Descartes : The Father Of Modern Philosophy

1055 Words Dec 5th, 2015 5 Pages
“…I find myself certain only of the fact that I am something.”
(Descartes, “Meditations on First Philosophy,” 182) Rene Descartes is widely considered the father of modern philosophy. He created many new ideas about the self, which is something that has been contested since the dawn of philosophy. Even now, the world is nowhere near a unified thought on the soul. Descartes is most famous for addressing this, and is often summarized by the famous “Cogito Ergo Sum (I think, therefore I am)”Descartes offers a great deal of important thought on what we as humans really are, what our soul is, and what in the world is even real. Most of these theories are based on skepticism and doubting the information we get from the senses, which is in direct opposition to Aristotle and other earlier philosophers. All of this comes together in creating Descartes’ idea of the self. Rene Descartes begins his work Meditations on First Philosophy with what the human being is not: we are not wind, we are not fire, not breath (Descartes, “Meditations on First Philosophy,” 182). Coming to the conclusion that we only know that we are something, Descartes’ first real statement is that we are things that think. This is the cornerstone of the entire philosophy, and uses this idea of skepticism against what we think we already know, and instead try to think of it in a new way. This is related to as the “mind-body problem”, which is Descartes’ answer and question with dealing with the connection between…
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