Descartes ' Theory Of Doubt With His Dream Argument Essay

1565 Words Nov 28th, 2016 7 Pages
In Descartes’ first meditation, he says, “But, to this end, it will not be necessary for me to show that the whole of these are false – a point, perhaps, which I shall never reach; but as even now my reason convinces me that I ought not the less carefully to withhold belief from what is not entirely certain and indubitable than from what is manifestly false...”. (p. 98) When Descartes says this, he is saying that sometimes things that appear to be certain or indubitable, actually turn out to be false. In order for Descartes to test his beliefs, he must doubt everything This is referred to as the method of doubt. If he is able to doubt one his beliefs, then he is also able to conclude that it is not certain.
Descartes follows his method of doubt with his dream argument. Often in our dreams, we are in recognizable situations or places. Although our dreams seem to be realistic to our senses, it’s actually an illusion. What seems to be true and real in our dreams, is actually false. This leads Descartes to his conclusion that his senses cannot be trusted as a reliable source of knowledge. Descartes determines that complex studies such as astronomy, physics, and medicine have an uncertain appeal. However, simple studies such as arithmetic and geometry are considered to be somewhat certain and indubitable. Whether you are in a dreaming state or not, 2 + 2 will always equal 4. However, Descartes starts to wonder if even mathematics has deceived him as well.
“How, then, do I know…

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