In Descartes’ second meditation, he offers up an argument for Defective Nature Doubt that brings forth the idea that we can’t be certain of anything we perceive being actual and real (153). Descartes thinks that there is a possibility that we are constantly being deceived due to the fact that we don’t know, with perfect certainty, know where our ideas originate from (154). He tries to describe a method in order to dispel this Defective Nature Doubt by giving an argument for the existence of God. I think that the argument he gives for the existence of God is valid, yet I find it to be unsound due to the fact that a few of his premises are can easily be debated. In order to express this opinion, I will first provide explanations of the premises and conclusions of the argument, and then I will critique the premises that I find to be inadequate in order to support my opinion that Descartes’ argument is valid but unsound.
In his first meditation, Descartes proposes an argument unheard of by many, that of which the beliefs that are built upon societal foundations may be false, due to the false perception of our human senses. In this paper, I will explain why Descartes attempts to rebuild the foundations of our beliefs and explain the differences between the reality of Descartes and the socially acceptable reality. First, I will expand on Descartes ' argument against the socially accepted reality in which we do not question. Then, I will show you how Descartes defines what is truly a definitive constant of reality no matter the foundational structures they were built upon and defend it. Finally, I will use examples to show you how Descartes proves existence.
Descartes was born 1596 in France. At eight years old he was already in college. Descartes was a scientist and was also known as the father of modern Western Philosophy. He is famous for his book “The mediations of philosophy,” first published in 1641. He is much like me because he refused to stem off other philosophers thought. Instead, he created his philosophy. He is most famous for his quote “I think therefore I am.” This paper will include Descartes doubt, Descartes the cogito, his knowledge of the material world. The principles of the Cartesian epistemology. The “light of nature.”
In his work, Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes narrates the search for certainty in order to recreate all knowledge. He begins with “radical doubt.” He asks a simple question “Is there any one thing of which we can be absolutely certain?” that provides the main question of his analysis. Proceeding forward, he states that the ground of his foundation is the self – evident knowledge of the “thinking thing,” which he himself is. Moving up the tower of certainty, he focuses on those ideas that can be supported by his original foundation. In such a way, Descartes’s goal is to establish all of human knowledge of firm foundations. Thus, Descartes gains this knowledge from the natural light by using it to reference his main claims, specifically
Descartes presents three skeptical arguments in his meditations which shows he has reason to doubt all of his sensory beliefs. Descartes ultimately aims to free himself from all bad beliefs. His quest for certainty is driven from his belief that our belief system is built on a foundation of basic beliefs, that are not justified, in turn, causing him to believe that all his other beliefs are uncertain, as well. His method for achieving a system immune from errors is described in three steps from Meditation One. Descartes three skeptical arguments pose a few objections to the plausibility to each step.
In this paper, I will explain how Descartes uses the existence of himself to prove the existence of God. The “idea of God is in my mind” is based on “I think, therefore I am”, so there is a question arises: “do I derive my existence? Why, from myself, or from my parents, or from whatever other things there are that are less perfect than God. For nothing more perfect than God, or even as perfect as God, can be thought or imagined.” (Descartes 32, 48) Descartes investigates his reasons to show that he, his parents and other causes cannot cause the existence of himself.
Many readers follow Descartes with fascination and pleasure as he descends into the pit of skepticism in the first two Meditations, defeats the skeptics by finding the a version of the cogito, his nature, and that of bodies, only to find them selves baffled and repulsed when they come to his proof for the existence of God in Meditation III. In large measure this change of attitude results from a number of factors. One is that the proof is complicated in ways which the earlier discourse is not. Second is that the complications include the use of scholastic machinery for which the reader is generally quite unprepared -- including such doctrines as a Cartesian version of the Great Chain of Being, the Heirloom theory of causaltiy, and confusi ng terms such as "eminent," "objective" and "formal reality" used in technical ways which require explanation. Third, we live in an age which is largely skeptical of the whole enterprise of giving proofs for the existence of God. A puzzled student once remaked, "If it were possible to prove that God exists, what would one need faith for?" So, even those inclined to grant the truth of the conclusion of Descartes' proof are often skeptical about the process of reaching it.
The purpose of my essay will be to examine Descartes' argument for the existence of God. First, I will discuss Descartes’ proof for the existence of God then I will critique the argument of his existence. Lastly, I will point to some complications and problems that exist within the proof. Descartes’ proof of the existence of God is presented in the Third Meditation. He shapes his argument on the proof in the Second Meditation that in order for Descartes to think he must exist. From this specific examination he realizes his existence is very clear and distinct in his mind because of the fact he had just discovered his own existence. He then creates a rule that whatever things he sees are clear and distinct, are all true. Descartes begins his proof by splitting his thoughts into four categories, which consist of ideas, judgments, volitions, and emotions. He then further analyzes these categories to decide which thoughts might consist of error.
This paper is intended to explain and evaluate Descartes' proof for the existence of god in Meditation Three. It shall show the weaknesses in the proof, but also give credit to the strengths in his proof. It will give a background of what Descartes has already accepted as what he truly knows. The paper will also state Descartes two major points for the existence of God and why the points can easily be proven false. The paper will also show that if a God does exist that God can in fact be an evil deceiver. The paper will also show that the idea of a perfect being cannot be conceived by an imperfect being.
According to Descartes, “because our senses sometimes deceive us, I wanted to suppose that nothing was exactly as they led us to imagine (Descartes 18).” In order to extinguish his uncertainty and find incontrovertible truth, he chooses to “raze everything to the ground and begin again from the original foundations (Descartes 59).” This foundation, which Descartes is certain to be the absolute truth, is “I think, therefore I am (Descartes 18).” Descartes argues that truth and proof of reality lies in the human mind, rather than the senses. In other words, he claims that the existence of material objects are not based on the senses because of human imperfection. In fact, he argues that humans, similarly to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, are incapable of sensing the true essence or existence of material objects. However, what makes an object real is human thought and the idea of that object, thus paving the way for Descartes’ proof of God’s existence. Because the senses are easily deceived and because Descartes understands that the senses can be deceived, Descartes is aware of his own imperfection. He