The Role of Senses to Rene Descartes

In Ren? Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy, he argues that the senses do not accurately help us understand the world. Descartes writes that he has begun to doubt all of his ideas. He decides that all those ideas come from the senses, which are not trustworthy. In the first few meditations, Descartes shows that one … Read more

The Conception of God in Descartes and Leibniz

Ren? Descartes and Gottfried Leibniz both espouse belief in a God that is infinitely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable and infinitely benevolent. Nonetheless, Descartes and Leibniz differently structure the hierarchy of those three defining traits as they determine God’s actions. Descartes’ God is a Voluntarist, meaning that God has absolute freedom of indifference. Power is supreme for … Read more

The Opposing Arguments of Rene Descartes and John Locke on the Origin of Innate Ideas

Philosophers over the years have written and evaluated numerous topics in philosophy. Occasionally, these scholars concede to their ideas and sometimes disagree with each other’s thought. Two scholars had distinctive ideas about where innate ideas originate from and how we get these sorts of ideas. Notably, these two philosophers who had an opposing argument on … Read more

Allegory of the Cave, Descartes’ Meditations, and The Truman Show

In his Allegory of the Cave, Plato asks us to consider that the world we are living is the equivalent of a cave; in order for us to enter into this “sensible realm” of truth and knowledge we must actively pursue these values. In his First Meditation, Rene Descartes asks us to abandon all preexisting … Read more

Descartes’ cogito: inference or intuition?

The kind of reasoning utilized by Descartes in order to arrive at his conclusion of the cogito has been questioned since its initial publication in The Discourse on the Method. The conjunction ‘ergo’ suggests the formula of an inference, that Descartes has concluded his existence from a premise. Yet, Descartes himself seems to deny the … Read more

Hume: Criticism of Descartes

David Hume, a Scottish philosopher and historian, thrived during the Enlightenment era. In this segment of history, which is also known as the Age of Reason, European scholars attempted to find the root of knowledge, often by working through one of two prevalent schools of thought, empiricism and rationalism. Hume, an empiricist, suggested that knowledge … Read more

The Separation of Mind and Body

Since the publication of The Discourse on the Method, Renes Descartes appears to have become the poster boy for the position of mind/body dualism. Throughout the Discourse and his later works, Descartes postulates several arguments for the absolute distinction and, thus, separateness of the mind and the body. The position is not simply that the … Read more