Essay on Descartes: I Think, Therefore I Am

904 Words 4 Pages
Through skepticism and doubt Descartes raised a simple yet complex question, what can I be certain of if I doubt everything? Struck by all of the falsehoods he had come to believe, Descartes set out to determine through reason what was certain and able to exist beyond doubt. In order for his habitual opinions and false knowledge to not interfere with his ability to perceive things as they truly were, Descartes doubted everything. In terms of the physical body, our senses tell us that there are external ligaments and matter that come together to produce a body. However, when we are skeptical and doubt all previous knowledge, we are then deceived by our senses and the physical body cannot be proven to exist. Even while doubting the existence …show more content…
Though after the wax has melted and everything the wax was (its color, taste, and smell) is taken away, there is still left the thought of the wax. However, our intellect, our only certain faculty of reasoning and understanding would tell us that it was the same piece of wax. We know that it is the same piece of wax after it has melted but the flame has caused it to appear differently. If the solid and melted piece of wax are the same, how does the intellect know this? Descartes concluded that his ability to understand the wax was not only through the senses acquired by the physical body but also by the reasoning and understanding of his own intellect. In order to determine what is certain, all previous knowledge and beliefs must be doubted. By doubting everything, the senses acquired by the physical body become unreliable and all is left is the reliable nature of thought and intellect. In order for those things in which we become aware of through the senses to have meaning there must be thoughts. The certain belief that thoughts do exist allows for the establishment of a self, the faculty of intellect and thought. The self, the faculty of thought is distinguishable from all other things in that it cannot be doubted. Contrary to Descartes, the Buddhist philosophy rejects the notion of the self. According to Buddhism, to say that there is a self is to say that there is one part of a person that can control the

Related Documents