Descartes: Thought Exists, ….therefore. I Exist

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English: Descartes idea of perception

English: Descartes idea of perception (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Discourses Model 2011

Discourses Model 2011 (Photo credit: ecolabs)

Diagram from one of René Descartes' works.

Diagram from one of René Descartes’ works. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cartesiano

Cartesiano (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Queen Christina of Sweden (left) and ...

English: Queen Christina of Sweden (left) and René Descartes (right). Detail from René Descartes i samtal med Sveriges drottning, Kristina. Español: Descartes en la Corte de la reina Cristina de Suecia (detalle), Pierre Louis Dumesnil. Museo nacional de Versailles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Portrait of René Descartes, dubbed the "F...

Portrait of René Descartes, dubbed the “Father of Modern Philosophy”, after Frans Hals c. 1648 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Descartes Principles of Philosophy 2

Descartes Principles of Philosophy 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Statue of René Descartes with his famous state...

Statue of René Descartes with his famous statement: “Cogito ergo sum”. The statue is placed in Anatole France square, Tours, France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

René Descartes at work

René Descartes at work (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Discourse on Method by René Descartes

Discourse on Method by René Descartes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The illustration of movement of objects from t...

The illustration of movement of objects from the Principles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In his Discourse on the Method, he attempts to arrive at a fundamental set of principles that one can know as true without any doubt. To achieve this, he employs a method called hyperbolical/metaphysical doubt, also sometimes referred to as methodological skepticism: he rejects any ideas that can be doubted, and then reestablishes them in order to acquire a firm foundation for genuine knowledge.[

Initially, Descartes arrives at only a single principle: thought exists. Thought cannot be separated from me, therefore, I exist (Discourse on the Method and Principles of Philosophy). Most famously, this is known as cogito ergo sum (English: “I think, therefore I am”). Therefore, Descartes concluded, if he doubted, then something or someone must be doing the doubting, therefore the very fact that he doubted proved his existence. “The simple meaning of the phrase is that if one is sceptical of existence, that is in and of itself proof that he does exist.”
Doubt is a key world . We have to do our own experience!
“Several years have now elapsed since I first became aware that I had accepted, even from my youth, many false opinions for true, and that consequently what I afterward based on such principles was highly doubtful; and from that time I was convinced of the necessity of undertaking once in my life to rid myself of all the opinions I had adopted, and of commencing anew the work of building from the foundation…”

— René Descartes , Meditation I, 1641

One thought on “Descartes: Thought Exists, ….therefore. I Exist

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