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What is the significance of Descartes' Cogito argument?
Pages 3 (753 words)
Rene Descartes was a famous French philosopher who laid down the Latin statement, ‘Cogito Ergo Sum’ which means ‘I think, therefore I am.’ In simple words, this very statement means that if a person has a certain doubt on the fact of his existence…
This argument of Descartes’ relates to two other theories laid down by him, namely, ‘the Evil Demon’ and the ‘Dreaming and Doubt’ arguments. This paper thus helps to provide an insight into the significance of the cogito ergo sum argument and its relation with these other two philosophical theories by Descartes. In his Second Meditation, Descartes has tried to explain his argument with respect to the existence of human beings. According to him, he carried out thoughts on his own doubt and was sceptical about the existence of people in order to see whether or not the doubt that he had in his mind would survive. However, as he carried out his arguments and personal belief in his existence he found that it was impossible to doubt whether or not a person was living. A God that deceived an individual and made him think twice about his existence was termed as an ‘Evil Demon’ by Descartes and he says that even if this argument were not true, one would still have to exist in order to be deceived.
“But I have convinced myself that there is absolutely nothing in the world, no sky, no earth, no minds, and no bodies. Does it now follow that I, too, do not exist? No. If I convinced myself of something [or thought anything at all], then I certainly existed. ...
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