personality: A review of psychological research and guidelines for a more comprehensive theory in educational psychology. Open Review of Educational Research, 4(1), 75-95.

Hothersall, D. (2022). History of psychology (5th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Kotov, R., Krueger, R. F., Watson, D., Achenbach, T. M., Althoff, R. R., Bagby, R. M., Brown, T. A., Carpenter, W. T., Caspi, A., Clark, L. A., Eaton, N. R., Forbes, M. K., Forbush, K. T., Goldberg, D., Hasin, D., Hyman, S. E., Ivanova, M. Y., Lynam, D. R., Markon, K., … Zimmerman, M. (2017). The Hierarchical taxonomy of psychopathology (HiTOP): A dimensional alternative to traditional nosologies. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 126(4), 454–477.

Krueger, R. F., Kotov, R., Watson, D., Forbes, M. K., Eaton, N. R., Ruggero, C. J., Simms, L. J., Widger, T. A., Achenbach, T. M., Bach, B., Bagby, R. M., Bornovalova, M. A., Carpenter, W. T., Chmielewski, M., Cicero, D. C., Clark, L. A., Conway, C., DeClercq, B., DeYound, C. G., … Zimmermann, J. (2018). Progress in achieving quantitative classification of psychopathology. World Psychiatry, 17(3), 282-293.

Lester, D. (2019). Theories of personality: A systems approach (1st ed.). Routledge.

Malti, T. (2021). Kindness: A perspective from developmental psychology. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 18(5), 629-657.

Marchetti, A., Dio, C. D., Manzi, F., & Massaro, D. (2020). Robotics in clinical and developmental psychology. Reference Module in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology, 2022, 1-42.

McNally, R. J. (2021). Network analysis of psychopathology: Controversies and challenges. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 17, 31-53.

Nicholson, J. S., Deboeck, P. R., & Howard, W. (2017). Attrition in developmental psychology: A review of modern missing data reporting and practices. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 41(1), 143–153.

Nielsen, M., Haun, D., Kartner, J., & Legare, C. H. (2017). The persistent sampling bias in developmental psychology: A call to action. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 162, 31-38.

Pina, I. L., Palo, K. E. D., & Ventura, H. O. (2018). Psychopharmacology and cardiovascular disease. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 71(20), 2346–2359.

Robinnaugh, D. J., Hoekstra, R. H. A., Toner, E. R., & Borsboom, D. (2019). The network approach to psychopathology: A review of the literature 2008–2018 and an agenda for future research. Psychological Medicine, 50(3), 353-366.

Schnitker, S. A., Williams, E. G., & Medenwaldt, J. M. (2021). Personality and social psychology approaches to religious and spiritual development in adolescents. Adolescent Research Review, 6, 289-307.

Stern, D. N. (2019). The interpersonal world of the infant: A View from psychoanalysis and developmental psychology (1st ed.). Routledge.

Wood, W. (2017). Habit in personality and social psychology. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 21(4), 389–403.

Wright, A. G. C., & Woods, W. C. (2020). Personalized models of psychopathology. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 16, 49-74.

Skepticism In Descartes’ Meditations

Rene Descartes was a famous philosopher from the era of Enlightenment who has made some relevant points today. Throughout his life, he has challenged the views he was taught and one’s perception of the world. This made the philosopher one of the most influential figures in skepticism and rationalism. The following essay will defend the former by depicting some of the issues and referencing Descartes’ works.

One of the most defining viewpoints that he had, which is still relevant today, is questioning what he was taught and his own perceptions. In one of the texts from the series of Meditations, the philosopher says the following: “Once in my life I had to raze everything to the ground and begin again from the original foundations if I wanted to establish anything firm and lasting in the sciences.” (Unit 8) What makes this idea modern is that even nowadays, society struggles with the dilemma of whether their beliefs are valid.

Nowadays, one of the most common beliefs that is interpreted by many as misleading is the belief in mechanical reductionism, that is, the idea that everything can be explained by mechanical processes that have already been researched and discovered (Module 13). Neuroscientist Raymond Tallis, in spite of not being a philosopher, debunks that assumption by providing three reasons to validate his point: intentionality, memory and innerness.

Raymond believes that humanity is conscious about everything surrounding them, which, in turn, is reminiscent of Descartes’ acknowledgment of “the thinking thing”. While the philosopher, unlike Tallis, has a more distrustful perception of how he and other people see the world, both acknowledge that thought processes are impossible without that part. One cannot have opinions and beliefs, including inaccurate ones, without having a perceptive self.

