Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions related to René Descartes (31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650)

2
votes
1answer
33 views

What are the best translations of Descartes books?

I'm planning on reading some of Descartes' books like Meditations on First Philosophy and Discourse on Method. I was wondering what are the best translations of these books and if there are any free ...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

My first thought is always: I AM

This question is derivative of the question here: Could 'cogito ergo sum' possibly be false? It is noted by authors such as Nietzsche and Kierkegaard that there are several assumptions ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

According to Descartes, the mind and body communicate through a tiny part of the brain (the pineal gland) where the 'common sense' is located

True or False? I'm unsure about this question because it seems like he only refers to the mind and the brain in this context, but not the body as a whole. Here's the passage: "The mind isn't ...
0
votes
0answers
74 views

What does Kuhn object to Descartes as regard to perception / interpretation?

Kuhn [1962/1970], in the chapter *Revolutions as Changes of World View *, says: […] this very usual view of what occurs when scientists change their minds about fundamental matters can be neither ...
1
vote
2answers
102 views

How can we know that we're thinking?

How can we know there isn't an illusion of thought? This question stems from Descartes' assertion of "I think, therefor I am." He regards the notion that he thinks as an absolute fact. But how does ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Why does the dream argument posit that the senses are untrustworthy when it's the mind that is being tricked?

According to the wiki of the dream argument, "the act of dreaming provides preliminary evidence that the senses we trust to distinguish reality from illusion should not be fully trusted, and therefore,...
2
votes
0answers
100 views

How does Descartes' “cogito, ergo sum” affect Hume's experienced based epistemology and Kant's transcendental philosophy?

My attempts so far: Descartes, being a rationalist, used "cogito, ergo sum" to lead to the concept of innate ideas. Hume, being a radical empiricist, believed in experience based epistemology. Kant ...
4
votes
2answers
83 views

Cartesian dualist and dualist

I was taught that Cartesian dualists were those who believe strongly that the mind and the body are entirely two separate entities while a dualist believes the same but also believes that the mind and ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

Seeking a quote of Hegel on Descartes

Descartes The Passions of the Soul [1:31] suggested the pineal gland could mediate interaction between mind and body. Published works and lectures of Hegel's discuss that several times (as shown by ...
2
votes
2answers
714 views

Nietzche quoting Descartes… without source

In the Will to Power Nietzche quotes Descartes omne illud verum est, quod clare et distincte percipitur However I cannot find the quoted source. Can anyone identify it?
8
votes
4answers
121 views

Was Descartes the first one to approach metaphysics epistemologically?

In his method Descartes approaches the questions of the first philosophy, i.e. metaphysics, via the method of doubt. One could say that he has an epistemological approach, by first asking what he can ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Cartesian Skepticism within a Coherentist Epistemology

I recently decided that it is high time I reacquaint myself with the early moderns, and I thought there could be no better place to start with than Descartes' Mediations on First Philosophy. Reading ...
4
votes
4answers
374 views

Descartes vs Buddha - Was Descartes wrong?

Descartes imagined an Evil Demon to suggest that the external world could be a complete illusion. This Evil Demon would have the power to trick all your senses. This idea is similar to the Buddhist ...
1
vote
1answer
184 views

Which of Descartes’ arguments for the existence of God is the most successful and why?

With regards to his 3rd Meditation and 5th Meditation proofs of God, I can't seem to find any reason to see one as being more successful than the other. Mainly because while his ontological proof ...
3
votes
1answer
285 views

Descartes' Theory of Innate Ideas

Can you guys explain to me about Descartes' three levels of ideas. The first level represents mode, the second finite substance and third infinite substance. How do these three levels of ideas relate ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

proofreadiing a paper on Descartes. Need help on line “a true physics…”

I'm copy editing a paper on Descartes written by an Italian in French and then translated into English. I need some help with a phrase she uses: "... a true physics..." I have no background in ...
2
votes
1answer
218 views

Formal versus Objective Reality in Descartes

Descartes seems to define an idea as a representational mode of thought, a mode of thought which represents a certain object. For instance, the idea of the sun is a mode of thought which represents ...
2
votes
0answers
48 views

Why did Descartes believe the physical world was determined?

