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Essay on Descartes

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Rene Descartes was one of the most influential thinkers in the history of the philosophy. Born in 1596, he lived to become a great mathematician, scientist, and philosopher. In fact, he became one of the central intellectual figures of the sixteen hundreds. He is believed by some to be the father of modern philosophy, although he was hampered by living in a time when other prominent scientists, such as Galileo, were persecuted for their discoveries and beliefs. Although this probably had an impact on his desire to publish controversial material, he went on to devise works such as the Meditations on First Philosophy and the Principles of Philosophy Aside from these accomplishments, his most important and lasting mathematical work was the…show more content…
How can I doubt something if I do not exist. By the same token, maybe I am deceived into thinking I don’t exist by some other entity. But then I must exist for it is I who is being deceived. This is the basic premise of Descartes’ famous Cogito Ergo Sum – I think therefor I am. Here Descartes is not saying anything about what we are here, just that we are. Next his desire is to find out exactly what he is. Well, Descartes states, if I exist, for how long do I exist? I exist for as long as I think, and if I cease to think, then I shall also cease to exist. Therefor, I am nothing but a thinking thing – that is, a thing that “doubts, understands, affirms, denies, wills, refuses, and that also imagines and senses.'; Although saying he is all of these things is indeed a bold statement, Descartes feels that in his attempt to prove that he exists he has done all of those things, therefor they must be a part of what he is.
Descartes wants to show that “nothing can be perceived more easily and more evidently than my own mind.'; He starts of with an example of a piece of wax. It seems that this piece of wax, or any corporeal thing for that matter, is more distinctly known by me than exactly what it is that I know. However, we do not really grasp what the wax(or any corporeal object) is through seeing, touching, or imagining, but rather by way of reason –
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