Descartes ' Meditations On First Philosophy

1264 Words Sep 21st, 2015 6 Pages
Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy is a first-person record of Descartes’ descent into the bowels of disbelief, in order to eradicate all flawed belief from his life. In his first meditation, Descartes explains his argument for universal doubt, which leads him to doubt every truth he has ever established. Even the veracity of his sense perception is doubtful, as he renders those perceptions useless by arguing that in dreams, sense perceptions create the wildest of fantasies that cannot be true. Therefore, how can we trust that we are not in a dream? He furthers his argument by saying that if we believe in a God that is all powerful, then that God has all power to deceive us even in base mathematical truths. When we think of two added to two equaling four, an all-powerful being could disrupt the processes in our minds so that we actually think it is five. Considering that there is not a God that would willingly deceive us, there could still be a powerful and evil demon that would be malicious enough to deceive us. Therefore, nothing in our perception of the world or even our thoughts can be considered as completely truthful. In Descartes’ second Meditation, he presents his first premise and argument for personal existence, or the “cogito”. In this argument, he looks inward and searches for any stable truth to grab hold of. He reasons that even if he perceives his existence in a fallible way, he is still existing in the process of those perceptions. Therefore,…
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