Questions tagged [descartes]

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

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How was Descartes sure that his doubt was his own?

We recently studied about Descartes in school and my teacher said that Descartes was a sceptic, he doubted everything and had an idea of creator who decieves us. But the only thing he didn't doubt ...
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An absolute truth

In 1976 Antoine Léonard Thomas wrote paraphrasing Rene Descartes: I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am. My question is, is there anything else, built on such basic concepts, that has been ...
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Is Lacanian subjectivity relational?

Descartes notion of the subject is self-subsistent: the self reflecting on itself finds itself. The Lacanian mirror appears to introduce an other to find the self - his notion of the subject appears ...
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Do we have free will? And is the world we observe an illusion? [closed]

Why do we assume a physical world really exists? How do we not know that all there is are ideas and perceptions and we are deceived? Descartes using his hyperbolic doubt method had to doubt everything ...
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Metaphysically, what comes before the cognitive ability to make distinctions?

Descartes, for example, makes the distinction between body and mind by recognizing the body as an idea born from 'extension' and the mind as an idea born from 'consciousness'. He further recognizes '...
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for Descartes, God is guarantee of truth, why do i make mistakes?

Descartes uses intellect to prove that God is the guarantee of the truth, and disproving the evil demon. But if this is true, why when i make purely intellectual reasoning, (because i can make a ...
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Does Cartesianism really affect our present-day culture?

Are the ideas of Cartesian philosophy (example of an old and well known ideology that clearly hasn't impact just because people read it) really so spead throughout the present-day Western culture, ...
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Which substance is time associated with in Descartes' philosophy, mental or corporeal?

Descartes asserts that all that there is that is directly cognisable to us, by mind or by eye, are modifications of two substances: res cogitans and res extensa, mental and corporeal. How does he ...
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Is the cogito analytic a priori?

Descarte said 'I think therefore I am', or in the orginal Latin, cogito ergo sum. Is this analytic a priori? The evidence for it being analytic, is that the first statement 'I think' includes a ...
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Why did René Descartes opine that languages are 'fruits of study', but oratory and poetry 'gifts of the mind'?

Preface: Thinking this a question on Linguistics, I first posed on Linguistics SE but was redirected here. Source: p 76, Philosophy ; A Very Short Introduction (2002) by Edward Craig. Admittedly, ...
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What is the essence of Descartes Riddle?

In Descartes philosophy Mind & Matter are two substances which he then found difficult explain how they affected each other. This, on the face of it seems wrong. Conventionally, one supposes one ...
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'God exists and does not deceive us': Why is this necessary for memory of proofs?

Source: p 38, Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, 1999) by Simon Blackburn Caution: I modified Blackburn's syntax and organisation to ameliorate readability; I added all numbering. ...
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What is the contraposition of “I think therefore I am”?

It's known that Descartes was someone who believed in a God but isn't the contrapositive of "I think therefore I am" an atheistic notion. That is -I am not therefore I do not think- meaning if one ...
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What is a simple book summarizing Cartesian philosophy?

I know a bit of French, so I can read Descartes' work directly, but I would prefer to start with a simple book which summarizes descartes' philosophy.
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In which books does Descartes propose his ideas about mind-body dualism?

In which books does Descartes propose his ideas about mind-body dualism?
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Can our sense of touch deceive us?

Descartes says that the senses deceive us. I agree for all senses, except for the tactile sense (i.e., when you touch something). It's clear there are optical illusions, but there appear to be no ...
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How have philosophers from Descartes to Kant understood the soul?

Modern philosophy, beginning with Descartes, raises issues of mind-body dualism, rationalism and empiricism, idealism and materialism. Yet most modern philosophers at least through Kant continued to ...
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What does it mean to say that Kant has a twofold ontology?

What does it mean to say that Kant has a twofold ontology? If indeed he does have a twofold ontology. Is that like Descartes' res extensa and res cogitans?
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Questions on the second meditation by Descartes

Upon reading the second meditation of Descartes, I am perplexed by an illustration Descartes presents involving wax. For reference, this illustration, or argument, is contained within the 11th and ...
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Does the famous Descartes quote “dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum” suggests secure knowledge of ones existence?

After a discussion about the "difficulties to distinguish knowledge from faith" someone replied to me that the quote implies faith because it uses the word "think". But as it is generally understood: ...
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“cogito ergo sum” and then…?

After his ever so famous "cogito ergo sum", Rene Descartes' second (deep?) thought was something like "God exists" (according to my literature). I think he brought this up mainly due to historical ...
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Besides the Cartesian Circle, what flaws are there in Descartes' use of God

Apart from the circular argument in meditations III where he states that he has a clear distinct idea of god therefore he must exist and that since god exists and he is not a deceiver he can make ...
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How does Descartes use god in his Meditations?

How does Descartes use god to avoid answering certain questions directly?
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What historical or doctrinal problems provoked Descartes' “Cogito”?

Descartes' Meditations and Discourse apply a radical scepticism towards knowledge in order to finally refute it, founding certainty on the immediacy of self-knowledge, usually considered the great ...
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How does Descartes justify his supposition that 'motion' is conserved?

In Newtonian physics the law of the conservation of momentum is deduced from the three laws - and it is specific and quantitative; which follows from the specificity and quantitiveness of the three ...
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What is res in res cogitans or res extensa?

