Essay Questions on Descartes Question 1
Essay Questions on Descartes
Descartes`s method of doubt is a philosophical reasoning that isgrounded on the elimination of skepticism and possible false beliefs.The methods provides a platform for the reconsideration of the basicsof skeptical doubt where the truth of everything is analyzed. It isnot only the truth of present evidence that is doubted but also thebasic reasoning process as well as the contextual presuppositions.The spectrum of doubt proposed by the method only leaves the mostindubitable foundations of knowledge as certain truth. With themethod, Descartes aimed at introducing a strategy of inquiry thatcould be used to evaluate all discoveries for their truth. Ideally,Descartes had the intention of providing a framework that couldverify the certainty of different aspects of life, science, andmathematics. The argument from perception is one of the reasons ofdoubt given by Descartes. In his experience, he acknowledged that hissenses have deceived his judgement such as the observation thatsticks bend when partially submerged in water. The second reason isthe inability to make a proper distinction between dreaming andperception where the experience in both cases is rather mixed.Finally, Descartes considers that human experiences are a result of adeceiving deity in a manner that the difference between being awakeand dreaming is nullified.
Cogito ergo sum is a philosophical way of thinking by Descartes thatmeans “I think, therefore I am, I exist.” According to Descartes,the cogito ergo sum is the most certain thing that will always emergeirrespective of strict conditions surrounding the universal doubt.The concept is not a result of senses and is not dependent on thedegree of reality in the world but is rather grounded on theconviction that the individual continues to exist even whensystematic deception comes into play. He further argues that theexistence of an omnipotent deity cannot change the situationfollowing the argument that deception and nonexistence of the beingcannot be mutual even in the midst of deception, the being exists.Descartes uses the perception to demystify the existence of theindividual in deception. However, he argues that the cogito requiresthe awareness of the self to avoid deception it is critical that themeditator comprehends his true nature. The most important personaltrait should prevail in the presence of doubt concerning the materialworld and sensory information is the thought of the individual, whichresulted in the conclusion that “I am a thing that thinks”. Themost inseparable and major attribute of awareness is the thought thatstill exists in belief, conception, will, and doubt.
Both Galileo and Descartes challenged the traditional authority andsources of knowledge in their work and contributed in the developmentof a new way to view the universe. The changes in the traditionalapproaches to the definition of nature had an explicit and implicitdisproof of the authorities that had guided in the conception of theprevailing interpretations. However, the two philosophers differed inthe manner they raised doubt on authorities. While Galileo’sapproach involved conflict with the Bible and religion, Descartestried to develop a harmonized approach that considered both scienceand religion. The Copernican Revolution understands the human mind asthe originator of experiences rather than a recipient. The mostimportant aspect that was a factor in Aristotle’s legacy was thatthe world is spherical, like a drop of water. The CopernicanRevolution includes the belief that mathematical models can beapplied in the proper depiction of the universe, which is not muchdifferent from the philosophy of Descartes, especially when it comesto geometry.
Hobbes objects about Descartes understanding of the human mind in theThird Objection. According to the objection, there is no differencebetween the ‘I am thinking’ and ‘I think’ following theconsideration that there is a prevailing image and consequence ofthought. The major doubt arises when Descartes argues that because ‘Iam thinking’, then ‘I am a thought’ owing to the invalidity ofa similar argument that because ‘I am walking’ then, ‘I am awalk’. Hobbes argues that the Descartes is flawed by identifyingthe object that thinks with the actual power of intellect that thatobject carries. In Hobbes’ view the thing that performs thinkingactivities must have an intellect or minds, which means that is has aphysical form. Descartes responds by clarifying that his definitionof ‘I am a mind or reason’ does not consider the abilities butrather focuses on the things that possess thought. He protests aboutthe comparison between ‘a thought’ and ‘a walk’ as argued byHobbes. Whereas a walk can only be used to mean the act of walking,thought can be used to refer to the act of thinking as well as theability to perform thinking or the faculty that thinks. Further, heargues that there is a difference between the thing that understandsand understanding as an act, which means that the former cannot beused to refer to the intellect unless it is perceived to identify thefaculty.
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