Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 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 tagged [descartes]

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

2
votes
2answers
152 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
3answers
158 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
1answer
169 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,...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
193 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
4k 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 ...
1
vote
6answers
5k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
942 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
79 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
632 views

How far can/should one press philosophical doubt?

Should we keep on questioning until nothing is left to question or is there a point on which we need to stand (which we often tend to do)? Descartes used 'I think' as this fixed point where the ...
-1
votes
2answers
90 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
169 views
4
votes
3answers
281 views

Does Descartes' cogito require awareness of thinking?

Descartes cogito is 'I think therefore I am'. Can an ant do the same? Breaking this down, one has 'I think' and I am aware that 'I am thinking' and therefore 'I am'. One requires here it seems some ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How would Descartes respond to Wittgenstein's objection to radical doubt?

From what I understand, Descartes wrote refutations to criticisms made of his Meditations. I'm just interested in what he would say to Wittgenstein, who I think has the most compelling critique of ...
2
votes
3answers
509 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
789 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?
0
votes
1answer
650 views

How does Descartes understand the levels of formal reality?

There is a cup of coffee in front of me. In my mind, I have an idea of the cup of coffee. Explain how Descartes would understand the levels of formal reality (and objective reality, if it applies) of ...
1
vote
2answers
205 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
6answers
1k views

Have Descartes' arguments for dualism been entirely refuted by modern neuroscience and information theory?

From the IEP article on Dualism: Decartes argues that the mind is indivisible because it lacks extension. The body, as an object that takes up space, can always be divided (at least conceptually), ...
5
votes
1answer
560 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
52 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
263 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k 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
209 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
88 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
837 views

How do res cogitans and res extensa interact?

In all religions that ever existed, there is a soul and a God - two intangible things. From physics we know that there is no difference between a particle without the electrical charge, mass and ...
1
vote
0answers
234 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
113 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
215 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Descartes and existence

What does it mean to exist for Descartes? Of course I know about cogito ergo sum, but is that all there is to it? Is the only criterion to exist to be able to think? Or is there more to it? And if it ...
2
votes
4answers
467 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
232 views

what is the difference between Descartes and Quentin Meillassoux in understanding the term of “Cogito”?

Having read Quentin Meillassoux's 《After Finitude》, I am still quite puzzled by the way he illustrating the 'Cogito, ergo sum' as his start-point to criticize on Kant. Kant established the ...
4
votes
2answers
443 views

Did Descartes view “cogito ergo sum” as applying only to himself?

I'm not a philosophical expert, but I'm wondering. Isn't it contradictory that Descartes, using his cogito, wants to both (a) prove that he exists and is uncertain of others and (b) provides a proof ...
0
votes
2answers
513 views

Is Descartes' theory wrong?

Why does Descartes say that the pineal gland in the center of the brain is the gateway between our physical bodies and mental spirits? Is there a problem with this theory?
0
votes
1answer
122 views

How are the relation between monads formed?

So each person is a monad, and there is no causation between monads. Perception occurs as a result of aggregation of monads. The aggregation between them gives the perception. My question is, if each ...
4
votes
1answer
126 views

How do I read the SEP citations for a particular author where there are numbers at the end of the sentence as a citation?

How do I read the SEP citations for a particular author where there are numbers at the end of the sentence as a citation? An example from the SEP article on Descartes: "Descartes had a different ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

How does Descartes determine that the idea of God has more objective reality than finite substance?

Descartes's third meditation, which sets out to prove the existence of God from previous considerations, confuses me greatly. Descartes appears to be trying to make an argument that the source must ...
5
votes
1answer
117 views

What does Descartes mean by God could alter the truth of mathematical theorems, but not laws of nature?

Stumbled upon this statement in Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow's The Grand Design According to Descartes, God could at will alter the truth or falsity of ethical propositions or ...
1
vote
2answers
145 views

Why do some philosophers argue that we do not know, a priori, that something thinks?

The Cartesian argument seems to explicate the fact that I necessarily know that something thinks, and that I necessarily know that something thinks even if I don't checking the world to verify whether ...
17
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the modern solution to the mind-body problem for those who still hold the mind is separate?

René Descartes gave us the problem of how the mind interacts with the body in its modern formulation. Essentially, he asked how the incorporeal mind was able to influence the material body. He also ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

“Because if you doubt that you're doubting, you're still doubting” - What is the analogous mathematical/logical expression to this sentence?

In an answer here, the following was stated: The essence of his [Descartes] argument is that you can doubt almost everything about the world, but you can't doubt that you're doubting. Because if ...
1
vote
1answer
244 views

For Descartes, is “res cogitans” : “res extensa” :: “ens rationis” : “ens reale”?

For Descartes, would the following analogy hold? res cogitans : res extensa :: ens rationis : ens reale Or did Descartes distinguish the terms res cogitans from ens rationis and res extensa from ens ...
1
vote
0answers
141 views

Has anyone claimed that the cartesian ego is a necessary condition to any mind?

Has anyone claimed that the Cartesian ego, by which I mean the ability to reflect, from which I may be able to deduce that "I am", is a necessary component of any mind?
5
votes
4answers
407 views

Could a philosophical zombie conclude “cogito ergo sum”?

Could a philosophical zombie conclude "cogito ergo sum"? Assume a philosophical zombie which is a hypothetical being that is indistinguishable from a normal human being except in that it lacks ...
2
votes
2answers
49 views

To question that error is impossible, what must we do?

As we have learned from Descartes (even though he himself seems sometimes to lose sight of this lesson in the later stages of the Meditations), it is very hard to find beliefs for which there is not ...
3
votes
1answer
435 views

Descartes argument on animals

what is Descartes argument for why animals are incapable of reasoning and have no soul? is this argument agreeable?
0
votes
5answers
235 views

Can we doubt that we are conscious? That we are not dead?

Obviously Descartes would suggest that we can't doubt that we think, because doubt is a cognitive attitude. But is it one that occurs when we think it does, i.e. can I doubt that I am typing this now ...
1
vote
2answers
82 views

Looking at Descartes, does the temporality of consciousness justify doubt in it?

Let's look again at Descartes' cogito argument: “let him [the deceiving demon] deceive me as much as he can, he will never bring it about that I am nothing so long as I think that I am something. ...
1
vote
0answers
90 views

How is Descartes Sure of Things When He is “Attending” to Them?

On SparkNotes, Rene Descartes apparently knows some things to be true as long as he is "attending" to them. These clear and distinct perceptions are only indubitable so long as he is attending to ...