Descartes: The Meditations On First Philosophy

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Descartes was born in La Haye in France on March 31, 1596, who was the son of Joachim and Jeanne Brochard. He was brought up by his grandmother, after the death of his mother at a young age. In 1604, he attended the Jesuit college of La Flẻche, continuing his studies in the University of Poitiers. Descartes later added theology and medicine to his studies. He became a soldier, travelling around the world. He was introduced to a Dutch scientist and philosopher, Isaac Beeckman, who would become for Descartes a very influential teacher. Descartes is often associated as the founding father of modern philosophy, with his most famous work being the Meditations on First Philosophy (1641). In his Meditations on First Philosophy, he wanted to find out what we can believe with certainty and thereby claim as knowledge and truth. He writes his Meditations in the first person narrative, the ‘I’, to stand for ‘any thinker setting out in a quest for certainty’ ( Descartes was the first to raise the puzzling question of how we can claim to know with certainty anything about the world around us that we live in, and if we can never be certain, how can we claim to know anything. He decided he would no…show more content…
He does not doubt without cause, but provides reasonable examples for his doubt in each case, such as the senses and the dream argument. For instance, he rejects the possibility that he might be ‘a mad man’, since that would undercut the rationality that motivates his doubt. I found Descartes depth of arguments and theories astounding, and very interesting. Descartes First Meditation mostly involves his scepticism with regards to the doubting of his senses and the dreaming argument, while touching on God. The First Mediation forms the basis for Descartes further Meditations, setting down the foundation of doubt, and what Descartes fully believes to be the
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