What justification does he give for the idea that everything in the physical world is determined?
4
votes
4answers
125 views

Is there a flaw in my construction of Descartes' argument?

I'm having a difficult time thinking of any flaw in Descartes argument. You can coherently imagine yourself without your physical body. If you can coherently imagine X, then you have reason to ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

Can we doubt the existence of our thoughts and feelings? How?

I'm reading Russell's "The problems of philosophy" and he says that the only thing we can be certain about is the existence of our "Sense-data" which are mainly our thoughts and emotions. I wonder if ...
1
vote
0answers
142 views

How can Brie Gertler's disembodiment argument account for the minds of others?

I'm currently reading Brie Gertler's essay In Defense of Mind-Body Dualism. She uses Descartes' conceivability argument to make her own disembodiment argument. For example, she says someone can ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

How do “I” know that “I” think?

"Cogito, ergo sum", "I think, therefore I am", said Descartes but how does one know that one thinks? Could "my" thoughts not be part of an illusion of someone/something else? Can "I" actually know ...
3
votes
1answer
172 views

How did Wittgenstein reject the Cogito or Cartesian dualism? Can I get the specific sources?

I have heard of the fact that Wittgenstein rejected Cartesianism by the Private Language Argument. But the connections are not clear for me. Also I'd like to know if there is any other piece of ...
4
votes
5answers
601 views

Why can't I doubt that I am doubting?

Assume that doubt is meaningfully defined. Or let's say we define doubt as , both the statement under doubt, and it's complement can be true or false, we do not know, the uncertainty exists. Imagine ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Cogito ergo sum

What does Descartes mean when he uses the words "thought", and "doubt", in Cogito ergo sum. Could you please give me possible interpretations and definitions of the words. As the argument progresses,...
10
votes
2answers
725 views

Did Descartes really doubt the existence of God?

I've learned about Descartes' universal doubt and as I understood it, he says mind that is supposed to interact with God isn't part of res extensa and therefore isn't part of the senses we can doubt. ...
2
votes
2answers
164 views

Mathematics and René Descartes

Why are axioms of mathematics not recognized by René Descartes? How can they be untrue? Can we not treat them as basics which are absolute and build upon them?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Cogito ergo sum and its actual meaning [duplicate]

I think therefore i am is often accepted as true.But how do we know that the fact we are doubting something makes us real?we can be a stimulation or be dreaming.Why is the act of thinking given so ...
0
votes
2answers
434 views

Is my critique and criticism of Descartes's “I think, therefore I am”, logically valid? [duplicate]

Here is my chain of reasoning and criticism regarding Descartes’s idea. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-epistemology/#2 “In the same way, I began by taking everything that was doubtful ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

Is my argument against Descartes's “I think, therefore I am”, logically sound?

Disclaimer: I have answered each and every answer here on the comments where I think they are wrong. So far, I have not been able to find my mistake or anyone clearly admitting Descartes's. I am ...
3
votes
0answers
77 views

What are some good forums or places to discuss original ideas on philosophy? [closed]

I have a substantive new piece on philosophy which I discuss here: A new theory of Truth Reddit/Philosophy mods keep banning my posts for reasons they do not wish to disclose. I also discuss it in ...
-1
votes
2answers
80 views

Descartes's cogito falls short [duplicate]

I just started learning philosophy at school, so please forgive me if what I say sounds naive or has been disproved by philosophers. Basically, the teacher said that Descartes said "I think therefore ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

In Chalmer’s understanding, is a “philosophical zombie” roughly identical to Descartes’ automaton?

I suppose one must say, for Descartes, the automaton was specifically mechanistic. Which is a difference.
2
votes
1answer
546 views

What is the difference between Interactionism and Cartesian Dualism?

