Descartes Cartesian Circle

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In order to fully address the problem known as the Cartesian Circle, we must first examine Descartes’ methodology, his meaning of clear and distinct perception, and his Evil Demon Hypothesis. After examining these concepts and the Cartesian Circle Objection, we will then discuss Descartes’ probable response to such an objection. Descartes, in Part II of Discourse on Method, explicitly spells out that his method is self-serving so to speak, or in other words meant to solely satisfy himself. He states: “My plan has never gone beyond trying to reform my own thoughts and to build on a foundation that is all my own. If I’m pleased enough with my work to present you with this sketch of it, it’s not because I would advise anyone to imitate…show more content…
Descartes begins by stating that he has a clear and distinct perception of God. Furthermore, Descartes describes his idea of God as: “eternal, infinite, [immutable,] omniscient, omnipotent and the creator of all things that exist apart from him” (Descartes, René, Meditations, 1641, MP 30). Descartes then goes on to explain that the cause of an idea must have at least as much formal reality as the effect. Thus, since God is an eternal entity, the cause of the idea of God must also be eternal (Lecture Notes #3). Moreover, Descartes claims that he has a clear and distinct idea of God because ideas that he clearly and distinctly perceives are within God: “For it is in the nature of the infinite not to be grasped by a finite being like myself. It is enough that I understand the infinite, and that I judge that all the attributes which I clearly perceive and know to imply some perfection-and perhaps countless others of which I am ignorant-are present in God either formally or eminently. This is enough to make the idea that I have of God the truest and most clear and distinct of my ideas” (Descartes, René, Meditations, 1641, MP…show more content…
On what grounds can Descartes say that whatever he clearly and distinctly perceives is true? How does Descartes know that he is not being tricked or deceived by the Evil Demon (Descartes’ Great Escape Lecture)? Thus, it appears that Descartes engages in circular reasoning and makes the argument that he knows he is not being deceived by the Evil Demon because he knows that a beneficent God exists and would not allow him to be deceived (Descartes’ Great Escape Lecture). Moreover, to Descartes’ dissenters, it seems that the idea that every clear and distinct idea is true is reliant on the idea that God exists, and the idea that God exists relies on the fact that every clear and distinct idea is true. Thus, according to Descartes’ dissenters, the only way that idea that God exists is true is if every clear and distinct idea is true and the only way every clear and distinct idea is true is if God

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