Essay about Descartes View on the Senses

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Descartes first meditation included a few arguments that Descartes studied and analyze. The one I choose to analyze was his argument of sense deception. The actually argument is the following: (1) My senses sometimes deceive me. (2) If my senses sometimes deceive me, then they might always deceive me. (3) If my senses might always deceive me, then I cannot be certain about any beliefs acquired through my senses. (4) If I cannot be certain about any beliefs acquired through my senses, then I must suspend judgment on those beliefs. (5) Therefore I must suspend my judgment of those beliefs. To put this is premise conclusion argument form, it would look like this:
- A
- If A then B
- If B then C
- If C then D
- Therefore D
This form is
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1993. Meditations on First Philosophy. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, page 14 pencil in a glass of water, the pencil will look like it is broken in half, but it is just the property of water that makes it seem like it’s broken. The next premise is that if my senses sometimes deceive me, then they might always deceive me. He stated that, “In a mark of prudence never to place our complete trust in those who have deceived us even once2.” So what Descartes means is that if someone or something deceives you once, there is a possibility that it will deceive you again. So you cannot fully trust that someone or something. His third premise was, “If my senses might always deceive me, then I cannot be certain about any beliefs acquired through my senses.” Descartes demands certainty. Therefore if something deceives him once, he cannot be certain it will not deceive him again. He cannot base any of his beliefs on his sense since he is not certain about his sense misleading him. His last premise was, “If I cannot be certain about any beliefs acquired through my senses, then I must suspend judgment on those beliefs.” Since he feels he cannot be certain about any beliefs that he gets from senses, he has to stop making conclusion based on those beliefs he got from his senses, because of his lack of certainty. Then he concludes by saying he must suspend judgment on those beliefs. This argument is a form of multiple modus ponens.
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