Sophie's World By Joseph Gaarder: A Philosophical Analysis

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How would you feel if everything you encountered in life, you were apprehensive about? Most people would consider you paranoid or eccentric, but this was exactly what the philosopher Descartes was accredited for. In Sophie’s World by Joseph Gaarder, Descartes is one of the philosophers discussed and one who I dissented with. I comprehend his way of thinking, but I do not necessarily agree to it. Descartes’s thought development followed a series of points I disagreed with – senses may not be reliable, there are two classifications of reality, and a perfect entity has to exist being as the idea is already in the mind.
When Descartes was theorizing on how the mind influences the body, he declared human senses cannot be trusted seeing as they can
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God would not be deceiving so Descartes decided an outer reality must exist, but it is a separate form of reality than the reality of thought. He was a dualist asserting that thought and extension (matter) are independent of each other – “’As long as the mind is in the body, he believed, it is linked to the brain. . . where constant interaction takes place between “spirit” and “matter”. . . But the mind can also detach itself from such “base” impulses and operate independently of the body’” (238; ch. 18). When attached to the body, the mind is affected by feelings, but it can also detach itself for reason to be in command, and this is where I did not understand Descartes’s point. If the mind can rise above the material world then what exactly is thinking or doing the reasoning? My view is that a body or some physical object has to be present in order for a rational thought to occur. If there is no such entity existing, then I am not sure how there would be a stream of thought available; therefore, his reasoning perplexes me. He was the one who coined the expression “Coigto, ergo sum” which translates into “I think, therefore I am” and it is how Descartes assumed he was a thinking being. This phrase makes it sound as if something exists because deliberating is occurring. Thus, if the mind is separated from the body, then the question is …show more content…
This notion comes from the idea of a flawless entity Descartes had in his mind, so he deduced the image must have come from God, who is a faultless entity. Sophie had the same thought I did – just because I have a concept in my mind does not necessarily designate that it exists in reality. I feel as if Descartes’s rebuttal is fallible considering he says “’. . . it is not inherent in the concept of a crocophant that it exists. On the other hand, it is inherent in the concept of a perfect entity that such an entity exists’” (236; ch. 18). His logic is reporting that the crocophant does not exist by virtue that a person is not born with the idea of it, but the person has the idea of a supreme entity from the start of his life. This blemishes his logic because it is not necessarily true every person believed in God in his times, just like not everyone believes today. This would be assuming infants are born with an image of a divine being, but those who do not believe lose this image because how else would it explain why some people do not believe. Also, he presumes only one God exists, yet other cultures believe in multiple Gods, and they do not view their Gods as perfect. For example, the Greeks were a polytheistic culture, and the myths about their Gods did not always portray them in the best light and highlight them as blameless. Descartes also gives the example that it

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