Analysis Of Rene Descartes 'Mistake Argument'

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We will be analyzing the work of Rene Descartes a French philosopher as well as a profound mathematician and scientist. We will be focusing on specifically, Descartes’ meditations (I, II) in which he describes to the reader his reaction in realizing how many false beliefs he held. He concluded that therefore he had to doubt anything he had depended those beliefs upon. In order to find what he knew he had to relinquish all his preconceived beliefs and start again from the foundations. It can even be pushed so far as to be read as a challenge to our very notion of rationality. Descartes needs an (SJBB) self-justifying basic belief, which is a proposition that is necessarily true, necessarily indubitable, and necessarily self-justified. This is…show more content…
Not only in instances of purposeful deception in optical illusions, but also in our real lives where something could far away, small, or just a mistake of the natural human error. He concludes that because we have made errors such as these in the past, then there can be no way we can be certain that we have not made this same mistake for any proposition at this time.

The Possibility of Mistake Argument
For any belief I form, it is epistemically possible that I am making a mistake on that occasion.
If (1), then (3)
So, each of my beliefs is
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A proposition that is A priori is based on reasoning or knowledge that follows from theoretical deduction rather than from observation or experience. A strong argument that Descartes describes but rejects is the GOD Example where he states that GOD would have the omnipotence required to deceive us, even in rational thought. But, although he says that GOD could deceive us, that GOD wouldn’t because of he/she/it out not to. GOD is essentially perfectly good, therefore never does anything ought not to do. (Descartes “GOD = Good”). But, a being with the same power, but with the will to deceive. Descartes describes the evil demon argument, where he says that at any possible moment it is possible that we are being deceived by an evil demon. And this evil demon can make us see a chair, understand a certain mathematical theorem, or sense our own body. And, because at any moment we do not know if what we are seeing is the evil demon tricking us or not, we cannot be certain of any of our beliefs. He writes it out
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