Descartes Proof Of Self Analysis

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Epistemology has always laid emphasis on proving the validity of what we know and Descartes wanted to start with an absolute certainty so that the reached-upon conclusions are concrete and undeniable. For this, Descartes suggests abandoning whatever we know and goes on to an atypical hypothesis of the Evil Genius. In Descartes’ proof of the existence of self, he proposes that our sense data is nothing but an elaborate hoax by this “Evil Genius” who controls our thoughts, experiences and emotions. Descartes goes on to say that even if we are deceived, we are able to think and doubt our existence, which is proof enough that we exist – an argument which is popularly summed up as “Cogito, ergo sum” or “I think, therefore I am.” In this hypothesis,…show more content…
A person with no hand or face is still human because of this “natural light” of reason. And other things which may also have faces and hands would not be called human, because of the absence of reason and mathematical logic. Although the aim of this though experiment was to adopt a premise that cannot be doubted by anyone, a lot of theorists have doubted and some have rejected that the absolute doubt that Descartes offers. A close inspection of the argument also reveals a logical fallacy in Descartes’ proof of self. Some of the arguments and theories highlighting problems with Descartes’ method of doubt are really interesting as they cover a lot of philosophical ground and have laid a foundation for some of the modern philosophy. The first and glaring problem is the direct conclusion is that “I” exist because “I think” – thinking only proves the existence of thoughts, and not of any thinker (which might also be the Evil Genius). This quick conclusion is believed to be a logical fallacy in his otherwise very clever hypothesis and…show more content…
Due to this and his belief that true knowledge is gained from intellectual exploration, he falls into the category of being rationalist. His ideas have also been compared to Plato’s allegory of the cave. The world of sense data and perception is full of fallacies and is the shadowy image we see in the cave, it is only by application of strong reason and intellectual illumination that we are able to see the real world. The use of Descartes’ doctrines and methodology is believed to be aimed to would-be knowers who should concentrate on redirecting their attention to the real world instead of the confusing and shadowy images they perceive all their lives. We have seen that Descartes has used extreme skepticism in his arguments, but they are not without system. Cartesian doubt is an extremely valuable method and contribution to philosophy. Even though a lot of problems have been highlighted against his proof of the existence of self, everyone can see value in the process of methodic doubt and careful examination of thoughts before we assume anything to be true. Due to this, Descartes becomes an important figure in the history of philosophy and lays some of the foundation stones for modern

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