The Cartesian Circle is Wrong

analytical Essay
1602 words
1602 words

Rene Descartes meditations on the existence of God are very profound, thought-provoking, and engaging. From the meditations focused specifically on the existence of God, Descartes uses the argument that based on his clear and distinct perception that cannot be treated with doubt, God does exist. In the beginning of the third meditation, Descartes proclaims that he is certain he is a thinking thing based on his clear and distinct perception, and he couldn’t be certain unless all clear and distinct perceptions are true. Before diving into the existence of God, Descartes introduces smaller arguments to prove the existence of God. For example, Descartes introduces in his argument that there are ideas in which he possess that exists outside of him. Utilizing the objective versus formal reality, Descartes states “If the objective reality of any of my ideas turns out to be so great that I am sure the same reality does not reside in me, either formally or eminently, and hence that I myself cannot be its cause, it will necessarily follow that I am not alone in the world, but that some other thing which is the cause of this idea exists” (29). In other words, the ideas of objective reality that resides in Descartes can potentially only come from a supreme being, which is God; God possess more objective reality than he does formal reality. We as humans, as Descartes states, are finite substance, and God is the only infinite substance. The only way for us as a finite substance to think of an infinite substance is possible if, and only if, there is an infinite substance that grants us the idea of substance in first place. After these smaller arguments, Descartes states that while we can doubt the existence of many things, due to the fact that ...

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...ircle may have had a solid foundation and belief. However, I just gave you, with supporting evidence, my view of why the Cartesian circle is wrong and why I believe that Descartes was trying to make the point that God must exist in order for him or us to even have the clear and distinct perception to dwell on the idea of God, an idea that only God himself created. I hope this solves the issue of the Cartesian circle and hopefully strengthens Descartes argument of how the circle is false and he was maybe just misunderstood. My claim will stand that the Cartesian circle was just a big misunderstanding, and Descartes, by no means, interacted with the belief and structure of this falsified circle.

Works Cited

Descartes, R., & Cottingham, J. (1986). Meditation on First Philosophy: With Selections from the Objections and Replies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how rene descartes' meditations on the existence of god are profound, thought-provoking, and engaging.
  • Explains that descartes' argument has been treated with dubious standpoints, such as the cartesian circle, which argues that he goes against his own word.
  • Analyzes how descartes challenges himself to take on other arguments, such as that he may be supremely perfect, and that all his deficiencies are potentialities within him.
  • Argues that the cartesian circle comes in play because descartes, misunderstanding his writing and phrasing of it, declares that we can only be sure of our clear and distinct perceptions if god exists.
  • Opines that descartes was not interested in trying to prove that god exists because of our clear and distinct perceptions.
  • Concludes that descartes' assertion that the intellect cannot outthink god or understand his ways is not enough to prove that god exists.
  • Argues that descartes' purpose was to prove that god exists, and he has given us clear and distinct perceptions to consume the idea of god.
  • Concludes that descartes' argument may have sounded confusing and the cartesian circle had a solid foundation and belief, but he was trying to make the point that god must exist in order for him or us to dwell on the idea of god.
  • Describes descartes, cottingham, et al., meditation on first philosophy: with selections from the objections and replies.
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