Lecture 8 - Descartes project: to establish something firm...

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Descartes’ project: to establish something “firm and lasting” “once in my life I had to raze everything to the ground and begin again from the original foundations, if I wanted to establish anything firm and lasting in the sciences.” ( Meditations 17) Descartes wants to discover something that there cannot be any reason to doubt. In order to discover such a thing, he begins by checking whether he can find a reason to doubt all of his current opinions.
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Descartes’ most powerful reason for doubt Either my creator is omnipotent, in which case He can deceive me even in those matters that seem most obvious to me -- or else my creator is not omnipotent, in which case His creatures (e.g., me) are likely to have lots of imperfections: “there is fixed in my mind a certain opinion of long standing, namely that there exists a God who is able to do anything and by whom I, such as I am, have been created. How do I know that he did not bring it about that there is no earth at all, no heavens, no extended thing, no shape, no size, no place, and yet bringing it about that all
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Lecture 8 - Descartes project: to establish something firm...

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