For many people, two of the philosopher’s beliefs, the idea of one’s world comprehension being invalid and past teachings being irrelevant, may seem weird and nihilistic. However, that understanding of Rene’s opinions is rather harsh, as it, in a way, blocks any opportunity for mental flexibility and overviewing one’s perception of everything around them. As a matter of fact, it provides the necessary dialogue for evaluating and analyzing modern and past beliefs. Moreover, it reminds humanity that their comprehension of the environment and reality is flawed.

In the present, people see themselves as superior and assume that their thoughts and opinions require no changes or reviews whatsoever. Descartes’ personal example of searching for different viewpoints is an excellent idea to challenge that viewpoint. Exposing oneself to other ideas can expand the comprehension of a certain belief and, in a way, demonstrate the flaws of one’s opinion prior to discovering the opposite or different one.

One may think that Rene’s distrust towards his predecessors is similar to that of modern people, but what is commonly overlooked is that his beliefs provided room for self-improvement and analysis of one’s personal beliefs and what one was taught prior to having a sense of self. Most present-day humanity, however, does not take the same steps and applies that distrust to fuel their sense of superiority, as opposed to Descartes’ goal of reviewing past teachings.

Fortunately, as mentioned earlier, the attempts to mechanize and simplify the world have triggered the rise of skepticism. It teaches humanity to challenge the old, the new and modern thoughts. This viewpoint helps one better understand how and why everyone’s perception is flawed. As opposed to the aforementioned distrustful attitude towards the thinkers of the past, it motivates people to seek alternative solutions and opinions.

It is important to mention, however, that while skepticism draws attention to the flaws of one’s and past people’s thoughts, it acknowledges the existence of a being capable of having an opinion and perception. As Descartes states in one of his Meditations texts: “But doubtless I did exist, if I persuaded myself of something”. Perception and comprehension cannot be flawed without the mere existence of a creation capable of those aspects.

This specific aspect invalidates the attempts to mechanize those processes. Ironically, people like Daniel Dennett, one of the supporters of mechanical reductionism, are living proof of how flawed perception can be. His attempt to define this concept with the help of calculated processes of the brain not only oversimplifies but, in a way, implies that everyone’s comprehension of the world is perfect or barely has any mistakes.

By challenging the flaws in one’s opinions, people may not only prove the imperfection of everybody’s thought processes, but it may also help trigger further research as well. Scientists like Dennett wrongfully believe that everything already has an explanation while simultaneously ignoring the logical gaps in their theories. By following Descartes’ and Tallis’ examples, humanity may be inspired to find answers to unexplored or explicitly overviewed questions and misconceptions.

One may say that by supporting skepticism, Rene and his supporters trapped themselves. Said trap is defined by contradictory viewpoints on the immaterial perceptive being and the world (Unit 9). But what is commonly ignored is that Descartes’s fellow skeptics are perfectly aware of their opinions being flawed. They do not imply that their views lack gaps or issues that are yet to be reviewed. On the contrary, they explicitly support that their understanding of the environment is imperfect.

While Rene’s belief that someone sinister may have planted a number of illusions may be rather paranoid to some extent, it is insightful to a degree as well. It reminds people that certain teachings may not be entirely accurate and that every belief, both one’s personal and somebody else’s, requires deep and thorough analysis. At times, Descartes’ fear of one’s thoughts not belonging to him can be quite valid in some situations. After all, people do not start their lives with a pre-existing set of their own thoughts and beliefs. Although it may be irrational to state that whoever implanted those thoughts must be a delinquent person, his fearful monologue triggers conversations regarding one’s actual viewpoints and implanted ones.

In conclusion, skepticism provides input on a set of interesting issues. The first one is the validity of the predecessors’ opinions, the second input is the validity of one’s own thoughts, and the third – is whether said thoughts are autonomous or implanted by someone else and the existence of an immaterial “thinking thing”. Descartes is commonly criticized for being nihilistic and paranoid, to the point of trapping himself with his own beliefs. This viewpoint, however, is not entirely true, as they trigger the revaluation of various opinions and research on specific gaps.

Writings like Descartes’ Meditations are a valid way of reminding humanity that everything is not that simple. Present day people have been seeking oversimplification of complicated questions while being too confident about their beliefs and the views offered to them. Thus, it is obvious why modern society is eventually facing the re-emergence of skepticism and said position being used as a means to face flaws in perception and thought processes.