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Descartes and skepticism - Essay Example

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Descartes and skepticism

The principle of certainty, which Descartes refers to as cogito is also explained. The researcher has also given a detailed explanation on why the project was very important for Rene Descartes to accomplish. Although it seems that the method of doubt has achieved a lot, it seems to raise doubts about everything that could possibly be doubted and this is not the case. Cartesian doubt remains a strong form of skepticism and the only thing Descartes did, was doubting what was possible for him to doubt. Keywords. Cogito, Cartesian Doubting, Skepticism, Descartes Introduction Descartes was born in La Haya, Touraine on the 31st of March 1596 (Wilson, 1983). His parents were Joachim Descartes and Jeanne Broachard. His Father worked in the army and was a noble man. His mother died when he was one year old. Descartes had a brother, Pierre and a sister known as Jeanne. Having been born into a clan of bourgeois, he was educated primarily at the leading Jesuit academy, where he received a grounding foundation in traditional Aristotelian-scholastic philosophy. He later studied law at the University of Poitiers (Wilson, 1983). The chronology of his major works is as follows: 1628-1629: rules for the direction of the mind. 1634: the world scientific system. 1637: discourse on method, optics, geometry and meteorology (samples of which method would accomplish). 1641: meditations concerning first philosophy and objections and replies. 1644: principles of philosophy (concerned with explaining on all phenomena of nature). 1649: the passions of the soul. Concerned with the physiology of emotion and possibility of rational control of the passions (Wilson, 1983). Most the works of Rene Descartes were written in Holland and were philosophical and scientific. He conceived his scientific system as the successor and replacement of the great Aristotelian-scholastic philosophy that had dominated European thoughts for centuries. In his career, he strived to win approval and acceptance for his views, especially among theological authorities. He dedicated the meditations to the theological faculty of the Sorbonne. Descartes died in February 1650 in Stockholm after Queen Christina of Sweden had persuaded him to go and grace her court. Rene Descartes is famously remembered for his Cartesian method that he used to refute skepticism (Wilson, 1983). Cartesian Doubting on Skepticism Skepticism is a doctrine in philosophy that holds that true and absolute knowledge or knowledge of a particular object is uncertain. In other words, that being certain in general or towards a particular object is not possible. The method that he uses to oppose skeptics is the background of his philosophy, which is known as the Cartesian doubting (Wilson, 1983). Descartes method of doubting used syllogism. A syllogism comprises of a major premise, particular premise, which is also known as minor premise and the conclusion. The rules of syllogism hold that if the premises are true the conclusion must be true, and when the premises are false the conclusion is definitely false. For example, Any thinking thing must exist. (Major premise). I think. (Minor premise). I therefore exist. (Conclusion). Before he could begin to construct the stage of his work, Descartes believed that he needed, once in his lifetime to get rid of all his former beliefs, since he was aware that any of them were false. He uses an analogy to explain this argument while at the same time introducing his method. The ...Show more


Descartes and Skepticism Author's Name Institutional Affiliation Abstract This research paper begins by shedding light on the life and works of Rene Descartes, who is famously remembered for his great work on the method of doubting, or in other words, the Cartesian doubting…
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