Descartes 's ' Cogito Ergo Sum '

1488 Words Dec 9th, 2015 6 Pages
During Meditations 2, Descartes establishes a version of his famous ‘cogito ergo sum’. He establishes that despite the fact that we may not know the world around us as well as we think we do, we can know the mind better and the trusting the mind can lead him to the seemingly justified conclusion that he exists.
Descartes’ method of arriving at the conclusion is by starting from scratch and considering whether there could be any ground of doubt for his beliefs. He was a rational philosopher who gave reason the utmost importance and led him to realise that many of his current beliefs were in fact based on uncertainty and thus false conclusions. Therefore, in order to avoid this problem and find secure knowledge of on what he can be certain of, he uses the method of doubting everything that he finds reason to doubt and consequently, being justified in rejecting the whole. He will: ‘withhold my assent from matters which are not entirely certain and indubitable than from those which appear to me manifestly to be false’ (Descartes 1641: 6)
Firstly, Descartes deals with the issue of empiricism- the theory that our knowledge is derived from our sensory experiences. Since we know from everyday errors that our senses have the ability to deceive us fairly often so making our perceptions to be something that it is not. For example, there are lots of examples of optical illusions and the fact that the train tracks may appear to converge from a distance. Consequently, we ought to…
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