Arguments Of Arguments On Skepticism And Proceeds As By Montaigne, Explicate Them, And Then Provide Descartes Response

1274 Words Oct 6th, 2014 6 Pages
I will outline two related skeptical arguments made by Montaigne, explicate them, and then provide Descartes response to these arguments, followed by a brief examination to determine which argument hold more persuasive power. I will begin by outlining two arguments presented by Montaigne, and then expand upon them to better explain their meaning and significance.
The first argument I will discuss is the seventh argument presented by Montaigne in his work on skepticism, and proceeds as follows; “To judge appearances that we receive from subjects, we would need a judicatory instrument; to verify that instrument, we would need demonstration; to verify the demonstration, an instrument; here we are going round in a circle. Since the senses cannot stop the dispute, being themselves full of uncertainty, it must be up to reason; no reason can be established without another reason: here we are regressing to infinity” (Montaigne, 13). Montaigne begins this argument by presenting an example of using measuring instruments, and trying to determine the accuracy of this instrument. In this case, the instrument is analogous to the senses, be it sight, sound, touch, etc. as the senses are instruments used by the mind to relay objective information about the world. The issue, as he explains, is that there is no way that we can be certain of these senses, and that there is no way of objectively resting them in order to be certain of their accuracy. That is to say, you cannot weigh…

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