In the first two of Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes builds skepticism and then begins to dispel it. In the first, Descartes calls into mind three possibilities to prove our inability to trust our senses and what we fundamentally believe to be true. Descartes’ main refutation of this skepticism is known as the Cogito. The Cogito claims that since Descartes’ thinks, he must at a minimum exist as a thinking thing. In the remainder of Meditations, the Cogito serves as the fundamental premise for Descartes’ proofs for the existence of God and of body. I contend that as it is in Meditations, the Cogito is easily refuted. I argue that Descartes’ response to Mersenne alleviates most of these refutations, as his response shifts …show more content…
To Descartes, the Evil Demon is a powerful being that can control everything we perceive (Cahn 534). If there is an Evil Demon, then we cannot trust anything (Cahn 534). Everything we sense may be altered or even entirely created by the Evil Demon (Cahn 535). Even fundamental arithmetic cannot be trusted as the Evil Demon may make it unreliable (Cahn 535). The Evil Demon can alter thoughts to the point where even they cannot be relied upon (Cahn 535). To Descartes, this is the strongest argument for skepticism. For this reason, from now on, I will focus on how the Cogito relates to this skeptical argument. Descartes needs a foundation to progress his argument in the rest of the Meditations in order to prove the existence of God, and of Body. From now on, we will assume that Descartes successful proved that our senses, our body, and anything that we believe to be true is not reliable. If we cannot rely upon anything, then there are no premises to use to prove anything. Descartes goal is to find a response to the doubt cast in the First …show more content…
The issue of circularity with the syllogistic view no longer applies because it no longer makes sense: if a point is self-evident there is no room for circularity. If the Cogito is self-evident, then there cannot possibly be circularity. Likewise, if the Cogito is self-evident, then the objection I raised regarding the reliability of logic itself does not hold, as no logic is needed to arrive at something that is self-evident. Therefore the Cogito, if it is self-evident, is sound. As a result, the Cogito as a self-evident fact and intuition successfully defeats the strongest skeptical point that we cannot even know if we exist, and Descartes conclusion of the Cogito
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While Descartes is clearly considering even the most remote possibilities in his method of doubt, all he offers is the claim that such a being could exist. However, this is not seen as a solid basis upon which absolute doubt, required by Descartes, can be built. Ironically, his skepticism offers such that I am in a state of doubt, I will also have doubt about the possibility that there could even be a deceiving being. As such, my doubt about the possibility of such a being serves to undermine the greater doubt that is supposed to be generated by this being. In order for the evil demon to generate such a degree of doubt it must be possible for it to exist.
Throughout the Meditations, Descartes tries to prove the existence of God while rebuilding the knowledge that he recently casted much doubt over. He uses the cosmological argument to provide the proof needed to show Gods existence through arguing his own imperfections and Gods perfections. The main concepts within this argument stem from his overall point that something can’t come from nothing, and that God is the perfect being. Descartes begins his cosmological argument by admitting he is an imperfect individual.
3.For God to be perfect, God must exist. 4.So God exists. The first argument that Descartes states, in my opinion, is indubitably valid. The example given in class was the supplementary angles in an equilateral triangle will always equal 180 degrees.
The Cartesian Circle is an objection to Descartes’ proof of God’s existence as it begs the question. In his proof, Descartes starts off with his two premises, his idea of God and the principle, which states that the cause of an idea must have at least as much formal reality as the idea has objective reality, which leads to a conclusion that God exists. Descartes’ conclusion then adds on to say that God is not a deceiver that will then follow to develop the General Rule, which states that if we have a clear and distinct perception of something, we would be certain of it. According to critics, Descartes is able to use the principle as his premise because Descartes relies on the General Rule in order to be certain of it. Using the two premises,
ii) Descartes argument for the proof of God’s existence is open to the accusation of circular reasoning. Critically defend or critique Descartes’ proof of God’s existence in light of this accusation. The belief in God is a universal theme which has run through our rich history. Even today with modern advances and discoveries the answer for God’s existence is still unknown.
