evil genius - Frank Turchioe 4/20/07 Professor Cowan Is...

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Frank Turchioe 4/20/07 Professor Cowan Is There an Evil Genius? Rene Descartes talks about many different things in his Meditations on First Philosophy . One of the things that he writes about is the possibility of the existence of an evil genius that deceives us and makes us perceive things falsely . Later in his meditations , he states that there can be no evil genius. However, he never fully proves this claim to be true . Throughout the meditations, he attempts to prove the existence of God but never actually comes up with any hard evidence for it . Without evidence to support such a claim , Descartes never really disproves the evil genius’ existence. Descartes starts his first meditation by laying down the reasons why we may doubt all things , especially material ones. It is actually at the end of his first meditation that he hypothesizes about the evil genius . He says that there must be some kind of evil demon in existence that is misleading him . He says that it cannot be God that is misleading him because He is good . He says : “I will suppose , then, not that Deity, who is sovereignly good and the fountain of truth , but that some malignant demon, who is at once exceedingly potent and deceitful , has employed all his artifice to deceive me. I will suppose
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that the sky , the air, the earth, colors, figures, sounds , and all external things , are nothing better than the illusions of dreams , by means of which this being has laid snares for my credulity ; I will consider myself as without hands , eyes, flesh, blood , or any of the senses, and as falsely believing that I am possessed of these ; I will continue resolutely fixed in this belief , and if indeed by this means it be not in my power to arrive at the knowledge of truth , I shall at least do what is in my power , viz., [ suspend my judgment ], and guard with settled purpose against giving my assent to what is false , and being imposed upon by this deceiver, whatever be his power and artifice”
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evil genius - Frank Turchioe 4/20/07 Professor Cowan Is...

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