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American Public University Week 3 Descartes Theory Philosophy Question

American Public University Week 3 Descartes Theory Philosophy Question

Question Description

I’m working on a philosophy discussion question and need an explanation to help me learn.

*respond to these with a 100 word minimum* first response:In our lesson, we learned of Descartes’ “I think, therefore, I am”. Descartes determined he existed, as a mind, since his mind was capable of thought. The idea that we could exist as a “brain in a vat” was also given. To Descartes, “I” was the mind, capable of existing separate from the body, at least in theory. While Descartes did not so much as state it the mind was definitely capable of living without the body, he did state the body was incapable of living without the mind. One could lose a leg, arm, or other pieces of a body, but it would be impossible for the body to live without a complete mind. Because Descartes was able to think and opine on the existence of the mind without a body, that “proved” to himself that his being was that of the mind, not the body. In could be said “you” are a mind, simply riding around in a body. In theory, “you” would/could be you in whatever body or “vehicle”.

I love this concept as a whole. I think it gives credence to various definitions of “life” and “quality of life”. If one was to adopt the notion of your mind being self, then what does it mean to truly live? Is life simply whatever and however your mind processes the events around you? Given, that, how does a mind process things without the inputs recieved from the body? What implications could it give to scientific advances to prolong “life”? I’m not sure about you, but the implicaitons of such existential thoughts could occupy you forever.

second response:For this weeks discussion I decided to answer question #1. Why doesn’t Descartes simply determine what’s real by looking around him and use his sense experience?

Descartes doesn’t rely on his sense of experience because experiences can be deceiving and people experiences are different. In order to find his “one solid, universal truth upon which he should build his philosophical system.” Descartes used an argument, The Evil Demon Argument, to find the knowledge that he questioned. Descartes reasoning was this evil demon was trying to doubt all of our beliefs and concluded “we have grounds for doubting whether any of our sensory perceptual beliefs are true, as well as our various a priori beliefs.” Some examples that were talked about for not relying on sense experience was the mirage effect. When driving down a long hot road it could be deceiving that one would see a puddle of water across the street in the horizon but while continuing to drive there wouldn’t be any water. This shows that our mind has but something there that is in fact non existent. Another reason Descartes doesn’t rely on sense is the fact that everyone experiences different things. When the example of the apple came up, one person can say that an apple is red. However, the certain color of red someone is seeing versus what another one sees can be different.

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