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Descarte's Meditation One Essay

590 words - 2 pages

Descartes' Meditation OneBeing a foundationalist, Descartes needs to destroy the foundations of his beliefsso that in his Meditations he will be able to build upon new foundations of undeniableand self evident truths. In order to do this Descartes must first find a valid argument thatwill allow him to doubt his foundation beliefs and in turn doubt what is considered to bereality. He begins by first noting that one can not trust their own senses, because we canbe deceived by our sciences. An example of such would be if one looks at an opticalillusion, they are seeing something that is not really there, and therefore are beingdeceived by their sense of sight. But this is not enough to justify doubting all things, soDescartes offers a different approach, the Dream Argument.The Dream Argument is essential in because it allows one to logically questionnot only the senses but their surroundings and actions as well. Although one can doubtthat what they see or hear is not really as is perceived; a person can not deny that they arefor instance, standing, thinking about how their senses are deceiving them, with their feetplanted on the ground, in their bedroom, feeling a little tired and so on. Only if one was,as Descartes writes, "..insane, whose brains are impaired by such an unrelenting vapor ofblack bile.." that they believe they are something other than what they are, would onedoubt reality, without an argument. The argument is as follows: If the experience of adream is indistinguishable between that dream and reality; and there is no test todifferentiate between dreaming and awakens, then one must doubt the world outside theirminds. This is so because even if one believes they are awake and perceiving theirsurroundings soundly, they have no...

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