Descartes' Discourse on the Method (Part IV) - Essay Example

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Descartes’ Discourse on the Method (Part IV) Name: Institution: The Discourse on the Method is an engrossing book both as a historical document and a work of philosophy by Rene Descartes. It is divided into six parts which talk about God’s relationship with man and the idea of how something perfect is already embedded in mind when we look at it in an objective manner…
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Descartes Discourse on the Method (Part IV)
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"Descartes' Discourse on the Method (Part IV)"

Therefore, this paper will analyze the surprise ending in part four of Descartes’ book and how successful Descartes managed to convince me into accepting the validity of the surprise ending that he did not even suggest at the beginning of the book. In this part, Descartes describes the results of his mediations. He states that everything that he can possibly doubt is false which means that he holds on only to things that are unquestionably certain. He forsakes all his sensory knowledge because he believes the senses undoubtedly deceive as well as demonstrative reasoning since he believes that people make errors often in their reasoning (Johnson, 2005). As a result, he imagines that everything in his mind is just illusions that are brought by dreams. However, while doubting, he concludes that for him to doubt, he must be something since doubting requires thought; hence, the thought confirms his existence. For this reason, Descartes adopted the principle of “I am thinking; therefore, I exist” (Descartes, 1972). He used this principle as the foundation of his existence in which he argues that he is a thinking substance with a soul which is distinct and easier to understand than the body. However, I thought Descartes was going to describe the results of his meditations to the end of this part, until he introduced the idea of a perfect being: God. I realized that Descartes was planning to introduce a surprise ending when he argued that thoughts of external things such as the earth, sky and light were delusions of the mind which is not possible of God (Johnson, 2005). He claimed that the thoughts of imperfect objects could only be invented by imperfect minds which means that his imperfect mind could not invent the idea of a perfect God. Therefore, this meant that, for a perfect being to exist, it had to depend on an imperfect being, which Descartes concluded that the perfect mind is God and all his perfections are due to the perfection of God (Descartes, 2008). At this point, it is clear that Descartes is no longer trying to prove his own existence, but that of a perfect God. He even tries to prove the existence of God through geometry where he claims that geometers can prove facts with a lot of certainty. Geometers can prove that the sum of the angles of a triangle is 1800 degrees; thus, the existence of God is as certain as this proof since Descartes claims that God’s existence is as significant as the sum of three angles of a triangle. However, according to Descartes (2008), people have difficulty in understanding God’s existence because they rely mainly on their imagination and senses only. He argues that to understand God’s existence a person needs to focus on reason instead of imagination and senses because his existence is more certain than everything else which is subject to doubts. Descartes’ claims that the doubts he discussed earlier can only be removed if a person recognizes the existence of a perfect God. This is because it is through him that we can be sure that the distinct and clear perceptions are true since they come from him. However, Descartes has managed to convince me to accept the validity of the surprise ending which he did not clearly suggest in the beginning. First, I am convinced that without God, distinct and clear perceptions would not be true because God is the foundation of all Read More
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aiden34 added comment 27 days ago
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Nice paper! Used it to finish an assignment for a english course. It was easy as ABC, for the first time in my life.
Part four of the Discourse goes over a short summary of the initial three meditations by Descartes. Initially Descartes embarks on the belief that considers untrue all the things that he can consider doubtful; Hence demolishing everything that can fall under the Aristotelian philosophy, which is formed on the solid foundation of sensory experience and demonstrative logic.
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