I read that Cartesian Dualism is a subtype of Interactionism but I'm still confused. Can somebody help me to clear up this matter?
3
votes
3answers
256 views

A second indubitable axiom

The axiom "I think therefore I am" is the axiom of reality that René Descartes is famous for inventing. Does anybody know of any other such axioms that cannot be disputed (at least on an individual ...
4
votes
3answers
149 views

Ontologically closed statements

"I think therefore I am" is a much disputed "proof". As an argument, it presupposes many posits. Being more cautious, one might make the claim, "I only know what I feel." Is this an ontologically ...
2
votes
5answers
377 views

Is there a flaw in Descartes' “clear and distinct” argument?

Is there a flaw in Descartes' "clear and distinct" argument regarding the separation of mind and body? I think that there is a flaw in the argument. I got this idea from an online lecture. Here is my ...
7
votes
1answer
343 views

What does Hegel think of Descartes' argument in Meditation 4?

In Meditation 4, Descartes argues that we can still regard God's creation of humans as perfect even though humans err. Descartes' arguments goes something like this: Human beings have multiple ...
2
votes
0answers
37 views

What is Malebranche's explanation for the source of human error?

An omnibenevolent God would not deceive us or cause us to be in error, thus the gifts from cannot be the source of error. Rather sin confuses our faculties and prevents us from using them as they ...
2
votes
2answers
178 views

In Wittgenstein's Picture theory, why is self-awareness (e.g. Cogito ergo sum in Descartes) not an a priori true atomic thought?

3.04 An a priori true thought would be one whose possibility guarenteed its truth. Note: I am asking about the earlier Wittgenstein and not his post-Tractatus philosophy. It is clear to me why this ...
4
votes
2answers
132 views

Descartes and why the mind is perceived more evidently than the body

So i am currently reading Descartes Second Meditation and i am not sure if i understand the wax argument, i will try to write out how i understand it and I would appreciate any input. He shows ...
2
votes
1answer
550 views

What were DesCartes's conceptions of objectivity & subjectivity?

This summary of "Descartes's Basic Epistemological Argument" indicates his usage of the terms is different than a contemporary notion of objective as regardless of an observer and subjective as ...
1
vote
0answers
168 views

Can minds exist without bodies? [closed]

IEP on Descartes' 6th meditation says how can Descartes make a legitimate inference from his independent understanding of mind and body as completely different things to their independent ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

Descartes' views on species

What were Descartes' views on species? Did he ever say something about this subject? Was it more like the Aristotelian conception of immutable “groups” (without the metaphysical Aristotelian concept ...
1
vote
0answers
175 views

Descartes Wax Example (second meditation)

Descartes provides insightful thinking on the nature of substance using the wax example. I was wondering if there are any other philosophers who took the wax example and suggested other questions on ...
1
vote
2answers
128 views

Has Descartes interpreted the rational mind as res cogitans?

I've read several description of the Descartes' dualism but I'm still not really sure: Does Descartes comprehend the human rational mind, human psychology - the part of thinking that is not ...
1
vote
2answers
72 views

Descartes and feral children

How can the slow learning progress of feral children be explained by Descartes? I believe he said that if we don't know something or believe something wrong, it is because we are choosing wrongly (I ...
6
votes
4answers
187 views

Can there be intention without an intender?

Many refutations of Descartes cogito go along the line of: All Descartes really proved is that thinking is happening, but there can be thinking without there being a thinker to do the thinking. Just ...
4
votes
1answer
661 views

Clear and distinct

Descartes talks about clear and distinct perceptions, in which clear means 'what is present and accessible to the attentive mind' and distinct means 'being clear and sharply seperated from all other ...
3
votes
4answers
333 views

Regarding Descartes' proof of God?

One of Descartes' proofs of God's existence is that we can think of a perfect being, while being imperfect, so the perfect being has to have implanted the idea of Him in us and thus is real. But I can ...