Descartes Second Meditation Analysis

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Throughout the Second Meditation, Descartes calls into question our intellectual beliefs and our sensory perceptions that have led us to believe that the world is the way that it is. In the meditations it is highlighted how reason can be utilised to help one arrive at a conclusion so long as it attends to self-evident truths, ones that cannot be questioned. This can be characterised as the cogito which is meant to challenge the way in which we have come to understand the world. The cogito, in its simplest form, can be defined by the phrase “I think, therefore I am.” The significance of the cogito is that it is an immediate intuition of a truth for Descartes which cannot be doubted and it is what he will later treat as a clear and distinct perception.…show more content…
He does not try to prove the certainty of the existence of other minds. The only other entity that is mentioned in the Second Meditation is an “evil genius,” a deceiver of sorts who tries to mislead Descartes and place thoughts in his mind of that of which he is uncertain (Meditations on First Philosophy pg. 18: 26). Throughout the meditation, he goes back and forth about his existence and it is evident that that is what is of concern to him. This aids us in focusing our attention on the real subject…show more content…
One of such assumptions includes the premise that if a thought arises, “I” think it, as opposed to the thought itself. As Nietzche puts it:
I shall never tire of emphasizing a small terse fact … namely, that a thought comes when “it” wishes, not when “I” wish, so that it is a falsification of the facts of the case to say that the subject “I” is the condition of the predicate “thinks.” It thinks; but that this “it” is precisely the famous old “ego” is … only a supposition,… and assuredly not an “immediate certainty. To summarise, through the process of methodic doubt, Descartes can prove that the cogito – “I think, therefore I am” – is true and hence verify his own existence, even if it is just his mind that has been proven to exist by the end of the Second Meditation. Descartes makes a number of strong points in validating his argument such as his methodic doubt and writing from a first-person perspective. In contrast, there is a slight ambiguity in his argument when it comes to defining what “I” truly is but overall, Descartes makes a strong, valid argument in his search for proof of
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