Meditations On First Philosophy: Interpretation Essay

1007 words - 5 pages

Throughout part one of Meditations, Descartes believes that most of the information we have discovered has just been accepted freely, without a counterargument. Descartes wants to clear his mind of all of his former opinions because he wants to find out if they are true on his own; he doesn’t want to agree with something just because many other people do. Descartes discusses how our senses can deceive us, so he thinks it is possible for people to be deceived by anything. “How do I know that I am not deceived every time that I add two and three, or count the sides of a square…” (page 3, line 90) Most of us are familiar with the basic general knowledge of things, such as addition, but is ...view middle of the document...

For example, if 2+1 equals three, then 3+1 has to equal four, and 4+1 must equal 5. For something to make sense, we need to have a general idea beforehand. Without addition, we wouldn’t fully understand subtraction. Addition and subtraction involve numbers, but they provide us with different results. If addition didn’t exist, there would be no point in figuring out subtraction problems.

To distinguish facts from misconceptions, Descartes comes to the conclusion that he exists and that he trusts his ability to think. Descartes knows that he exists because he has the ability to doubt and think. Descartes does not put too much faith into his senses because he only knows his body through his senses; he prefers his mind over his body. Descartes rejects knowledge from his senses because he believes that knowledge obtained from the body is unreliable. Since Descartes refuses to trust his senses, he denotes them as a tool that helps him get around the world. Although we can use our intellect to come to possible truths, we can still be deceived. The way in which we perceive things is not reflective of the underlying reality of things. Maybe someone has been putting the same thoughts into our heads for centuries; that can be the reason as to why we continue to accept the same information. “Some evil genius not less powerful than deceitful, has employed his whole energies in deceiving me.” (page 4, line 125) Along with the information we claim to know, the memories we have could also be false; it’s possible for memories to just be placed in our heads.

Descartes struggles to figure out whether the information that surrounds him is true or not, so he accepts the way life is; each of us live a life where we are willing to accept information without going into depth like Descartes. Descartes...

Find Another Essay On Meditations on First Philosophy: Interpretation

Descartes – Meditations on First Philosophy

3389 words - 14 pages goal of Descartes in Meditations on First Philosophy was to find truth behind all of his beliefs in order to build a solid foundation of certainty, and to focus his beliefs strictly on his idea of certainty; essentially to question knowledge. Descartes beliefs are mainly based on the theory that, if someone thinks that they really know something, they must be correct. Descartes meditations bring about 3 key issues that are discussed throughout

Certainty in Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy

618 words - 2 pages Certainty in Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy René Descartes was the first philosopher to raise the question of how we can claim to know anything about the world with certainty. The idea is not that these doubts are probable, but that their possibility can never be entirely ruled out. If we can never be certain, how can we claim to know anything? The First Meditation of Meditations on First Philosophy, subtitled "What can be

Meditations on First Philosophy, by Rene Descartes

1548 words - 6 pages In Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, he talks about the distinction between God and existence. This paper is going to argue that in Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, both are contrasting how we know that God really exists and how we know what we perceive in this world actually exists as well. This essay will start by talking all about Rene Descartes and his ideas around the

Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy

1791 words - 7 pages In Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes does and experiment with wax to try to prove that things actually exist in this world. This essay is going to prove how we can tell that things actually exist and what can perceive the wax. Rene Descartes starts off with a description of the wax so he can prove to us the changes that will happen throughout his experiment. “Let us take, for instance, this

Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy

1968 words - 8 pages Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy Rene Descartes’ third meditation from his book Meditations on First Philosophy, examines Descartes’ arguments for the existence of God. The purpose of this essay will be to explore Descartes’ reasoning and proofs of God’s existence. In the third meditation, Descartes states two arguments attempting to prove God’s existence, the Trademark argument and the traditional Cosmological argument

