Analysis Of Rene Descartes First Philosophy

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Rene Descartes First Philosophy is comprised of six meditations. Each meditation covers a different philosophical question. Descartes begins by questioning everything known to him, down to his very own existence. The only certainty that Descartes finds in the first meditation is that nothing is certain. Descartes ability to question everything and critically analyze his responses to his own questions allows him to come up with what he perceives to be true knowledge. Using many of his own methods and arguments, Descartes is able to prove the existence of God, and outline his path of thought to get there. Descartes First Philosophy opens a dialogue between common knowledge and skepticism. Common knowledge believes in various reliable sources of knowledge, while skepticism believes there is no sevure foundation for knowledge. Descartes Meditation I focuses primarily on the search for certainty. Descartes wants to find a foundation of knowledge that can stand up to the strongest skepticism, to do this Descartes discusses the two main sources of knowledge; the senses and the intellect. Humans are reliant on their senses and impressions of their senses to make judgements, gather information, and establish proofs. “Everything I have accepted up to now as being absolutely true and assured, I have learned from or through the senses.” (Descartes) Descartes believes that humans cannot build their understanding of the world on lies, anything that can be doubted even in the3 slightest, must be abandoned in favor of the truth. Descartes argues that our senses can often deceive us through three arguments: the argument from illusion, the argument from dreaming, and the argument from deception (evil genius). The argument from illusion argues that not everything we perceive to be true, is actually true. From our position on Earth the Sun looks very small, however the closer you get to the Sun the larger it actually appears to be. This same argument can be used for the other senses, not everything a person sees, hears, smells, touches, or tastes is always what they perceive it to be. The argument from dreaming argues that a humans’ belief in what is real is related to their ability to be convinced of the fact, humans are more
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