The Play ' Descartes ' Meditations On First Philosophy

1666 Words Nov 22nd, 2015 7 Pages
In this paper, I will explain the role doubt plays in Descartes’s philosophy. Descartes’s Meditations on First Philosophy is a book containing six different meditations. The idea of doubt is seen through every meditation. The first meditation is composed almost completely of doubt. Descartes begins with explaining his problem. What he knows, or what he thought he knew, is based completely on false things. How can he continue to “know” these things if they are based on false assumptions? How can he go on knowing that anything he’d believed to be true could actually be false? Descartes then goes on to ask: then what is true? What is really true? He then decides that he will tear down his old “House of Knowledge” and build a new one based entirely on something that he can know is true without a doubt. Descartes’s tool that he uses to tear down his old house is doubt. He doesn’t use reasonable doubt, like we use today in courts. Descartes uses possible doubt. This means that he will disregard anything that could possibly be doubted in order to find something that cannot. If something can be doubted, Descartes believes that it can be false. After he finds something that cannot be doubted, then he can build a new house of knowledge and attempt to establish something firm and lasting in the sciences. So, Descartes begins to tear down his old house using this tool of doubt. He begins with the senses. He establishes that they are sometimes deceptive, that one could be insane, and…
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