Descartes Evil Demon Hypothesis Essay

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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. 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 it (Discourse on Method, page 7). This is an important ideology of Descartes which will be discussed later in conjunction with the Cartesian…show more content…
Descartes brings up the proposition of the Evil Demon, who is bent on deceiving us, after inquiring how it is that we are mistaken. Thus, Descartes decides to doubt everything so as not to be deceived by the Evil Demon: “I shall think that the sky, the air, the earth, colours, shapes, sounds and all external things are merely the delusions of dreams which he has devised to ensnare my judgment. I shall consider myself as not having hands or eyes, or flesh, or blood or senses, but as falsely believing that I have all these things (Meditation 1, MP 22). Descartes, however, is able to affirm that he exists since he knows that it is he who is the one who is doubting: “In that case I too undoubtedly exist, if he is deceiving deceiving 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. So after considering everything very thoroughly, I must finally conclude that this proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind” (Meditation II, MP

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