Dualism And The Cogito Argument By Rene Descartes

780 Words 4 Pages
In the first passage, proposed by Rene Descartes in his sixth meditation, the argument is circulated around the ideal that the mind, being a thinking thing, is separately existing from the body, being an extended thing. The notion of a "clear and distinct perception" is also formed by stating that if God exists, it is incompatible with his nature that he can deceive due to the conception that God is a supremely perfect being. This is developed as the theory of dualism which, by the dependence of interactionism, ties into the cogito argument--which concludes that you don’t yet know that you have a body or that there is an external world, but you know that you are a thinking thing. Therefore, by the reinforcement of dualism and the cogito argument, …show more content…
Through this concept, Descartes argues that the mind, being a thinking thing, has no form or space. It has the ability to doubt and to understand—and since there is no physical process to these abilities, you are first a mind which is then united to a body. To Descartes, the body is simply an extension rather than not being distinct. This distinction between mind and body ties in to Descartes’ argument regarding clear and distinct perceptions due to the idea that nature teaches us to make certain judgements, such as the mind and body being separable substances. Since God is not a deceiver, and what we clearly and distinctly perceive must be true, so what nature teaches us must be reliable and true. Therefore, a human being must be a union of mind and body because mind and bodies interact with each other reciprocally. This argument that Descartes develops leads back to the idea that we, as human beings, are thinking things based on the concept of …show more content…
The main concern with his argument is that it is based off of assumption, not reality. Descartes states in his argument that in order to not doubt our clear and distinct perceptions, we has to believe that there is a supremely perfect being—God. Yet, the problem with this argument is that in order to prove that there is a God, and not assume, we must rely on our clear and distinct perceptions. Hence, the entirety of his argument creates what we refer to as the Cartesian Circle. If we question if our clear and distinct perceptions are reliable, and answer that with the fact that God exists, we also can question how we know God exists—our answer being that our clear and distinct perceptions prove it. In order to successfully reach a valid argument, it needs to be based off of fact rather than assumption. The way that Descartes goes about his reasoning is through deduction, yet his deduction goes on into an infinite circle of assumption. Descartes premises leading to him to his conclusion regarding his essence being a thinking thing is continuously reinforced by the existence of God. However, this existence of God is assumed and reciprocates with his acknowledgement of clear and distinct

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