Rene Descartes: The Search Of Knowledge Essay, Research Paper
As I sit and ponder how I am traveling to compose this paper, it accurse to me that I may non be composing this paper at all. How, I ask myself, can this be possible? I can experience the keys under my fingers, hear their distinguishable chinks as I press them, and I can see my composing on the screen. Yet all of these things are centripetal based, and I wonder if my senses can be trusted as certainty. Could they non easy be deceived? I could be kiping right now and woolgathering that I am composing this paper, or possibly I am in some dark beastly cavity working as a slave for an evil being who is taking me to believe I am in my residence hall room with some kind of head changing enchantment. Each of these impressions may look pathetic, but they are both logically possible. This is really similar to the quandary in which Rene Descartes faced in his Meditations. Descartes wrote his Meditations to seek and calculate out which of his beliefs could be considered cognition, and which were unfastened to doubt. He began by specifying cognition as a belief one knows to be true and is certain of its truth. He so inquiries his belief of his ain being. Is his being a certainty, or is it unfastened to doubt? As he considers this, he looks into the fire by which he is sitting. How does he cognize he is truly there at all? For anything that would warrant him being there is based on the senses, the heat of the fire, the odor of the combustion wood, and the feel of the pen in his manus. Descartes considers any belief based on the senses open to doubt, hence he must doubt his really existence as he knows it to be, because it is all centripetal based. He so considers how his senses could be deceived. He theorizes that his senses are being manipulated by a fallacious devil, as if he were simply a marionette on strings in its custodies. If this devil wants Descartes to believe he is sitting in forepart of a fire, so Descartes will believe this, when in fact he is someplace else. How can he so happen cognition at all, for this Demon could lead on his senses in anyway it pleased? This lea
Ds Descartes to see the disbelieving statement ; all beliefs are based on the senses, all beliefs based on the senses are unfastened to doubt, all beliefs open to doubt can non be knowledge, hence there is no cognition. He agrees that yes, all beliefs based on the senses are unfastened to doubt, but he does non hold that all beliefs are based on the senses, therefore the disbelieving decision must be false. But so what belief does Descartes have that is non based on senses? What belief could be safe from the devil s misrepresentation and could Descartes so be certain of and see cognition?
Descartes thinks about this until he eventually realizes that he is believing, and that can non be doubted. He does non cognize this because he can see it, or experience it, or smell it, or cognize it by any other physical sense, he can merely believe it, and thought is a true and certain thing. He knows he thinks he is sitting in forepart of the fire, even though he can doubt he is really at that place, he knows he thinks that he is. He knows he thinks he is being deceived, though that he can non be certain of it, he can be certain that he has that thought. Though this seems like a large measure for Descartes in his hunt for cognition, it really acts as a wall, or dead terminal. This leads to the decision that things can merely be thought of and can ne’er truly be, or that this is the lone cognition. Descartes does non demur this, and goes back to the devil. How can he confute the being of fallacious devils? Descartes decides there is merely one decision: God. Descartes sees God as a nexus to all flawlessness and being. Without him there would be no cognition, and without cognition there wouldn T be him. Furthermore God would non let Descartes to believe of him, if he did non be, hence God must be. If God exists, and God is all loving, honest and true, so God would ne’er allow Descartes be deceived. Therefore, Descartes knows he is sitting in forepart of a fire, and can be certain of it, because he is certain of God and certain God would non lead on him, nor would God allow a demon deceive him.