Essay: Descartes’ Meditation 1‏

Sample Essay

The Book

“Introducing Philosophy: A Text with Integrated Readings”, by Robert C. Solomon, presents an introduction to the subject of philosophy and gives an overview into the fundamental problems of philosophy that constitute the subject as well as the spectrum of perspectives used by various philosophers to resolve these problems (Oxford University Press).

Rene Descartes

French Philosopher Rene Descartes, also widely hailed as “The Father of Modern Philosophy”. “Meditations on First Philosophy” was first published in 1641

He believed that the acquiring of knowledge was an action that man was not capable of performing by the use of his senses rather man acquires knowledge through the reasoning of logic and judgment (Lex Newman). Descartes draws a strong line between the belief of the existence of something and the knowledge of the existence of something. For instance, Descartes states:

I shall proceed by setting aside all that in which the least doubt could be supposed to exist, just as if I had discovered that it was absolutely false; and I shall ever follow in this road until I have met with something that is certain, or at least, if I can do nothing else, until I have learned for certain that there is nothing in the world that is certain. (Solomon 195)

In the coming paragraphs, an analysis of Descartes’ standpoint of knowledge and man’s acquiring of knowledge shall be analyzed (European Graduate School).

Descartes is also of the opinion that man does not merely acquire knowledge as he lives, but there are certain elements of knowledge that are of an innate nature to man (Solomon, Introducing Philosophy ). Descartes refers to these elements of knowledge as absolute truths of the universe that are woven into God’s creation of the universe.

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