Descarte's fifth meditation

Topics: Ontology, Mind, Metaphysics Pages: 1 (388 words) Published: October 16, 2014
René Descartes was a French philosopher from the 17th century, who is called the father of modern philosophy due to his important work, like his Meditations on First Philosophy, a philosophical treatise structured in six meditations. The fifth meditation is based on his theory that God does not exist and some evil genius is trying to trick him by deceiving his senses, so he asks himself how can he be sure what is true and what isn’t. He found the answer looking at the essence of things rather than their physical bodies, because the material objects are perceived by us thru our senses, thus they can’t be trusted to be real. Doing that he considers the existence of God based on the idea that He is a supremely perfect being. He argues that if you can think about an object’s features and, without actually trying, knowing its properties, and if the idea of the thing is vividly and clearly perceived by you, it means that the thing is true. Even though we are free to think about something it doesn’t mean we invented that; the fact that it doesn’t exist outside our minds, it only means that shapes and objects have their own unchanging nature, free from our mind. Descartes uses the triangle as an argument for his findings and states that even though you can’t find a triangle in nature its properties are known and felt as being true by everyone (and because people know its properties vividly and clearly that makes the triangle really have those features). So the fact that he knows the essence of the triangle is immutable, therefore the triangle is true, it exists (only as an idea). Having proved that if you have a defined idea that you can clearly see it must be true he turns his attention to the existence of god. He states that usually the essence of one thing can be separated from the existence of that same thing but not when it comes to God because the essence of God is perfect and it has all the qualities, including existence. Saying that God doesn’t exist makes him...
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