Analysis Of Descartes Natural Light

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Descartes’ Natural Light Rene Descartes’ natural light is his saving grace, and not Achilles’ heel. Descartes incorporates the concept of natural light within his epistemology in order to establish the possibility of knowing things completely without doubt. In fact whatever is revealed to the meditator via the natural light is considered to be indefeasible. The warrant for the truth of these ideas does not rely on experience or the senses. Rather the truth of the idea depends on viewing the concept through clear and distinct perception. Descartes’ “I am, I exist”, (Med. 2, AT 7:25) or the ‘cogito’ is meant to serve as the basis for knowing things through clear and distinct perception. Descartes’ cogito is the first item of knowledge, although one may doubt such things as the existence of the body, one cannot doubt their ability to think. This is demonstrated in that by attempting to doubt one’s ability to think, one is engaging in the action of thought, thus proving that thinking is immune to doubt. With this first item of knowledge Descartes can proceed with his discussion of the possibility of unshakeable knowledge. However, Descartes runs into some difficulty when natural light collides with the possibility of an evil genie bent on deceiving the meditator thus putting once thought concrete truths into doubt. Through an analysis of the concept of natural light I…show more content…
Descartes writes, “I now seem to be able to lay it down as a general rule that whatever I perceive very clearly and distinctly is true” (Med. 3, AT 7:35). The vulnerability of this statement is that truth relies on the meditator’s ability to perform clear and distinct perception correctly and without doubtfulness. Correct clear and distinct perception must now go toe to toe with Descartes’ evil

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