Descartes Method of Doubt

Topics: Epistemology, Skepticism, Truth Pages: 3 (1077 words) Published: December 1, 2008
Descartes method of doubt is his personal quest for certainty in knowledge, a system that allows us to find a way to be assured that what we feel we “know” is not just a figment of his imagination but an infallible truth. The motivation for his method of doubts begins as a question of the possibility that all his thoughts could be false on the basis that he has had many false beliefs before and could possibly have formed more false beliefs with a fabricated base, and that in order to have stable sciences we must be free from doubt. In order to start afresh Descartes must demolish his any thought for which he could have doubt, leaving nothing but one simple truth. John Hospers makes an argument against this skepticism with the foundation that we must find some way to reasonably evaluate true from false.

Descartes method of doubt focuses on becoming a skeptic of every thought in which he employs any doubt. His method for doubting follows as such, firstly that he will regard any belief as false if he can craft a doubt for it because all thoughts were formed from a possibly false previous one. As humans we’ve all formed ideas by our senses that simply are not true. It is possible that our senses are constantly telling us the wrong thing, these senses which we will build yet another idea from. Descartes assumes that it is reliable, when searching for true knowledge, to conclude that any principle that is obtained from our senses is false. His doubts are furthered by the trickery of the content of our dreams, which is assembled and often mimics features we encounter throughout our lives. It is possible that our perceptions in which we establish a belief on was conjured while dreaming. However there are certain truths in sciences that whether asleep or awake are constantly genuine so in order to completely start at a base point in our beliefs must also take in the role of an omnipotent creator. God has the capability of to manipulate our perceived experiences, and...

Bibliography: Descartes, Rene. Classic Philosophical Questions. Comp. James Gould and Robert Mulvaney. 12th ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall PTR, 2006. 246-58.
. Various Class Handouts.
Hospers, John. "An Argument Against Skepticism."
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