Rene Descartes’ arguments in “Meditations on First Philosophy” are questionable to exactly how valid and sound they really are. His proof for the existence of God in the fifth meditation is an example of one of his invalid and therefore unsound arguments.
Throughout the meditations Descartes refers to clear and distinct ideas. Descartes first introduces doubt to the reader by saying that one cannot trust these clear and distinct ideas. “I have noticed that the senses are sometimes deceptive; as it is a mark of prudence never to place our complete trust in those that have deceived us even once.” (Descartes, 60) He introduces doubt through the senses, dreams, and through the possibility of an evil genius at
…show more content…
Descartes then uses clear and distinct ideas in order to justify scholastic metaphysics. Scholastic Metaphysics deals primarily with reality. There are two kinds of reality, formal which everything must possess and objective. There are also three levels of these realities; God, substance, and attributes. The level of reality that something possesses is based on its ontological independence. God is completely ontologically independent therefore he needs nothing in order to exist and has the highest level of reality. Substance such as mind and body need God in order to exist, therefore have lesser levels of reality. Attributes such as shape or extension need either a mind or body to exist in. These substances such as mind or body are then in turn dependent upon God which would then make an attribute possess the lowest level of reality. In order to determine the level of reality that something possesses Descartes turns to using clear and distinct ideas. The methodology for discovering the level of reality is based on four questions. What level of reality does it possess formally or as the thing itself? Does it represent something? If yes, what does it represent? If the represented did