Descartes 'Mediation I: What Can Be Called Into Doubt'

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Justified, true belief knowledge is only real if there is no conceivable doubt, but nothing can truly be inconceivable fact. In “Mediation I: What can be Called into Doubt”, Descartes tries to find solutions to this, but he only raises more questions about the world. Skepticism arises to challenge the idea of a perfect knowledge and to question the human mind and the world. Descartes reflects on the countless falsehoods he believed that became his knowledge about the world and wipes everything out of his mind to begin anew. Descartes starts with the foundations of knowledge, deciding only to accept opinions as truths when there isn't any conceivable doubt in his mind. Conceivable doubt means that if there is a chance of happening, no matter…show more content…
However, Descartes accepts that humans can be wrong by relying on their sensory knowledge, though mostly on small objects in life. Because the senses can be incorrect, skepticism states that it isn't what Descartes searches for. Descartes tries to reassure himself, saying that it his sense must have some truth, since he is not a mad person. However, mad people are certain that what they see is real, and Descartes has just proven that his sensory knowledge can be wrong at times, so skepticism states that he can never be sure that he isn't insane. Skepticism also doubts whether people's lives are dreams or not, as people can confuse their dreams as real…show more content…
These statements contradict with each other, and fallibility states that (1) is false since it contradicts with the other statements. This leads into skepticism, as there is no absolute way to know if one has a hand. Cohen argues that this is a paradox, as one can change the knowledge of knowing that I have a hand, and the same problem will arise. With contextualism, the inconsistencies disappear by the different interpretations of "to know" a person can have. If the standard for knowledge is high, then (1) is incorrect and the fallibility arguments is correct. However, if the standard is low in context, then deviating outlooks are ignored for their unlikelihood. This makes (3) false, since one has a clear perception and knows it is not a brain-in-a-vat. This standard also makes (1) true, as there is a clear perception that there is a
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