Descartes Theory Of Causality

1247 Words 5 Pages
In Descartes Meditations, he attempts to prove indubitably that he and a separate physical world exist. By the end of the sixth meditation, he seems to believe that he has succeeded in proving these statements. However, many criticisms seem to arise when analyzing Descartes arguments, one of which involving his theory of causality and whether or not he can grant this as true. So the question is, can Descartes grant himself that his theory of causality is true before proving that he can trust his clear and distinct perceptions? Descartes, after the sixth meditation, has reached the conclusion that he can indubitably know that he, as well as a separate physical world, exists. Although, some steps of his argument seem to be flawed. Before reaching …show more content…
For example, he was able to grant himself that the claim “I think, therefore I am” was indubitably true, which is based off of clear and distinct perceptions, without first proving all of these perceptions were true (2nd Meditation, pp. 65). One recognizable difference between the two claims, though, is that it seems that the claim “I think, therefore I am” is an empirical observation while the theory of causality is not. One would not be able to convincingly doubt that they are not thinking, while it seems as though one could doubt that the theory of causality is true. Another distinction to be made is that there seem to be two parts to the theory of causality premise. These would be that everything has a cause, and that a cause must have at least as must reality as the actual thing. The first of these premises seems that it could be true based off of clear and distinct perceptions, that is we tend to believe that something cannot come from nothing. However, nothing in our experience seems to force the second of these premises to be …show more content…
Although, the idea that something cannot come from nothing, and the idea that a perfect being exists at the highest degree of reality, do not seem to be able to coexist. This would suggest that a god would not be able to come from nothing, which means that god would not be able to have the highest degree of reality, because god’s existence would have to have a cause it relied on. Something with the highest degree of reality would not have to rely on anything to be able to exist. This would mean that either the proof of the existence of god failed, or there is a possibility that god is not at the highest degree of reality, as Descartes puts it, and he is not the all perfect being we are told he is. If god were not perfect, he may not be all benevolent, and may allow us to be deceived. Without the proof that we are not being deceived, we cannot know indubitably that we are not being

Related Documents