An Analysis Of René Descartes Mediations On First Philosophy

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Notre Dame ID: 902008117 In René Descartes ' Mediations on First Philosophy, Descartes abandons all previous notions or things that he holds to be true and attempts to reason through his beliefs to find the things that he can truly know without a doubt. In his first two meditations Descartes comes to the conclusion that all that he can truly know is that he exists, and that he is a thinking being. In his third meditation, Descartes concludes that he came to know his existence, and the fact that he is a thinking being, from his clear and distinct perception of these two facts. Descartes then argues that if his clear and distinct perception would turn out to be false, then his clear and distinct perception that he was a thinking being would not have been enough to make him certain of it (Blanchette). However, Descartes is indeed certain of the fact that he is a thinking being, and that he exists. As a result of this argument, Descartes makes a conclusion that the things he perceives clearly and distinctly cannot be false, and are therefore true (Blanchette). This clear and distinct perception is an important component to the argument that Descartes makes in his fifth meditation for the existence of God. This paper explains Descartes ' proof of God 's existence from Descartes ' fifth meditation, Pierre Gassendi 's objection to this proof, and then offers the paper 's author 's opinion on both the proof and objection. In his fifth meditation, Descartes begins his proof for the
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