Descartes’ Discourse on the Method (IV)
None of the proposed philosophical theories is exact, not even a combination of two or more theories (Sayre, 2011). However, Descartes has unique way of metaphysical argument concerning existence of God. Descartes’ Discourse on the Method (Part IV) ends surprisingly with a claim of God’s existence, which can be deduced from the interrelationship between mind, soul and our existence. Descartes began the fourth section by discussing about himself. The reading up to the point where he gives credit to a supreme being, God, could only suggest that Descartes was discussing about his philosophical thought about his being as a man. However, the discourse twist came when he inferred, “something indeed having every perfection of which I could have any idea, that is—to explain myself in one word—by God” (Bennett, 2007, p. 16). After this inference, the discourse changed to one that discussed the existence of God. It was at this point that it became clear that the ending would be more of God’s existence rather than a conclusion of Descartes as a human being. The change of discourse from exploration of self to a proof of God’s existence through personal evaluation was indeed an ingenious thought. Most of the times we try to prove existence of God or lack thereof by evaluating what are outside us. However, Descartes made a self-evaluation on intrinsic values of himself as a human being. By deconstructing his strengths and limitations, he was able to realize a fair conclusion about the existence of a supreme being, which we refer to as God. Therefore, the ending was different but offered a concise conclusion on God’s existence despite starting on a different discourse.
Bennett, J. (2007). Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting one’s Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences. Retrieved from http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdf/descdisc.pdf Sayre, H. (2011). The Humanities Culture, Continuity, and Change: New York:...
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