Descartes Cogito Analysis

992 Words4 Pages

We see many philosophers base their beliefs on something specific however Descartes philosophy comes from extreme scepticism also known as nihilism. He begins his philosophy by having disbelief in the true existence of anything at all. Descartes main aim was to attain certainty. He had a desire to be certain about the things that truly exist and those that do not. He believed that once he could be truly certain of one thing that he could re-build the world from there for the better. He begins his attempt at this by using methodic doubt. This is the process whereby Descartes eliminates anything from which he has the slightest doubt. He doubted the senses because they can often deceive us in the form that things may appear in one way but consequently …show more content…

He therefore could build upon the cogito to eventually build the world that is of true existence. The idea that Descartes exists as a thinking being ensures that he will be unable to doubt his thoughts and consequently believe that his philosophy is correct. Be that as it may, the cogito certainly has its weaknesses. An objection that would be considered one of the weakest points in the cogito is that it is limited to the ‘I’. The only thing that Descartes view on this reveals is that of his own mind. This subsequently means that Descartes could not discover anything outside himself. He could understand things outside himself and believed that to know what ‘I’ means, he also must know the meaning of ‘you’ and ‘they’. However he could not assure that another exists because he is only able to be certain of ‘I think’. Another weakness is the idea that Descartes only knows of his existence through his thinking. Everything is in the present tense meaning he is unable to make any predictions or thoughts on the past or the future. He makes thought the only characteristic in true existence which some see as a very broad assumption. Some philosophers rejected the necessity of thought to prove existence as they believed that when they turned the sentence ‘I think therefore I am’ to the reverse ‘I do not think therefore I am not’ they believed this to be untrue. An example of a rock was used to show that the rock may not be thinking however can still be in

Open Document