Analysis Of René Descartes 'Demon Doubt'

René Descartes’ main purpose was finding whether some truths really existed or not. Consequently, he understood that his aim would have been satisfied exclusively by doubting each belief he previously owned and, in order to do this, he had to meet the sceptical challenge of the evil genius. In this essay, I will start by explaining what the sceptical challenge is, examining other possible approaches to discover illusions, and arguing about what one I hold to be the most efficient. Afterwards, I will defend Descartes’ belief in deceit, against an objection that depicts the impossibility for humans to be deceived, even assuming the actual existence of a ‘Demon Doubt’ that deceives us.

Firstly, Descartes challenges the scepticism accepting that
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As a consequence, he believed in a first truth: things perceived in a dream are determined by things inevitably existent in reality. For example, even when we dream about an imaginary creature, this latter is based on real, but different, elements that we actually perceived when we were awake. “In other words, dream-objects and situations, however bizarre, are made up of combinations of well-known forms, and these wellknown forms are themselves made up of simpler forms that really exist.” (Wilson. Descartes 's Meditations: An Introduction. Pag. 39).

Nevertheless, Descartes hypothesises the existence of another reason for doubt: “some evil mind, who is all powerful and cunning, has devoted all their energies to deceiving me” (Descartes. I Meditation. Pag.22). This ‘evil mind’, also called ‘Demon Doubt’, ‘evil genius’, or “deceiving demon’, occurred because even the most evident and basic knowledge urged to be doubted, if we were trying to find a truth with the belief that everything could be doubtful. Thus, the Meditator destroyed every previous belief on mathematical truths or any other truth about ‘general things’, even the most elementary and observable
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It may be useful, in order to draw to a reasonable conclusion, to consider the definition itself of illusion, as humans conceive it, since Bouwsma depicted a difference between the doubt’s conception and our conception, but he did not explain verily what the difference was. Illusion is “something that is not really what it seems to be” and “an idea or belief that is not true” (Cambridge Dictionary. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/illusion). In other worlds, an illusion is just a misconception and Descartes does not say that the truth behind illusions has to be researched in what the evil mind owns: even if an evil mind is not deceiving us, we can still be deceived in our understanding of

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