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. In his philosophical thinking, certain parts are dedicated to scepticism, dualism between body and the soul, the theory between existence and thinking, his idea of deceptive sensory perceptions and the existence of God. All these original particularities are the principle characteristics of Descartes’ philosophy of humanity. Throughout the First Meditation, Descartes questions what he already knows, applying his method of “methodical doubt”, a theory suggesting all things can be doubted and therefore one cannot accept anything unless proven with absolute certainty. He conjures three arguments to support his idea, the dreaming, madman and evil demon argument. Descartes’ Second Meditation proves his existence as a thinking being. Known as the Cogito argument, he argues one cannot be tricked about his own existence, meaning he cannot be around without being aware of it, therefore he must think and then he must exist. He also establishes Cartesian Dualism, an argument which suggests there are two fundamental substances, a mind and a body. Having demonstrated the existence of the soul in the ...
... middle of paper ...
...pacity to function through self-regulation, it is like a host container which guards the soul but without affecting its essence. While this may be an answer, the Cartesian theory cannot be fully proven, yet it does illustrate Descartes high concept of what is the soul and what is the mind.
In conclusion, the initiation in philosophy of methodological scepticism will constitute, after Descartes, becoming the obsessive theme of reflection of modern philosophy. Descartes’ mediations are the ones which expose the results of metaphysics based on principles. For the building of this philosophy those principles must be absolute certain. Descartes realises this and doubts all his previous knowledge, not to reach a sceptical conclusion but to find absolute certain elements beyond doubt, allowing him to find the foundation on which he can build the rest of his thinking.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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]
2108 words (6 pages)
- Rene Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy is a philosophical work consisting of six meditations of things Descartes establishes cannot be known for certain, as well as attempts to establish all things that can be known undoubtedly. Descartes was one of the first major Western philosophers to attempt to construct a foundation of certainty about knowledge. Meditation One concerns all things that can be identified as doubtful. Descartes explains how as a child he believed many false things. Descartes declares that he must put an end to those false beliefs before he can come by any true knowledge.... [tags: influential philosophical works]
1008 words (2.9 pages)
- Rene Descartes was born in 1596. At the age of 10, he began school at College Henri IV. Descartes received a classical education at College Henri IV and learned many subjects, including math, at the Jesuit institution. Many years later, he received his baccalaureate and licentiate degrees in law and then joined the army of Prince Maurice of Nassau. Descartes never served combat, but he did have a life changing moment while in the army. While meditating about the uncertainty and disunity of knowledge, he had an epiphany about how he could make knowledge more certain and unified, such as mathematics.... [tags: human nature,god's existence,rene descartes]
863 words (2.5 pages)
- One of Rene Descartes’s most famous arguments, from his not only from his first meditation but all of the meditations, is his Dream Argument. Descartes believes that there is no way to be able to distinguish being in awake from being in a state of dreaming. In fact you could actually be in a dream right now. Rene Descartes’s theory that one is unable distinguish being awake from dreaming, as interesting as it is, can be at times a little farfetched, along with a few contradictions to himself, Descartes’s dream argument does not entitle himself to any sort of claim.... [tags: Descartes Theory, Dreaming, Awake]
1011 words (2.9 pages)
- “Cogito ergo sum - I think therefore I am.” A mathematician, scientific thinker, and metaphysician Rene Descartes used this term in his “Meditation on First Philosophy.” This term has become famous especially in western philosophy. However, this term was not Descartes only legacy. His legacies include the development of the Cartesian coordinates, philosophical books, and theories. Even though the distinction between mind and body can be traced to the Greeks, Descartes account of the mind and body relationship has been considered the first and the most influential.... [tags: god, greek, mind, body]
1212 words (3.5 pages)
- ... In 1628, Rene moved to the Dutch Republic where he lived for over 20 years. During this time period, he learned more about mathematics, utilizing his spare time. Rene Descartes published many works on philosophy and mathematics at this time. He also came in contact with the school of Dordrecht's principal, Isaac Beeckman. However, in 1630, the two parted ways as Rene Descartes charged Beeckham with plagiarizing his original ideas. Descartes decided not to publish his work “Treatise On The World” because he had heard of the censorship of Galileo's writings in 1633 by the Catholic Church.... [tags: cartesian philosophy, meditation]
866 words (2.5 pages)
- People live life one day at time with the same guidance from their ancestors, and they often question their existence in the universe and try to understand the world around them. People often question their existence in the universe. Philosophers try to answer questions that most people will not think of in their daily lives. Most philosophers try to get to the truth of logical questions through epistemology. Epistemology is a “branch of philosophy that studies the nature and possibility of knowledge” (Soccio).... [tags: Rationalism, Priori, Posteriori, Philosophers]
1353 words (3.9 pages)
- Rene Descartes's View on God In 1996, songwriter Joan Osborne performed a song called "One of Us" that was nominated for three Grammy Awards. What made this song so successful and interesting were the powerful lyrics that basically asked, "What if God were a human being?" As she was writing the lyrics to "One of Us," she was wondering about God and how the world would be different if God did exist in real life and not just a supernatural force. You may be asking yourself, "What does this have to do with the seventeenth century?" Well, in the seventeenth century, there was a man, named Rene Descartes, who was interested in God and wondered about His existence. After an unforgett... [tags: Philosophy essays]
1315 words (3.8 pages)
- Rene Descartes was a famous French mathematician, scientist and philosopher. He was arguably the first major philosopher in the modern era to make a serious effort to defeat skepticism. His views about knowledge and certainty, as well as his views about the relationship between mind and body have been very influential over the last three centuries. Descartes was born at La Haye (now called Descartes), and educated at the Jesuit College of La Flèche between 1606 and 1614. Descartes later claimed that his education gave him little of substance and that only mathematics had given him certain knowledge.... [tags: Biographies Bio Biography]
1096 words (3.1 pages)
- René Descartes René Descartes was a French philosopher and also mathematician. His method of doubt led him to the famous "cogito ergo sum" when translated means "I am thinking, therefore I exist". This cogito was the foundation for Descartes' quest for certain knowledge. He explored doubt and how we can prove our own existence, by taking the first steps of scepticism. His book "Meditations On First Philosophy", was written in six parts. Each representing the six days that God took to create the world.... [tags: Papers]
744 words (2.1 pages)