Meditations in First Philosophy

1089 words - 4 pages the beginnings of how knowledge could be unified and have absolute certain. After many questions and comments on Part IV he wrote “Meditations in First Philosophy” to expand on his ideas in 1640. “Meditations” was a very controversial book and made a lot of people outraged. Descartes went on to write more books before passing away from pneumonia in 1650. In the first meditation of “Meditations in First Philosophy”, Descartes writes about the

Analysis of Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy

1559 words - 6 pages Rene Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy Rene Descartes set the groundwork for seventeenth century rationalism, the view opposed by the empiricist school of thought. As a rationalist, Descartes firmly believed in reason as the principal source of knowledge. He favoured deduction and intellect over the senses and because of this he did not find comfort in believing that his opinions, which he had developed in his youth, were credible. It

The Folly of René Descartes’ Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy

1488 words - 6 pages The Folly of René Descartes’ Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy In order to embark on his quest for truth, Descartes first devises his four rules which should serve as a solid foundation for all else that he comes to understand. Those rules are here evaluated in terms of what they fail to take into consideration. The rules are examined individually and consecutively, and are therefore also reiterated in order to be

Comparing Knowledge in Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy and Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning

923 words - 4 pages Comparing Knowledge in Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy and Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Rationalists would claim that knowledge comes from reason or ideas, while empiricists would answer that knowledge is derived from the senses or impressions. The difference between these two philosophical schools of thought, with respect to the distinction between ideas and impressions, can be examined in order

Rene Descartes' Examination of the Nature of Mateial Things and What is Possible to Know of them Based on Passages from Meditations on First Philosophy. (the Wax example)

605 words - 2 pages "How do we know what we know?" This is a question asked by Rene Descartes as well as a host of other philosophers. A particular passage written in Meditations on First Philosophy by Descartes dubbed the "Wax Passage" examined the nature of material things, and what we really know about them. Descartes' thought process shall be followed, and his conclusion that if all attributes are stripped away, what is left is the "essence" of the wax, will be

Meditation on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes

1545 words - 6 pages “Cogito ergo sum - I think therefore I am.” A mathematician, scientific thinker, and metaphysician Rene Descartes used this term in his “Meditation on First Philosophy.” This term has become famous especially in western philosophy. However, this term was not Descartes only legacy. His legacies include the development of the Cartesian coordinates, philosophical books, and theories. Even though the distinction between mind and body can be traced

Similar Essays

Meditations On First Philosophy Essay

1570 words - 7 pages method, radically different from the traditional Socratic Method, and uses this in order to open his eyes and see through his own false opinions. In Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes utilizes his methodology of determining the truth to doubt away the foundations of all that he knows, in order to determine that he exists, what he is, how he knows this better than he knows any physical thing, and how he knows that God exists. First, the

Meditations On First Philosophy Essay

992 words - 4 pages , which we don’t perceive clearly or distinctly. In fact the lack or imperfection lies in the operation of the will and it is not due to the faculties, which we have received from God. Descartes proved the existence of God by saying that since existence is inseparable from God, he really exists and God can never deceive. Works Cited Descartes, Rene. Meditations on First Philosophy: With Selections from the Objections and Replies. Translated by John Cottingham. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. 1996. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-modal/

Meditations On First Philosophy Essay

674 words - 3 pages In The Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes explores all the methods for doubt. Descartes had to search through doubt in order to understand and eventually overcome it. In addition, Descartes could not accept anything without dismissing the total accounts of doubt. In Meditation three, Descartes is able to overcome his doubt about the evil genius and also proves that God must exist. Meanwhile, Meditation One is all about the reasons for

Descartes' Meditations On First Philosophy Essay

644 words - 3 pages B. MitchellK. HamstraPhilosophy RGC19 June 2003"For as long as I think; for it might perhaps happen, if I totally ceased thinking, that I would at the same time completely cease to be."-Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditations I and II (Descartes, 26)I agree with Descartes' statement. In order to experience the world in its entirety, we must be able think. Without the ability to reason, human beings are just another animal