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  • Hello and welcome to TotalPhilosophy

  • In this video we are going to be talking about René Descartes

  • But who is Descartes?

  • Descartes was a 17 century French philosopher

  • Who is considered to be the father of modern philosophy

  • And is famous for his quote

  • Cogito ergo sum (Latin)

  • I think therefore I am

  • But why did Descartes say this in the first place?

  • Was he just stating the obvious?

  • Does this saying have some deeper meaning?

  • Was he the first frenchmen to realise that he was thinking?

  • To find the answer to these questions we

  • First have to take a look at something called Global Scepticism

  • Global Scepticism is the idea that all beliefs can be doubted

  • this even includes beliefs which to many of us would seem odd to doubt

  • Such as I have a body and 2 + 2 = 4

  • A global sceptic is certainly not someone you would want to eat lunch with

  • Descartes disagrees with global scepticism and sets out to prove that

  • We can be certain about what we consider to be true

  • To start Descartes wonders what would actually give him reason to doubt

  • All of his beliefs

  • He concludes that it would take an all powerful evil demon

  • Whose sole purpose is to trick him

  • Into thinking that all of his beliefs are true when really they are not

  • Given the almighty power of the demon he even deceives Descartes

  • Of beliefs that are considered to more secure

  • For example all squares have four sides

  • In order to show that we can be certain about our beliefs

  • Descartes states that he must prove that without a doubt the demon

  • Does not exist

  • Descartes begins this by moving all beliefs that he has

  • Off the table of certainty and into the bin

  • Assuming that they are all false

  • Because they are created by this evil demon

  • In other words he denies his entire existence

  • And the existence of everything else in order to start afresh

  • But this time only adding beliefs to the table

  • That he can be truly certain of

  • After some thoughts such as I am hungry

  • I wish there was some food on this table

  • Descartes concludes that he can only be certain of one belief

  • And that is I am thinking

  • This is because nothing not even an all powerful evil demon

  • Could make him doubt that he is thinking

  • Since to doubt that you are thinking would be thinking in itself

  • From here Descartes now reasons

  • That because it is true that I am thinking

  • Then it must also be true that I exist

  • After all my thoughts must come from somewhere Descartes would say

  • Therefore at this moment we can be certain of only two beliefs

  • Which are I am thinking and I exist

  • Hence the famous quote I think therefore I am

  • Mousier Descartes now considers how

  • He could further add to the table of certainty

  • After a painfully long think

  • Descartes finally figures that the belief

  • The mind can exist separately from the body

  • Can also not be doubted

  • He comes to this conclusion by realising

  • That his conscious collection of thoughts and feelings

  • Can be considered a separate entity to his body

  • Given that he can conceive that he is thinking

  • And that he exists before he has proved that he even owns a body

  • Basically Descartes is saying that the mind

  • Is a thinking non - physical thing

  • Which is completely different to the body

  • Which is a Physical non -thinking thing

  • Therefore meaning they can exist without each other

  • However so far Descartes has only proved

  • That he is a thinking thing

  • And has not yet shown that his perceptual beliefs are without doubt.

  • Therefore meaning that Descartes

  • Can not even be sure that there exists any physical objects

  • Or that anything other than himself exists at all

  • It could be the case that Descartes is just a collection of thoughts

  • That has no body

  • And that the demon is just deceiving him into thinking

  • That the whole world around him that he senses is real

  • When really it is not

  • A modern example of this could be related to the Matrix

  • How do you know that the world

  • That you are sensing really exists

  • And that your not just plugged into a supercomputer

  • That is manipulating your thoughts

  • By making you think that the world it has created is real?

  • Don't worry because Descartes has the red pill to this problem

  • This is because while trying to build upon the beliefs

  • That he can so far be certain of

  • Descartes finds the concept of a Perfect being AKA God

  • God being a perfect being has perfection in all of his qualities

  • Therefore being

  • All powerful all knowing and all good.

  • René Descartes then furthers this point

  • By questioning whether this concept of a God

  • Is a reliable one to hold

  • In other words

  • He is questioning whether such a being actually exists

  • To start

  • Descartes notes that he himself is not a perfect being

  • After all he is capable of making mistakes

  • And is not at all all-knowing

  • Descartes then reasons that because he is imperfect

  • He could not have conceived of perfection himself

  • Since perfection can only come from perfection

  • Therefore meaning that the God he conceives of

  • Must be the source of this concept

  • Get ready to take that red pill

  • Because Descartes now finally concludes

  • That as God is all knowing all powerful and all good

  • He would not allow the existence of an evil demon

  • That deceives Descartes into sensing a world that is not real

  • The existence of God also now allows Descartes

  • To justify many other beliefs that he has had

  • Allowing Descartes to restore those beliefs

  • That he had previously chucked into the bin

  • Back onto the table of certainty

  • Descartes thus concludes that the Demon does not exist

  • And that he can finally be certain of many fundamental beliefs

  • That he has

  • Therefore showing that Global Sceptics are wrong

  • To think that everything can be doubted

  • However if Descartes had lived long enough to hear the responses of

  • John Locke

  • David Hume

  • Fredrich Nietzsche

  • Immanuel Kant

  • Bernard Williams

  • ren Kierkegarard

  • Pierre Gassendi

  • And many others as they tore apart his work

  • The foundation for all of his certainty

  • Then maybe he would not have been so assured

  • Thank you for watching TotalPhilosophy

  • I hope that you enjoyed the video

  • If you want to see more videos like this

  • Then please subscribe to my channel

Hello and welcome to TotalPhilosophy

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トータル・フィロソフィールネ・デカルトが「私は考える、ゆえに私はある」と言った理由 (Total Philosophy: Why René Descartes said 'I think, therefore I am')

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    Precious Annie Liao に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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