Descartes on Existence and Thought

818 Words3 Pages
Descartes’ ultimate goal in reaching his conclusions stem from the way he thought. As long as there was no doubt to reach a conclusion, he was right; so, his process of radical doubt is fully employed in his Meditations. Dismissing all knowledge that could be doubted however slight, Descartes sought out to find knowledge that held absolute certainty through questioning. His ultimate question, however, do we actually exist? How do we know? In his Meditations, one feels that Descartes is sitting around pondering ideas, and becomes aware that he's being aware. He is interested in this state of awareness, and notices he's thinking about something or another. He believes or hypothesizes that either God Is (existing), and is Good, hence would not deceive him; a bad force or entity might be trying to trick him; in either case he, Descartes, is thinking. He believes he has some control over what he thinks; thus, God is not fooling him and an evil force is not controlling him. So Descartes asserts, if one thinks, one has to be somebody to be thinking, so one exists. This conclusion is brought up through a process known as radical questioning or radical doubting; Descartes is trying to find something that cannot be found doubtful. He decides he is (exists), and that he is neither influenced totally by either God or a malevolent force. But how does Descartes reach these conclusions? In Meditation I and Meditation II, Descartes also argues that our conventional experiences of the
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