Descartes' Second Meditation

Topics: Mind, Critical thinking, Epistemology Pages: 2 (732 words) Published: December 12, 2010
Descartes' Second Meditation

In Descartes’ Second Meditation the key philosophical idea of “I think, therefore I am” is introduced and thus begins a new age in western philosophy. Some of the arguments Descartes provide in order to support his claims are that in order to doubt anything, you must be able to think and if you think, you exist. Descartes brings up the point that there may be no physical world, along with that thought comes the doubt of anything else being real, which again concludes that he is thinking which means he is real. Descartes’ argument in the second meditation is that in order to think at all, whether it is doubt of an existence or belief something to be true it requires thought. Descartes makes the point that being able to have thought means that he must exist and he can know this without any doubt. The main argument that he uses to support this theory is to suppose he is being deceived by an evil spirit into believing all that he knows, when everything he knows is actually a lie. He claims that whether or not he is being deceived is not important, rather the fact that he is able to be deceived or not be deceived confirms that he does indeed exist. He goes on to show that in order to be deceived, you must be thinking and if you are thinking then by default you exist. Descartes makes us doubt everything through his new revolutionary thought process. He claims that the mind is separate from the body, and even if there is a body at all. By doubting the reality of a physical world he brings into question everything that exists except for the individual existing itself.

Descartes then moves from the point that he exists to trying to explain what “he” is. He claims that he is a thinking thing, and uses the word thing precisely. Descartes opens up a discussion on how being able to think means he exists, but does not include the proof of a body, instead he can only prove that a thinking thing is a mind. He claims...
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