Descartes’ Second Meditation
In Descartes’ Second Meditation the key philosophical idea of “I think, therefore I am” is introduced and thus begins a new age in western philosophy. Some of the arguments Descartes provide in order to support his claims are that in order to doubt anything, you must be able to think and if you think, you exist. Descartes brings up the point that there may be no physical world, along with that thought comes the doubt of anything else being real, which again concludes that he is thinking which means he is real.Descartes’ argument in the second meditation is that in order to think at all, whether it is doubt of an existence or belief something to be true it requires thought. Descartes makes the point that being able to have thought means that he must exist and he can know this without any doubt. The main argument that he uses to support this theory is to suppose he is being deceived by an evil spirit into believing all that he knows, when everything he knows is actually a lie.
He claims that whether or not he is being deceived is not important, rather the fact that he is able to be deceived or not be deceived confirms that he does indeed exist.He goes on to show that in order to be deceived, you must be thinking and if you are thinking then by default you exist. Descartes makes us doubt everything through his new revolutionary thought process. He claims that the mind is separate from the body, and even if there is a body at all. By doubting the reality of a physical world he brings into question everything that exists except for the individual existing itself. Descartes then moves from the point that he exists to trying to explain what “he” is. He claims that he is a thinking thing, and uses the word thing precisely.
Descartes opens up a discussion on how being able to think means he exists, but does not include the proof of a body, instead he can only prove that a thinking thing is a mind. He claims that he cannot doubt that he can think, but he can doubt the reality of his body and physical interaction in the world. In going along with his experiment to purge doubtable beliefs, Descartes argues that things he cannot doubt about himself are therefore real, while things that he can doubt about himself are false. Obviously, this makes it much harder for him to believe in the hysical world. Not to confuse, Descartes I don’t believe was trying to imply that a thinking thing might never be wrong about doubting something; instead I see this as a division between the mind and body. Descartes is dealt with the problem of skepticism and how to overcome it. In order to overcome skepticism, he decides he must enforce it strictly upon his experiment and therefore attempt to explain around skepticism.
Descartes put a heavy belief on the ability to deceive and how empirical thought is not to be trusted as sense can be deceived easily.Descartes goes into depth about dreams and how when we are dreaming everything feels and seems to be real, in fact we would never know it to be false if we never woke up. This proves that the senses not matter how powerful are able to be deceived. This was Descartes way of dealing with skepticism though; he explored it in its most extreme sense. Through experimentation he hoped to find a belief that could not be doubted and render skepticism irrational. Thus the whole thought of I think, therefore I exist begun and was the major belief that could not be denied. Descartes accomplishes his goal by using his enemy: skepticism.
hing”. Using Descartes thought process to determine what is real and what is not, one has an extremely hard time confirming the existence of anything except for the fact they too exist. To conclude Descartes found the certain belief that he existed and all other who think exist, therefore Skepticism being true can rationally be denied. Skepticism plays the belief that there are no so called “true” beliefs and life as we know it is probably a lie, but through experimentation Descartes was able to rationally prove there are beliefs that can be held with certainty.