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Nature of Thinking - Essay Example

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His famous quotation “I think therefore I am” is a good starting point. He tries to use the idea that simply by thinking things (rather than observing the real world) various ideas can be…
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Nature of Thinking
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Download file to see previous pages He thinks it is such a great idea, that he could not have come up with it, so God must be responsible—ergo, God exists. In the second argument, Descartes suggests that because he exists, he must have a cause, and that cause must be God. These are some basic logical fallacies.
In Meditation IV, Descartes, having established God exists, now tries to answer the question why, if God exists and is perfect there are things in the world that are bad and imperfect. He answers this question in several ways. Mostly he says that it is important to look at God’s creation as a whole rather than at any single thing (which might be bad). With a bird’s eye view things are probably perfect. Basically, he admits he knows nothing and that if he sees bad things he must be mistaken about them. As a young person I found these concepts very interesting.
Another important issue to consider when thinking about thinking is memory. What is it? It is the record of our personal experiences, but it is not always trustworthy. Sometimes our mind plays tricks on us and we must be careful. Indeed I remember that once when I was a child I was sleeping in bed and awoke to see a dark figure on the other side of the room. I could not sense what it was. The shape did not make sense to me, and because I could not identify it I could not put it in to words. Words failed me. So much of our world is described by the language that we use and so our thoughts are limited by our vocabulary in many instances.
Another important point: our value system shapes the way we think about the world. Our ethical beliefs provide an important direction to our mode and method of thought. For example, deontological ethics assumes that morality is universal. If something is good it has always been good and will always be good in all situations. It is, as Kant wrote, a categorical imperative. If lying is bad, it is always bad. Even if you are protecting Jews in your attic from Nazis who are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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