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The correspondence of René Descartes and Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia—a debate about mind, soul, and immortality.

By Anthony Gottlieb

Aristotle with a Bust of Homer (detail), by Rembrandt van Rijn, 1653. © The Metropolitan Museum of Art , Purchase, special contributions and funds given or bequeathed by friends of the Museum, 1961.

There is an “official theory” about the nature of minds that “hails chiefly from Descartes,” wrote Gilbert Ryle, an Oxford philosopher. According to the theory, each person has a mind that is a private, inner world. It has no spatial dimensions and is not subject to laws that govern physical objects, yet it is mysteriously connected to a material body during a person’s earthly life. Ryle dubbed this “the dogma of the Ghost in the Machine.”

People have not always thought of the mind and the body in this way. Homer ’s heroes are not depicted as composites that are only partly physical. Their awareness, intelligence, and other mental activities are part of their bodily lives. And although the shades of the dead lurk in the Homeric underworld, these etiolated creatures are little more than fading echoes of the living. Some later Greek philosophers explicitly stated that the soul is made of physical stuff. For Democritus, it was tiny units of solid matter. For the Stoics, it was a mixture of fire and air.

Unlike Homer and the Greek materialists, Plato did believe in something like René Descartes ’ ghost in the machine. A person has an inner rational self, according to Plato, which can escape its bodily imprisonment with its powers intact. Yet Ryle was right to single out Descartes even though parts of the “official theory” can be traced to Plato. Descartes sharpened the concepts of mind and matter, crystallizing ideas that took shape in the seventeenth century and giving us the modern form of the so-called mind-body problem.

In his Meditations on First Philosophy , published in 1641, Descartes announced that he was essentially a thinking thing: “Thought…alone is inseparable from me.” There is an outer world, which includes my body, but I could still exist even if it were all destroyed. And what exactly is a thinking thing? Something that is aware. Descartes explained that by “thought” he meant “everything that is within us in such a way that we are immediately aware of it.” This included sensation, will, intellect, and imagination. Thus Descartes made consciousness the distinguishing mark of the mental.

Strength of mind is exercise, not rest.

He also merged the concepts of mind and soul. The “mind” was “the principle in virtue of which we think,” and a person’s soul was his or her mind. This was a novelty since in medieval science and philosophy, the soul was largely regarded as what animates inert matter. If a body died, it was because its life-giving soul had departed. But for Descartes it was the other way around. If the soul departed, it was because its body had broken down.

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Written by Nieto 300 Womens Court Shoes Elizabeth Stuart 8NgoN
on December 4, 2010

When we started Freshdesk ,we decided to incorporate in the USA because that seemed to be the best option for a SAAS company that wanted to handle recurring payments from international customers from day 1. Our preferred payment gateway works only with US bank accounts and it is easier to get a US bank account if you are a USA corporation.We are based out of India and the options for accepting dollar payments with recurring billing were seriously limited and expensive.The only option seemed to be Paypal but again we were not sure if we could link Paypal with our Indian bank accounts for USA payments.

Since there were not many resources available on the web for incorporating a US corp from abroad I thought I will share our story for the benefit of future entrepreneurs.

Of course there are many other ways to do this – but this is how we did it.

1. Incorporation – in the State of Delaware as a Delaware C Corp.

1. Incorporation

If you ask “Why Delaware” ? – We couldn’t find anything convincing for “Why not” ?

Total cost for incorporation – $1278

Break up:

Lawyer Fees – $1005 (Ryan Roberts at Startup Lawyer ). I would highly recommend Ryan. He was very professional and knowledgeable and very easy to work with thru email and skype. He charged us a flat fee for the full service startup incorporation package and this included a Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association, Restricted Stock Purchase agreements, Technology Transfer agreements, Proprietary Information agreements etc.

Lawyer Fees

Incorporation fees – $148 ( Delaware C Corp ).

Incorporation fees Delaware C Corp

Registered Agent fees – $125 (This is a yearly fee. A registered agent service is mandatory to incorporate a delaware corporation if you live outside Delaware). (Bloomberg Excelsior Business Services)

Registered Agent fees (Bloomberg Excelsior Business Services)

2. Employer ID Number (EIN – TAX Number)

Every business in the US needs a EIN number (also known as Tax ID number). After Incorporation docs are ready, fill form and call the IRS Philadelphia center directly at (800) 829-4933 (This is the only office in the US that processes EIN for US business that are incorporated from foreign countries). They will give you the EIN on the phone. It may be helpful if you have a fax nearby at the time of calling. You can fax the filled SS4 form to them so that you don’t have to spell out all the details on the phone.

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