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The views of Descartes on Rationalism - Essay Example

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The views of Descartes on Rationalism

Descartes’ meditations are pegged on his rational mind, which led him to discover the truth independently of the experience via innate ideas. He argues that there are many things that he accepted as truth in his childhood. Descartes refuted his childish and youthful beliefs and sought to build his ideas afresh. He used a methodological approach to handle issues that nagged his mind. He is quoted as saying that “some thoughts within him were as due to his power of thinking.” In applying these thoughts in ideas of notion, he was able to distinguish them from others. In his first meditation, Descartes doubts many things that happen to human life. Notably, Descartes employs a rational and methodological doubt. For instance, he states that when he dreams, he is deceived by illusions that he sees in the dreams. Similarly, the insane perceive the same dreams in their waking moments. He argues that human beings are thinking beings in a position to know their minds distinctively and clearly, but have to work towards knowing their own mind. Descartes is aware of the power to reason, which he views as the basis of accepting knowledge. Descartes regards anything that is doubtful as false. He gives a critical analysis of his existence and the existence of demons. He argues that he exists because he has conceived that opinion in his mind. He clearly notes the difference that exists between “I think” and “I exist”. ...
This attribute provides room for discerning what is good, right, or wrong. Descartes believed that sensory perception is part of the same mind which thinks but is not veridical. For instance, when experimenting with wax, he realized that the wax had acquired many shapes when brought closer to fire. In this regard, he concludes that his senses do not provide a clear way of knowing more about the wax. He argues that he has used the intellect alone to know the wax. Descartes argues that the idea of God who created him has objective reality rather than formal one. He asserts that God is infinite being while he is finite being. He believed that desires of human beings come as a result of understanding that human beings lack something. He further contended that since human beings lack something, then they must be aware of a perfect being that has all that they lack. Another notable thing is that Descartes was contented that he was supremely perfect and that his imperfections were potentialities within him. He argues that in trying to explain how he knew about God, the explanation would culminate in a long chain but would ultimately end with the existence of God. He believed that God does not deceive or possess imperfection as humankind. He believed that God would not deceive him because deception is a sign of malice or weakness, yet God is not weak but perfect. Another notable argument he raised was that if he was created by God, then God would judge him. Thus, judgment administered by God must be just since he has more power and he exists. He attributes God to positive things and evil to negative things. The motives of God are beyond what human mind can comprehend. The intellect ...Show more

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Name Institution Course Date The Views of Descartes on Rationalism Meditation is the basis of modern philosophy. The urge to identify, evaluate and prove a notion or a fact led Rene Descartes to develop his philosophical analysis of common perception that people had during his time…
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