In the very first sentence of meditation i descartes

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
which he doubts his previous beliefs. In the very first sentence of Meditation I, Descartes declares that he must question his beliefs “if he wanted to establish anything at all in the sciences that was stable and likely to last” ; and near the end he repeats that he “must withhol d assent from his previous beliefs if he wants to discover any certainty” [1, 10]. These two intentions are crucial because they reveal Descartes purpose, namely: to discover what, if anything, is really certain. His doubt is therefore purposive, aimed at attaining certain fundamental answers to all those beliefs that had been taken for granted for the time he had lived- it is a methodic doubt- a kind of directed
Image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
thinking blended with a degree of scepticism aimed at elucidating knowledge. An analogy of Descartes own nicely illustrates his basic strategy. “Suppose that you had a basket full of apples that you feared some of them might be rotten, and that you wanted to find the good ones. How might you proceed? Well, the easiest way would be to turn all the apples out of the basket, inspect them, and put back into the basket only the unspoiled ones” . (John Cottingham et al. 1984, p.324). Fundamental to Descartes’ Method in relation to the study of critical and creative thinking is why his goal seemed important, why his attempt to attain certainty remains of interest today and how the process contributes in one way or another to our comprehension of critical and creative thinking. One reason is evident, the question “What, if anything, is really certain?” is an intrinsically interesting question. We live in a world where there are diverse opinions, views, and theories about many matters. Often, these views are held with great confidence; yet what passes for knowledge is continually changing, as new scientific discoveries are made and new theories devised. Experts disagree on many important matters. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself whether anything is really certain? Or are human beings bound to live in an ocean of uncertainty, taking their guidance from the p revailing “expert” opinion of the day - an opinion that may change by tomorrow? For one, Descartes was profoundly dissatisfied with such a prospect. He was convinced that by a careful application of thought and rational scrutiny of issues and concepts genuine certainty could be possible, even about matters of the greatest concern. 1.65: SUBTOPIC 2. Foundations of Cartesian Method Does the thought that perhaps nothing is certain leave you dissatisfied? Can you sympathise with Descartes hope that careful thinking can lead to genuine certainty about important matters? If so, then you can appreciate the most basic reason for asking what, if anything is really certain : the intrinsic interest of the question.
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern