Descartes 's Idea Of Certainty Essays

Descartes 's Idea Of Certainty Essays

Length: 1634 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

1. Page 70, first new paragraph. What conclusion does Descartes tentatively reach in this paragraph? What premises does he provide in support of this conclusion?
Descartes says that he has the ability to think—that if he has the ability to think, then he must have other abilities that he 's unaware of as well. However, he really questions the idea of certainty and how an individual can really be certain of something. Since you really can 't be certain because it 's really up to your own interpretation and your own understanding, then it 's really up to you to decide what 's considered to be certain. So if he 's certain that he perceives something, then it must be true, and then if something could be true, it could also potentially be false in someone else 's eyes. In reality there 's no general sense of what 's certain and what 's not. Therefore, Descartes goes ahead in saying that whatever he believes is going to be true. For example, you could interpret his definition of the term “truth” to be personal, so anything he sees can be false to others but true to him because he 's certain that he sees it. So truth essentially then is up to the individual to decide, and there isn 't an exact way of proving something to be "true" because he states that his knowledge is "a distinct perception of what I affirm."

2. Page 72, second new paragraph. What are the two reasons Descartes gives for the view that the ideas he believes (prior to skeptical arguments) to be derived from things resemble those things?
Descartes is talking about the outside world and the distinction between his own thoughts and thoughts that come from sensing. I think “taught by nature” means that he was born with the capacity to perceive and he talks about noticing thi...

... middle of paper ...

...h objective reality that it can only come from a supremely perfect cause?” So, basically it looks like he is saying that there is, in fact, a God. However, he is also questioning how we know about this God, and thinks that it must have been God’s doing to introduce the idea of a “God” to all beings after creation. So, essentially, there needs to be a God for this idea to have been introduced. Because this God is an idea that’s seemed to be universally accepted as a “perfect” and “infinite” God, it lies as a comparison for the individuals that He has created—that these people will never have the same power or knowledge that He has. And, God infused these ideas that there is a God and his power surpasses all into the individual essentially upon birth. It’s like being born with emotion—it wasn’t medically induced or anything similar, but it just came with your being.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

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

- 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....   [tags: deception, existance, thinking]

Strong Essays
628 words (1.8 pages)

Certainty Is Necessary For Knowledge Essay

- There is a significant difference between knowledge and certainty. If a person is certain that a belief is true, he is fully convinced that it is true; yet it does not mean that he has knowledge. If he is correct about the truth of his belief, then his certainty is simply luck. If he is false, then he made a mistake believing that the believe is true and his certainty is a mistake. In both cases, his certainty does not give rise to knowledge in this paper, I will counter argue why Descartes claim about certainty is necessary for knowledge is wrong because knowledge needs justification, not certainty....   [tags: Epistemology, Truth, Belief, Foundationalism]

Strong Essays
969 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about The Idea Of God Is An Innate Idea

- Yash Shah PHIL 101 Professor: Sarah Hansen Descartes’ claim that the idea of God is an innate idea Descartes sounds really confused in the starting when he has all the misconceptions about the world. He has to question each and every thing that is happening around him. He fells that senses are deceptive, people are deceptive and, God [if exists] is deceptive (calls him an evil genius). He doesn’t really believe in trusting people who have deceived him even once as he counts it as a mark of prudence....   [tags: Mind, Thought, Ontology, Idea]

Strong Essays
1113 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about Descartes and Knowing with Certainty of God's Existence

- Descartes and Knowing with Certainty of God's Existence Descartes, Pascal, and the Rationalist Credo Pascal asserts that we can know only by the heart, whereas Descartes would have us believe through his truths that we can know with certainty of Gods existence. The factors that go into their views on reason will be compared and accented within this essay. The order of the universe is knowable to Descartes. He proves these by using certain truths. To arrive at these truths Descartes doubted everything and especially could not trust authoritarian knowledge....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
774 words (2.2 pages)

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]

Strong Essays
624 words (1.8 pages)

Essay A Humean Critique of Descartes

- A Humean Critique of Descartes Montreal has big potholes. Lots of them. If one is to truly understand the philosophy of Hume and Descartes, one must understand what they would do with crummy roads as civil engineers in Montreal. Hume would probably repave the roads based on the success of past designs and the results of empirical data. Descartes, on the other hand, would probably leave nothing unscathed after attacking the problem with reason, scrapping the existing roadmap and re-building roads with new foundations and new directions....   [tags: Descartes Critique Philosophy Philosopher Essays]

Strong Essays
2570 words (7.3 pages)

Essay about descartes

- Descartes ignored all he believed to be true. He believed that if any belief can be doubted it is not certain, making it unusable as a foundation. Descartes jettisons any information, knowledge, or truths that are based on his senses. He applied the “Dream Argument,” (19) where he stated that based on the senses alone, there is no definite way of proving that you are dreaming or awake. Therefore, any truths based upon the senses are unreliable and doubtful. Descartes turned to why and how his senses were deceivable....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
1227 words (3.5 pages)

Descartes Essay

- Descartes 1. In the Discourse on the Method, Descartes laments that as a young man he was forced to conclude at the end of all his studies that “there was no doctrine [i.e., teaching or body of knowledge] in the world that was of the sort that I had previously been led to hope for.” In your essay, I would like you to discuss the nature of the body of knowledge he was looking for a s well as the place of the cogito (that is, the utterance “I think, therefore I am”) in it. You may discuss his criticism of the learning of the time, but do not spill much ink over it; the focus of your paper should be on the new science he is seeking, not the old....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
857 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on descartes

- Descartes—Meditation III In Meditation III, Descartes presents his argument for the existence of God. He makes this argument here because it is one of his stronger arguments. In this essay, I will summarize and critically assess this argument. Descartes begins this meditation with a review of what he is certain of so far. He is skeptical of the existence of bodily things, but s certain that he exists and that he is a thinking thing. He decides that he could not be as certain of his existence unless all clear and distinct perceptions are certain....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
682 words (1.9 pages)

Essay about Descartes

- The next stage in the system, as outlined in the Meditations, seeks to establish that God exists. In his writings, Descartes made use of three principal arguments. The first (at least in the order of presentation in the Meditations) is a causal argument. While its fullest statement is in Meditation III, it is also found in the Discourse (Part IV) and in the Principles (Part I §§ 17–18). The argument begins by examining the thoughts contained in the mind, distinguishing between the formal reality of an idea and its objective reality....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
1241 words (3.5 pages)