Substance is that which has no dependent relation on any other; and unlike an atom, is infinitely differentiable - it has parts; and those parts thus distinguished have relations amongst themselves; ...
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How to understand Nozick's response to Descartes's Skeptical Argument?

Consider the following Skeptical Argument: P1. You do not know that you are not a brain in a vat. P2. You know that if you have hands, then you are not a brain in a vat P3. If you know that A, and ...
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Can a disembodied soul form empirical beliefs?

Is it metaphysically possible for a disembodied Cartesian soul to so much as form any purportedly empirical beliefs, even if only ones that are false?
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Descartes's “cogito” as a continuation rather than a break

Descartes axiom is cogito ergo sum - I think therefore I am; and in one view inaugurated a break in European Philosophy towards modernity by propelling it towards a self-conscious rationalism, to ...
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What is the analytic-synthetic dilemma concerning existence?

Reading a paper on Descartes I found the following summary of criticism: Stuart Hampshire, on the one hand, emphasizing the indubitability required of the principle by Descartes, concludes that ...
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Sartre and the cogito

When Sartre inverted the Aristotelian doctrine of essence before existence; should he also have inverted the Descartians cogito; not cogito, sum but sum, cogito; given that thinking is the essence of ...
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Why doesn't Parmenides argument hold for fields - or does it?

The SEP points out For Descartes argued in his 1644 Principles of Philosophy (see Book II) that the essence of matter was extension (i.e., size and shape) because any other attribute of bodies ...
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In Descartes “Meditations on First Philosophy”, what does the title “first philosophy” mean?

"Meditations" as outlined in his book refers to methods of acquiring knowledge, but what does "First philosophy" refer too/mean? It certainly does not carry a sequential meaning, because there is no "...
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Fundamental Truths in Philosophy [duplicate]

Many years ago I took a philosophy class that covered Descartes. The teacher logically explained to us the "I think Therefore I am" over the course of a week. He also said that it was one of the ...
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Do any other famous examples of synthetic a priori exist?

From what I understand in the context of Western philosophy René Descartes famous statement "I think therefore I am" is an example of sythetic a priori. Descartes was a rationalist and this statement ...
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Can 'I think, therefore I am' be reduced to 'I, therefore I am'?

Indeed, the thinking activity of a reflective person presupposes such a 'reflective person'. What I observe is that there are certain attributes or characteristics in words, words like 'think', '...
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Descartes forth meditation: The role of god in the process of judgment making

In Descartes' forth meditation, he says" The privation, I say, present in this operation insofar as the operation proceeds from me, but not in the faculty given to me by god, nor even in its operation ...
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the method from descartes' Rules for guiding one's intelligence rule 4

the method from descartes' Rules for guiding one's intelligence rule 4. I can't find the method what he explained. Would someone tell me what is the method what he explained? does he explained the ...
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Defenses of Descartes's rationality in regards to “cogito” fallacy?

What philosophers and in what writings, if any, have attempted to explain or defend Descartes's rationalism in respect to the "cogito ergo sum" fallacy pointed out by philosophers like Russell, and ...
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what is descartes argument for machines?

what is Descartes argument for why even sophisticated machines will never have capacity to reason? and is the argument agreeable?
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What is the relation between Descartes' “lumen naturale”, God and logic?

This is not a question about the cogito argument in the closer sense. I will try to isolate my questions from the other questions posted concerning Descartes. If I understood what I've read correctly,...
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Whose major work was influenced by Descartes?

For instance, Newton's ‘Mathematical principles of natural philosophy’ is heavily influenced by Euclid's ‘Elements’. Newton was highly influenced by the Elements. So I would call Newton's book a ...
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Roko's Basilisk as Descartes' evil genius?

I'll try to pose a shortened version of Roko's Basilisk below and then ask about how it relates to Descartes' evil genius: The idea is that down the line may it be decades or centuries from now, ...
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Does Cartesian Doubt Depend on Cartesian Dualism?

Even though this isn't exactly accurate, the way I like to think of Descartes' hyperbolic doubt as stating that there's no way to prove that information gained through sensory experience is accurate. ...
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Does Cogito ergo sum need to be more specific?

Something about my translation has bothered me since I originally posted my question (which follows below). It concerns what Bertrand Russell wrote in "On Denoting". Ryno indicated a circularity with ...
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Descartes' Enlargement or Limitation of Cognition?

Descartes gives the metaphysical implications of freedom of the will as it relates to the power of cognition. This involves the function of judgement in its natural character and representational ...
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What are Kant's critiques of Hume's and Descartes's conceptions of the self?

What are Kant's critiques of Descartes's conception of the self contained in the Metaphysical Meditations and of Hume's conception of the self expressed in the Essay concerning human understanding? ...
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Who else besides Spinoza has described how to resolve Descartes separation of thought and matter?

Descarte famously divided thought from matter and placed them in separate realms. Spinoza put them together by placing them within God as the two modes - thought and extension - that are visible to ...
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Objective reality vs. illusion in Descartes' time

Descartes' argument for god includes his idea of "objective reality", id est, clear and distinct perception implies existence. Considering his own scientific bent of mind, I'm curious to know what he ...