So, if our senses are not to be trusted, how can we be sure of anything. You may think you’re sitting here reading this essay but how do you know you’re not dreaming this. For as Descartes said, “there are never any sure signs by means of which being awake can be distinguished from being asleep. ” even when certain truisms are the same. Two plus two still equals four if you are awake or asleep, but to Descartes, even that can be doubted. How? Imagine if you will that an invisible force is filling you’re mind with beliefs in order to keep you from perceiving the truth.
Silly perhaps, but can you prove its not true? However there is one thing Descartes discovered he could not doubt. If there was indeed an invisible force hypnotize you with false ideas of reality, then I would have to exist in order for him to fool me. If I am doubting my own existence, I must exist in order to doubt it. Thus his famous assertion; cogitator ergo sum or I think therefore I am. CRITIQUE If the “cogitator” is an argument, then it isn’t valid. Descartes would have to add the premise ‘Thinking things exist’ in order to make it valid.
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For e. . , 1. I think. 2. Thinking things exist. 3. Therefore, I am (i. E. , I exist as a thinking thing). The argument is now valid. However, it is not sound. Descartes would need to prove that thinking things do in fact exist. But given that Descartes has doubted everything it would seem impossible for him to know with utmost certainty that other thinking things exist. This critique brings forth the classic, philosophical problem of other minds: Notice that Descartes’ conscious experience occurs only in his consciousness. However, other people’s