Preview
Preview

Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy Essays

No Works Cited
Length: 1961 words (5.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy


Rene Descartes’ third meditation from his book Meditations on First Philosophy, examines Descartes’ arguments for the existence of God. The purpose of this essay will be to explore Descartes’ reasoning and proofs of God’s existence. In the third meditation, Descartes states two arguments attempting to prove God’s existence, the Trademark argument and the traditional Cosmological argument. Although his arguments are strong and relatively truthful, they do no prove the existence of God.

At the start of the meditation, Descartes begins by rejecting all his beliefs, so that he would not be deceived by any misconceptions from reaching the truth. Descartes acknowledges himself as, “a thing that thinks: that is, a thing that doubts, affirms, denies, understands a few things, is ignorant of many things” He is certain that that he thinks and exists because his knowledge and ideas are both ‘clear and distinct’. Descartes proposes a general rule, “that whatever one perceives very clearly and very distinctly is true” Descartes discovers, “that he can doubt what he clearly and distinctly perceives is true led to the realization that his first immediate priority should be to remove the doubt” because, “no organized body of knowledge is possible unless the doubt is removed” The best probable way to remove the doubt is prove that God exists, that he is not a deceiver and “will always guarantee that any clear and distinct ideas that enter our minds will be true.” Descartes must remove the threat of an invisible demon that inserts ideas and doubts into our minds to fool us , in order to rely on his ‘clear and distinct’ rule.

In constructing his argument for God's existence, Descartes analyzes several aspects of the nature of human thought. He begins by outlining the various types of thoughts we have, which include ideas, thoughts, volitions and judgments. Ideas, or images of ideas can only exist within the mind and are certain of existence. Volitions, or choices are firmly within the mind and are also certain. Emotions, such as love, fear, hate, all exist in the mind and are certain as well. Judgments involve reference to effects outside the mind and are subject to doubt. Therefore, judgments are not certain and distinct. Descartes believes that images, volitions, and emotions are never false but it is our judg...


... middle of paper ...


... God alone remains; and, given the truth of the principle that whatever exists has a cause, it follows, Descartes declares, that God exists we must of necessity conclude from the fact alone that I exist, or that the idea of a supremely perfect – that is of God – is in me, that the proof of God’s existence is grounded in the highest evidence” Descartes concludes that God must be the cause of him, and that God innately implanted the idea of infinite perfection in him.

Descartes second argument for proving God’s existence is very straightforward. He has four possibilities that created his existence. Through process of elimination he is left with God being his creator.

