The Certainty of the Mind: Arguements from Rene Descartes' Meditation II

The Certainty of the Mind: Arguements from Rene Descartes' Meditation II

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It is human nature to question our origins and wonder if we have purpose in this world. Rene Descartes sought to answers these questions by examining himself and God through his Meditations. In Meditation II, Descartes believes his mind is certain because he is able to perceive and understand thoughts. His many questions lead him from one idea of certainty to the next. The explanations of these ideas are clear enough for his argument to be considered true.
Descartes mind began to race in his first meditation. As he got older, he pondered if the facts and truths he knew before are still the same as they once were (Descartes, “Meditation I”). His whole world shook when he discovered he was duped by the beliefs he once held true (Descartes, “Meditation I”). The epiphany now made him seek out only concepts that are certain and cast out all that holds the slightest doubt (Descartes, “Meditation I”). This eventually led him to look into himself and find some sort of proof he is a certain thing.
Now, Descartes is traveling on an uphill slope and starts off maintaining hope he will discover a certain fact. The first bump on his trek is his assumption of the body and its motion to be “fictions” of his mind (Descartes, “Meditation II”). His mind turns to the idea of nothing is certain, but cannot fully invest in it because it has doubt (Descartes, “Meditation II”). Descartes’ despair takes a turn into frustration. Then, the journey becomes more appealing when he brings starts to examine the mind itself.
The mind is what provokes Descartes to have these doubts about certainty. He turns to God as if He is the cause for this thinking (Descartes, “Meditation II”). After realizing God is not at fault, he determines his mind must exist ...


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...nt is more valid because of Descartes background in mathematics and philosophy. Both use logic when tackling a tough problem. Descartes saw certainty and doubt as an equation he needed to solve. It appeared that Descartes was a very educated man and he knew the path on which to follow to attain certainty.
Descartes did not end his assumptions after this meditation. However, he felt he had come a bit closer to achieving certain knowledge. Some of the many riddles that swirled in his head were put away for the moment. At the same time, he knew doubt can still creep and alter his beliefs as it did once before. For the sake of this argument, Descartes can relax knowing the mind is a certainty.



Works Cited

Descartes, Rene. "Meditation I." The Classical Library. 2001. Web. 24 Mar 2014.
Descartes, Rene. "Meditation II." The Classical Library. 2001. Web. 24 Mar 2014.

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