Junior (College 3rd year) ・Psychology ・APA ・2 Sources

Descartes was certain that he was wrong. He is certain that he exists and that he thinks. Although he was certain that the bad demon existed, the demon could not convince him that he did not because doing so would prove that he does think and so exists. Thinking and existence are so intertwined that when a human person possesses the mental capacity to think, it is a clear indicator that he or she lives. Cartesian doubt refers to Descartes' structured method of doubting one's own thoughts. He contended that all human senses deceive. Therefore, there is need to identify a powerful being upon whose trust one can build a sense of self trust. He believed in the existence of God to give him direction and the sense for existence(Chene, 2005). The main reason why he was certain of the existence of God is the belief that God was the fountain of goodwill and truth. Due to the existence of evil and deceit in the world, especially within a person, Descartes was sure that there existed a demon who controlled all the negative aspects.

Descartes based his philosophy on the fact that the opposite of certainty is doubt. He doubted his beliefs as a threshold of making them facts. He developed a system of using reason to develop science. Additionally, he developed a method called methodological skepticism which argued that it is not possible to rule out a fact by doubting it and later establish the truth value behind the doubt(Morris & Baker, 2015). The overlap between a thought and an individual establishes the principle of existence in such a way that thoughts cannot be separated from the person who has the thought. Through this, he proves further that he exists because he can think. Reasoning is connected to the other body senses and the soul. In developing fundamental aspects of life, Descartes builds a system of knowledge that rules out perception and deems it unreliable. The need for deducing the factual concepts of a phenomenon is important. The interaction between religion and physics encouraged him to study the connection between the mind and the body, and it is clear that the dualism between these two body parts is evident. The mind is thought to control the body, and this revelation provided a foundation for development of mind studies even after his death. His moral philosophy ideas state that ethics and freewill are related, and human beings need to seek doing good things in the society to have peace and pleasure. He bases most of his arguments on religious beliefs and acknowledges the existence of God as the most clear and true belief.

In 2016, a year when information is readily available especially in social media, information consumed by human beings is faced with many uncertainties. Fake news may be expressed to be true, and many people easily take it as gospel truth. Unlike Descartes, the need to question and doubt the authenticity of information has lost value. Spread of propaganda takes place so fast until people confuse it for truth. There is need to develop a means of evaluating the truth of issues in the modern world so that there is a distinction between facts and fallacies. However, you can be sure of the originality of information be analyzing the source of the information. If the source is reliable, one may choose to believe in the information though it is healthy to doubt.


Chene, D. Des. (2005). :Descartes’ System of Natural Philosophy. Isis, 96(3), 436–437.

Morris, K., & Baker, G. (2015). Descartes’ Dualism. In Descartes’ Dualism (pp. 11–22).

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