Descartes succeeded in some parts of his proof for the existence of God, but failed in proving God’s existence from a logical point of view. Most religions prove that anybody can be right in his own description of existence of God. So, Descartes is right in his own way, but to others to accept his idea is totally up to them. No one is certain that God exists. Although there are many causes that could make one believe God is for certain, those causes which might be perceived, does not necessarily make them true.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy Essays - In Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes does and experiment with wax to try to prove that things actually exist in this world. This essay is going to prove how we can tell that things actually exist and what can perceive the wax. Rene Descartes starts off with a description of the wax so he can prove to us the changes that will happen throughout his experiment. “Let us take, for instance, this piece of wax. It has been taken quite recently from the honeycomb; it has not yet lost all the honey flavor....   [tags: meditation on first philosophy]
:: 1 Works Cited
1226 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay Descartes Six Meditations on First Philosophy - Throughout the six meditations on First Philosophy, French philosopher Rene Descartes seeks to find a concrete foundation for the basis of science, one which he states can only include certain and unquestionable beliefs. Anything less concrete, he argues will be exposed to the external world and to opposition by philosophical sceptics. The sense of the Cartesian reform is the imposition of a new method of thinking. Descartes’ method to begin with is reductive, removing all knowledge acquired without control, to become analytical, putting forward any knowledge in a process of division to present simple elements, those which are clear and distinct....   [tags: Philosophy] 1342 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy -      Descartes believes that knowledge comes from within the mind. This is a single indisputable fact to build on that can be gained through individual reflection. While seeking true knowledge, Descartes writes his Six Meditations. In these meditations, Descartes tries to develop a strong foundation, which all knowledge can be built upon. In the First Meditation, Descartes begins developing this foundation through the method of doubt. He casts doubt upon all his previous beliefs, including “matters which are not entirely certain and indubitable [and] those which appear to be manifestly false.” (Descartes, p.75, par.3) Once Descartes clears away all beliefs that can be called into doubt, he c...   [tags: Meditations on First Philosophy Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
2108 words
(6 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Essay on Meditations on First Philosophy, by Rene Descartes - In Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, he talks about the distinction between God and existence. This paper is going to argue that in Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, both are contrasting how we know that God really exists and how we know what we perceive in this world actually exists as well. This essay will start by talking all about Rene Descartes and his ideas around the existence of God and life itself with everything living in it. Rene Descartes is putting forward an argument that everything we perceive in life is true when he says; “And thus I now seem able to posit as a general rule that everything I very clearly and distinctly p...   [tags: literary analysis, rene descartes]
:: 2 Works Cited
1125 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy Essays - Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy Rene Descartes’ third meditation from his book Meditations on First Philosophy, examines Descartes’ arguments for the existence of God. The purpose of this essay will be to explore Descartes’ reasoning and proofs of God’s existence. In the third meditation, Descartes states two arguments attempting to prove God’s existence, the Trademark argument and the traditional Cosmological argument. Although his arguments are strong and relatively truthful, they do no prove the existence of God....   [tags: Existence God Religion Descartes Essays] 1961 words
(5.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Analysis of Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy Essay - Rene Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy Rene Descartes set the groundwork for seventeenth century rationalism, the view opposed by the empiricist school of thought. As a rationalist, Descartes firmly believed in reason as the principal source of knowledge. He favoured deduction and intellect over the senses and because of this he did not find comfort in believing that his opinions, which he had developed in his youth, were credible. It is for this reason that Rene Descartes chose to “raze everything to the ground and begin again from the original foundations,” (13)....   [tags: rationalism, doubt, knowledge]
:: 1 Works Cited
1319 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Free Will in Meditations on First Philosophy by Descartes Essay - The Free Will in Meditations on First Philosophy by Descartes I In Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes takes the reader through a methodological exercise in philosophical enquiry. After stripping the intellect of all doubtful and false beliefs, he re-examines the nature and structure of being in an attempt to secure a universally valid epistemology free from skepticism. Hoping for the successful reconciliation of science and theology, Descartes works to reconstruct a new foundation of absolute and certain truth to act as a catalyst for future scientific research by “showing that a mathematical [rational-objective] physics of the world is attainable by creatures with our intellectua...   [tags: Philosophy Philosophical Descartes Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
3757 words
(10.7 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Certainty in Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy Essay - Certainty in Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy René Descartes was the first philosopher to raise the question of how we can claim to know anything about the world with certainty. The idea is not that these doubts are probable, but that their possibility can never be entirely ruled out. If we can never be certain, how can we claim to know anything. The First Meditation of Meditations on First Philosophy, subtitled "What can be called into doubt," opens with the Meditator reflecting on the number of falsehoods he has believed during his life and on the subsequent ability of the body to deceive him....   [tags: Philosophy Religion Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
624 words
(1.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Logical Fallacies of Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy Essay - The Logical Fallacies of Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy includes a proof for the existence of material objects, such as trees. Descartes accomplishes this by first doubting all things, from which he learns that he can be certain of nothing but his own existence as a thinking thing. From this established certainty, Descartes is able to provide proof for the existence of God, and, finally proof of the existence of material objects. Descartes’ proof of God, however, from which the proof of material things is made possible, is suspect: the proof relies on knowledge of clear and distinct ideas but knowledge of clear and distinct ideas...   [tags: Philosophy Religion Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
2340 words
(6.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Comparing Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy and Plato's The Republic - In the field of philosophy there can be numerous answers to a general question, depending on a particular philosopher's views on the subject. Often times an answer is left undetermined. In the broad sense of the word and also stated in the dictionary philosophy can be described as the pursuit of human knowledge and human values. There are many different people with many different theories of knowledge. Two of these people, also philosophers, in which this paper will go into depth about are Descartes and Plato....   [tags: Compare Contrast philosophy] 1499 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]