Humes' and Descartes' Position on the Existence of the External World Essay

Humes' and Descartes' Position on the Existence of the External World Essay

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In the following paper I will argue upon whether the Humes’ or Descartes’ philosophical position on the existence of the external world is stronger than the other. I will first present each philosopher’s position, and then I will argue that Hume has a stronger position on the existence of the external world for the reason in this paper.
Descartes argues that we can know the external world because of God, and God is not a deceiver. Descartes’ core foundation for understanding what is important comes from three points: our thoughts about the world and the things in it could be deceptive, our power of reasoning has found ideas that are indubitable, and certainty come by way of reasoning. Once we have a certainty of God, and ourselves then we are easily able to distinguish reality from dreams, and so on. God created us and gave us reason, which tells us that our ideas of the external world come from God. God has directly provided us with the idea of the external world. The concept of existence, the self, and doubt could not have existed on its own; therefore they had to be created by someone to have put them in our mind. That creator is God, who is omnipotent and perfect. God is not a deceiver to me; God is good, so therefore what I perceive really does exist. God without existence is like a mountain without a valley. A valley does not exist if there is no mountain, and vice versa a mountain is not a mountain with out a valley. We cannot believe or think of God without existence. We know the idea of God, and that idea inevitably contains his existence. My thought on god is clear and distinct that he is existent. Descartes’ now has ‘rebuilt’ the world, solely because of his power and reasoning. Descartes’ is only able...


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...ples ideas based on the operations of our own mind. For example, the idea of a unicorn is also a complex idea, along with God, while many of us have seen a picture of a unicorn someone had to invent the original idea of what a unicorn is without seeing a picture. The operations of our own mind have created this idea of God, which rebuts Descartes’ argument that we have knowledge on the external world because of God. Descartes would argue that Humes’ idea of God is natural and never derived from impressions. Hume’ consequently has the better argument claiming that idea of god is actually based on ideas of perfection and infinity is inferred from the ideas of imperfection and finitude.
In conclusion of this paper, from the arguments stated above about Humes’ and Descartes philosophical positions, Hume has a stronger position on the existence of the external world.

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