Rene Descartes And Blaise Pascal

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Rene Descartes and Blaise Pascal were philosophers with a common goal – bringing others to the truth of the existence of God. They both had a desire to help others scale the heights of religion, using the path of reason, and bring them to the other side with a firm perception and knowledge of the reality of, not just a god, but the one, true God. Though their goal and method was similar, that of using doubt as a vehicle to traverse the oppositional arguments of unbelievers, they arrive at different ends of logical belief. In this essay I will seek to analyze each philosopher’s method and conclusion and determine its implications for the concept of Idealism.
The philosophy of Idealism is a system of thought that, in a nut shell, claims that knowledge and reason are dependent upon the mind. This idea is in contradiction to Descartes and Pascal’s belief in dualism. The concept of dualism sets a distinction between mind and body, whereas idealism believes they are one and the same, that thought is a direct consequence of the mind/body system.
In his book, Meditations, Rene Descartes covers this idea beginning with doubt and stripping away all elements of the physical world. He begins by stripping the doubter, himself, of all possible influences. Eliminating prompts and effects, Descartes begins to understand this doubt that he has based upon the realities he is still left with – that despite the absence of any sensory input, he is still thinking and therefore, he knows he
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