Descartes Discourse on Method

931 WordsMay 2, 20054 Pages
Understanding Descartes' Method of Doubt Clear your mind, if you will, of everything you have ever seen or known to be true. To begin understanding Rene Descartes' method of doubt, you need to suspend all prejudice and prior judgments and start with a clean slate "for the purpose of discovering some ultimate truth on which to base all thought." (Kolak, Pg.225). Discouraged with much skepticism from his own beliefs, Descartes was embarrassed of his own ignorance. He set out to try and accomplish the task of finding an absolute truth in which he would base his beliefs. Placing upon himself a task to find an axiom or absolute truth to base all thought, "he ventured as a youth in travel to collect a variety in experiences to derive some…show more content…
He basically states in his meditations that if there is a God, and he is perceived as good, why would he deceive our thoughts? This brings up the evil deceiver argument. If we can only know that our existence is real, who is to say that there is not an outside force that makes of the rest of our reality that we supposedly live? If our dreams are just distorted pieces of our reality and our reality is merely a show put on by the evil deceiver, we know for certain we cannot base our beliefs on what we see and the tools unto which we use to perceive it; i.e. extension, hands, and eyes. Conclusion Descartes makes it clear that we cannot be certain of anything. The method of doubt brings us to understand this better by giving a set of guidelines to follow to systematically understand and get closer to some kind of truth. By trying to find some truth to base all thoughts on, Descartes tried to find an absolute truth by coming to the realization that nothing he believed was of any truth. Although not finding much truth in his journeys, he found a systematic way to come closer to finding truth. Descartes was presented with a problem of not "knowing" anything, and by creating the method of doubt he came closer to finding the truth. Works Cited Page Durant, Will & Ariel. (1961). The Story Of Civilization. The Age Of Reason Begins. New York: Simon & Schuster. Weissman, David. (ED.). (1996). Rethinking The Western Tradition.
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