Essay On Descartes Deceiver Hypothesis

991 Words 4 Pages
The belief in a material world is based on clear and distinct perception. One can observe that they are sitting down, or that there is a table in front of them. However, in the face of Descartes’ deceiver hypothesis (Descartes/Cottingham, p. 17), all perception is called into doubt. How does one know (or at least have a reasonable belief) that the physical world exists, that a ‘malicious demon’ (Descartes/Cottingham, p. 19) is not fabricating our sense perceptions? In the eyes of Descartes’ hypothesis, one can never be certain that the material world exists outside of our perception. However, one can justify their belief in the existence of objects through a series of perceptual reasonings on material objects. Yet, if we look at this problem of justifying belief in a material world solely in the eyes of Descartes, his deceiver hypothesis could override every one of our justifications. The malicious demon presented in the First Meditation (Descartes/Cottingham, p. 17-19) has the power (in the opinions of Descartes) to deceive me into believing the existence of not only a material world, but also of the existence of all other humans. This calls into questions every attempted justification …show more content…
If the deceiver was projecting this reality upon my senses, then only what I am perceiving at the current moment would ‘exist’ (at least to my senses) and as I shifted my gaze, a new deception or projection would appear before me. Continuing with the hypothetical of the deceiver hypothesis, I would be forced to state that what is appearing before me, or what I believe I am experiencing, is not a product of clear and distinct perception. It is, instead, a trick by the deceiver to fool my senses into believing that I am interacting with these objects, such as the chair. In theory, the deceiver hypothesis does justify the demon’s power to trick my sensory

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