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Philosophy: Descartes’ Meditation I


Reading Descartes’ Meditation may be difficult because of the impossibility of finding out the truth and staying consistent. The intention of the author to clarify the things to doubt is a complex work with many perspectives. In this paper, the analysis of Descartes’ Meditation 1 is developed to explain the dilemma of either people live in the real world or falsely trust in their sensory beliefs.

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Twelve paragraphs of different lengths should be divided into four major sections, including the background and goals, the reasons for being misled, observations, and conclusions. First, the author admitted that such a type of discussion required a certain time and experience. Descartes had to free his mind from all cares to doubt the existing principles and criticize the beliefs. He was read to justify the rejection of everything in case at least one ground for doubt occurred. Then, the author mentioned that, at this moment, all the truth people accept is based on senses. Still, it is important to remember that human senses mislead, thus questioning the nature of information obtained and promoting the state of insanity. A variety of options challenged Descartes, and he was afraid to choose the wrong way.

The next step in Meditation is the evaluation of the conditions under which doubts are established. For example, the habit of sleeping provoked the doubt of representation either in dreams or in reality. It remains unclear if a person is deceived by illusions in sleep or in reality, and it is necessary to consider both alternatives as possible. The role of God, as well as the worth of sciences, cannot be ignored.

Physics and astronomy are of doubtful nature, arithmetic and geometry are real due to their simplicity, and God sets the rules that are not perceived by humans. As a result, there is always something to be questioned. In their intentions to offer new discoveries, people create additional grounds for misleading. Instead of finding a balance between old and new prejudice, Descartes introduced an evil demon as another founder of the truth.

Critical Evaluation

As soon as I started reading Descartes’ work, I cannot stop thinking about the idea offered by the Wachowski brothers in 1999. People are always free to choose to either live in comfort, neglecting the opportunities to study the truth or be challenged by the existing variety, trying to discover the reality. Both cases are possible, and there are enough grounds to investigate the options. I agree with Descartes that doubts exist everywhere, and the most experienced people are not able to control or get rid of them.

He was ready to remove all his senses and discover the truth but faced indolence that brought him to the ordinary style of life. Compared to him, I do not want to dig that deep into my consciousness to try to change something. I am happy to live the life I have and understand that certain natural principles lead a human life, and some beliefs may be changed with time because of different reasons.

The reading of this week is a strong attempt to challenge the work of the human mind. On the one hand, I cannot reject the opinion of Descartes that human doubts have solid ground to be developed. On the other hand, I do not believe I am close enough to the demon that made the philosopher change his reality. I respect the position and understand why many people believe in the power of doubts and ideas similar to those of Matrix. However, there are so many sources of control in this world, and I do not want to initiate a new one in my mind.

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Each week of the course introduces new captivating readings that expand my understanding of the world where I live. Descartes was experienced enough to neglect the already made achievements and start analyzing life from scratch. Human beliefs, doubts, and principles exist and cannot be ignored, but it is a choice of a person to either accept them or find another way to deal with acquired knowledge.

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