Descartes, in his Meditations on First Philosophy, used a method of doubt; he doubted everything in order to find something conclusive, which he thought, would be certain knowledge. He found that he could doubt everything, expect that he was thinking, as doubting is a type of thinking. Since thinking requires a thinker, he knew he must exist. According to Descartes if you are able to doubt your existence, then it must mean that you exist, hence his famous statement cogito ergo sum which is translated into ‘I think, therefore I am.’ Descartes said he was able to doubt the existence of his body and all physical things, but he could not doubt that his mind exists.
Descartes search for knowledge starts with a self claim of doubt. Like we studied earlier, he doubts senses, his body, everything he has experienced in the outside world. Descartes didn’t want to simply become a cynic and just doubt something because it was the easy way out. He believes that doubt is able to move the analyst toward the elimination of mistake and will be given to knowledge. In the sixth Meditation, he continues on to differ between the mind and body.
I will argue that Descartes ' proof of God in theory sounds valid, until one realizes they 're being led in a circle. Descartes has an idea of an infinite, perfect (omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent) being or God. He believes the fact he, a finite being, can imagine such a perfect being, must mean this being instilled the idea in his mind. He claims that this idea is clear and distinct, or in other words, cannot be denied. Therefore God exists, and because God exists, he would not deceive Descartes by allowing him to have clear and distinct ideas that are false (SparkNotes Editors).
5. Why can’t an evil deceiver deceive Descartes about his belief that he thinks? He sees that he can be certain that he exists and that he thinks because even if an evil genius is doing everything possible to deceive Descartes, it can 't deceive him into believing he doesn 't exist. In order for something to be deceived, it must at least exist. Then, Descartes comes up with a rule which allows him 6.
In this paper, I will deliver a reconstruction of Descartes’ Cogito Argument and my reasoning to validate it as indubitable. I will do so by justifying my interpretations through valid arguments and claim, by showcasing examples with reasoning. Rene Descartes is a French Philosopher of the 17th century, who formulated the philosophical Cogito argument by the name of ‘cogito ergo sum,’ also known as “I think, therefore, I am.” Rene was a skeptic philosopher amongst many scholastic philosophers of his time. To interpret his cogito argument as indubitable and whether it could serve as a foundational belief, he took a skeptical approach towards the relations between thoughts and existence.
Descartes Methodological Doubt and Meditations Methodological doubt is an approach in philosophy that employs distrust and doubt to all the truths and beliefs of an individual to determine what beliefs he or she is certain are true. It was popularized by Rene Descartes who made it a characteristic method of philosophy where a philosopher subjects all the knowledge they have with the sole purpose of scrutinizing and differentiating the true claims from the false claims. Methodological doubt establishes certainty by analytically and tentatively doubting all the knowledge that one knows to set aside dubitable knowledge from the indubitable knowledge that an individual possesses. According to Descartes, who was a rationalist, his first meditation
In the second meditation, Descartes uses this cogito of consciousness and existence to assume that the mind is distant from a body. “I am, I exist”. This essay I will clearly discuss an outline of Descartes cogito in the second meditation and how it deals with the subject of existence and also Descartes’s strongest and weakest arguments in this case. “The Meditation of yesterday filled my mind with so many doubts that it is no longer in my power to
We know clear and distinct perceptions independently by God, and his existence provides us with a certainty we might not possess otherwise. However, another possible strategy would be to change Gods role in Descartes philosophy. Instead of seeing God as the validation of clear and distinct perceptions, rather see him as a safeguard against doubt. This strategy, however, is a problem since it re-constructs the Meditations – Philosophical work of Descartes –.This is because it would not be God, who is the ultimate foundation of knowledge, but the clear and distinct
In this paper, I will deliver a reconstruction of Descartes’ Cogito Argument and my reasoning to validate it as indubitable. I will do so by justifying my interpretations through valid arguments and claim, by showcasing examples with reasoning. Rene Descartes is a French Philosopher of the 17th century, who formulated the philosophical Cogito argument by the name of ‘cogito ergo sum,’ also known as “I think, therefore, I am.” Rene was a skeptic philosopher amongst many scholastic philosophers at his time. He took a skeptical approach towards the relations between thoughts and existence, to interpret his cogito argument as indubitable and whether it could serve as a foundational belief.