Descaetes: What Is Error? Essay

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Prior to his method on error, Descartes has already proven a pair of foundational beliefs. In meditation one, Descartes proved that he was “a thinking thing” and that in order to be a thinking thing, “I exist”. In mediation three, he proved that God exists due to the fact that in order to have an idea of God, one must already have the idea innately implanted in their mind. Since Descartes is finite he believes that God innately implanted the thought of an infinite perfect being in his mind, so therefore God exists. The concept of where error comes from and why error occurs, arise in meditation four. He begins by claiming that God is not the source of error. Descartes states “It is impossible for God to ever deceive me, for trickery is…show more content…
Ideas cannot be a source of error, because they take place in our own mind, and no one can prove or challenge that they exist in the external world. In making an idea, one cannot make a mistake or be right about anything because to have an idea of something makes no claim about it being found in some other thing. The idea exists alone in the mind of the person making an idea. Building off the thought of an idea is a judgment. According to Descartes, judgments are applying our ideas to the external world, trying to affirm or deny something as they have an objective reality. He states that judgments are a key component to why we can commit errors. For example to affirm or deny that a certain store has exactly ten people in it would be a presumed judgment on reality. You are not only taking the idea of the amount of people in a store, but trying to apply it to the external world, which can lead to error. By sheer luck you may be correct in some cases, or you may be wrong. It is in making judgments that human beings can error. In meditation three Descartes states “the principal and most frequent error to be found in judgments consists in the fact that I judge that the ideas which are in me are similar to or in conformity with certain things outside of me” (Descartes Meditation 3, 36). When ideas that are within the mind are brought
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