Descartes First And Second Mediation Summary

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# Introduction Within the “First and Second Mediation” Descartes seeks to asses the validity of all beliefs, ideas, and thoughts he had accumulated within his life. Meditation is initiated with hyperbolic doubt. Descartes suspends belief over many of the beliefs and ideas he at once took for granted, including his own existence. The Cartesian proposition (or the cogito argument) is a formulated inference that serves as an axiomatic proposition to Descartes’ search for universal truth. Through the utilization of methodological skepticism, Descartes’ writing withstands a two fold agenda: epistemological certainty (through an axiomatic proposition) and a metaphysical assurance (an existential realization). Descartes’ Cartesian inference provides…show more content…
For Descartes, the existence of certainty within “true beliefs” is the conclusion he is seeking. He saw to define a type of knowledge that is impossible to cast doubt over. Certainty for our purposes refers to a proposition that incontrovertibly must be definite, and through no conceivable situation be false. A discussion of certainty inherently follows a path to doubt. Within the First Mediation, Descartes employs a strategic plan to undermine his thoughts, not one-by-one but through subverting the grounds upon which they exist. To doubt the existence of any belief entails a procedure to cast suspicion over various elements of one’s life. Descartes did this through his four-steps to radical doubt. First, is an appeal to the validity of the senses and the extent to which our perception is reliable to draw conclusions regarding our beliefs. He writes, “From time to time I have found that the senses deceive, and it is prudent never to trust completely those who have deceived us even once” (352). Secondly, he proposes the dream argument—a claim that we lack the ability to decipher between a dream experience and an awake experience, and thus it is possible that our perceptions are deceiving. If the dream argument does not sufficiently influence the scope of doubt, Descartes posits the deceiving God argument—the idea that an all powerful God has within him the power to deceive us of all matters of mathematical and physical knowledge. The skeptic could respond to the God argument with a question as to the motivation of an omnipotent God to deceive us, and thus introduced the evil demon argument. The evil demon argument casts doubt on the totality of our senses, for it contends the source of our deception to be from an evil demon whose sole purpose

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