Importance Of Descartes First Meditations

Great Essays
There has always been a point in history of Western philosophy when the definition of knowledge had been redefined, debated upon, and rejected. However, many philosophers were more concerned with the essence of knowledge, that is, what does constitute as knowledge and how we can achieve it. In addition, many argue that there are certain knowledge is just not attainable and human mind wouldn’t be able to grasp on the capacity of the higher truths. Nevertheless, one still can question the knowledge they already possess and decided for themselves whether to believe it or not. In this essay I aim to demonstrate Descartes’ arguments for skepticism and genuine knowledge. In order to do so, I shall inform the reader about the very importance of skepticism, central concerns in the First Meditations, and eventually draw upon bona fide source of genuine knowledge. In particular, I discuss how I am certain in my knowing of writing this paper at this very moment based on my rationale and reasoning, without relying on senses to come to such conclusion.
From the beginning of Meditations, Descartes declares that what is certain that nothing is certain in this world. First, it is important to examine why he comes to
…show more content…
Such radical process has a purpose of inquiring and questioning our knowledge by looking at its foundation. If foundation proves to be doubtful, everything else collapses; thus leaving one to own device to decide what knowledge is genuine by using reason. Furthermore, Descartes strives to utilize skepticism as the mean to an end, that is, the doubting all our beliefs for the purpose of acquiring genuine knowledge. However, Descartes himself admits that it might be impossible to know all the truths, but at least the skepticism would help him to eject the false beliefs, replacing them with justified and certain

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    However, Arnauld 's objection makes a valid criticism, which shows that Descartes ' epistemological project ultimately fails. In this paper, I will explain Descartes ' epistemic plan in the Meditations, and his discovery of indubitable beliefs to accomplish this plan. I will also present his argument for God 's existence, and explain how he uses the argument to prove that the material universe exists.…

    • 2194 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    Cleanthes Vs Philo

    • 1158 Words
    • 5 Pages

    “Cogito ergo sum” – is the core principle underlying in this theory. If one takes a closer look at this formula, “cogito” might be translated, as “I doubt”. This is the method Descartes uses to reset his knowledge. He believes that by consciously overthinking and over excepting old truths,…

    • 1158 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    David Hume Skepticism

    • 1509 Words
    • 6 Pages

    This is telling people that they must throw out much of what they believe to be true and begin to question it. Knowledge is not always what people believe it to be. Hume based his teachings on skepticism rather than rationalism. Rationalism was unacceptable to him. Hume’s skepticism is pretty hard to wrap my mind around.…

    • 1509 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    John Leslie Mackie maintained that there is no objective moral truth. Throughout my essay I aim to establish what Mackie meant by this, I shall then go on to explore his ‘Argument from Relativity’ (more commonly known as the argument from disagreement) which he displays in his paper ‘The subjectivity of Values’ (1977). Finally, I shall investigate an important objection to the argument outlining how Mackie and other scholars respond to these critics. I believe that they respond sufficiently to the criticisms, critics appear to make fundamental misunderstandings regarding the way in which agents construct their beliefs leading them to falsely conclude that objective values exist. As a moral anti-realist Mackie supposes that moral properties cannot exist independently of the mind.…

    • 1470 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This however contradicts himself and leads him to beg the question. The problem with the debate of Moore vs the philosophical skeptic is they both believe in different worlds. Moore believes in what could be called the "realistic world" whereas the philosophical skeptic believes in the "doubtful world". Intuitively, it goes against all of our senses to believe that such an external and "realistic" world does not exist. Moore is correct in describing our intuitions as the smarter bet, but because he tries to demonstrate his argument deductively, his "proof" is invalid.…

    • 850 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    We must begin with all the prejudices which we actually have when we enter upon the study of philosophy. These prejudices are not to be dispelled by a maxim, for they are things which it does not occur to us can be questioned” (Peirce, Some Consequences). Thus, “this initial skepticism will be a mere self-deception, and not real doubt” and the Cartesian philosopher will be left unsatisfied attempting to recover those beliefs once cast aside. He suggests that “(the audience) not pretend to doubt in philosophy what we do not doubt in our hearts” (Peirce, Some Consequences). Wittgenstein had similar considerations as Peirce as to why methodological doubt as a foundation is flawed.…

    • 1230 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    We must take our time with discussing this aspect of your theory as the idea plays a major role in the rest of your work, EHU, and also seems to helps lay the foundation for your theory of Necessary Connection. But some argue perhaps there are demonstrable truths outside of the realm of logic, arithmetic, geometry, and mathematics. For example, some moral theorists would argue that it is certain that some virtues are good, and it could never be true that their contradiction would be good. You argue that ethics falls under the category of matters of fact, and you state that in regards to matters of fact the contradiction could never be thought of as impossible. The term, Hume’s Fork, is often used by contemporaries to imply the strong counter argument to your separation of human understanding into these two distinct realms, which some have said, rule out propositions that do not fit into either one of these categories (Edward and Brown 2016, 5.1).…

    • 1462 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Descartes points out that the senses are not reliable by using the dreaming out argument and the evil demon argument. People attain their knowledge through seeing, hearing, smelling, and imagining, so all existed beliefs should be open to doubt. Is there anything that is certain? Descartes discovers that I think therefore I am and he uses this truth as the foundation to build a new system of knowledge and…

    • 803 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Also, since knowledge consciously derived from the senses can be the cause of illusions, then sense experience itself can be doubtable. He does not trust his senses as they can sometimes deceive us and as he says himself, “it is prudent never to trust completely those who have deceived us even once” As a result, Descartes deduced that a correct pursuit of truth should doubt every belief about reality. Descartes developed a method to attain truths according to which nothing that cannot be recognised by the intellect can be classified as knowledge. These truths are gained without any sensory experience, according to Descartes. Truths that are attained by reason are to be broken down into elements which intuition can grasp, which, through a purely deductive process, will result in clear truths about reality.…

    • 1549 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The René Descartes’ main purpose was finding whether some truths really existed or not. It does not have to be forgot, indeed, that he came from a period of time when sciences did still not have a framed system of values, therefore he wanted to find a truth, between a lot of possible illusions: namely, tidiness among chaos. In this essay, I will explore Descartes’ meeting with the sceptical challenge of what he calls Demon Doubt, by providing evidence of this, as well as an explanation of what could have been his reasons for the engagement of such a position. Firstly, Descartes met the challenge of the scepticism. However, his position could rather be seen as an anti-sceptical one, because, instead of believing that everything was merely false and that nothing existed, he just held nothing to be true and inspected the potential existence of something.…

    • 700 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics