Chris 's Reviews > Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy

Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy by René Descartes
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's review
Dec 08, 2009

Descaretes's, Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy, is a very thought provoking book on Descartes's method of applying reason in thought. There are many things that he talks about that I agree with and a few things that I disagree with. He starts out saying that evry person has equal reasoning and the reason for different oppinions is surroundings and interpretation. He mentions to listen to ones self because perfection comes from individuals, not groups of people. According to Descartes, he has come up with an effective way of applying reason that includes four laws and four moral codes to live by. The four laws basicly say to be skeptical, analitical, and careful about thoughts and actions. The first moral code i have a problem with, it says to remain faithful to laws, customs, and religion, I think that staying true to this code would seriously cut down on his ability to reason and be skeptical of new suroundings. He hoped to find certainty and happiness by following these rules, even though with true reason the only thing anyone can be certain about is that it is nearly impossible to be certain about much at all. Later in the book he devides that anything that is doubtfull at all is false and this leads him to abandon his senses, demonstrative thinking, and images that enter his mind, because to him they were nothing but leftover dreams. While being skeptical one day, he realized that doubting something requires thought and the fact that he was thinking proves that he exists. This is where the phrase "I think, therefore I am" came from. He also concludes that God exists because existance is certain and this shows that our clear perception is true when reasoned properly. This bothers me because he claims he is certain by doin something 'properly', but what is proper other than what we have previously perceived as proper?

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