Rationalism and Pragmatism of James and Descartes

Rationalism and Pragmatism of James and Descartes Essay example
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Name 28 June 2011 Assignment 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, then he may be reminded that since he is the one thinking about this thought, he in itself exists otherwise he would not have been able to process such thinking.


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. But there is a deceiver of supreme power and cunning who deliberately and constantly deceives me. In that case, I, too, undoubtedly exist, if he deceives me; and let him deceive me as much as he can, he will never bring it about that I am nothing, so long as I think that I am something. ...
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