Today we have a quick one, it’s Cartesian Skepticism. Let’s jump right in so we can all start questioning literally everything. Slap that ‘continue reading’ to, well, continue reading.
“Cogito ergo sum”
~ René Descartes
I think, therefore I am. This is the base of Cartesian Skepticism, the thought that you can’t really know anything for sure except for the fact that you yourself exist, at the very least, as a thinking thing. All thoughts need a thinker to exist, so the existence of your thoughts proves the existence of your mind. We can say that Descartes was the epitome of metaphysical paranoia, even if he eventually convinced himself that all his beliefs were correct anyway. Most philosophers after Descartes thought that Cogito (I think) was the end of the road and that the way in which Descartes justified his beliefs to himself wasn’t really valid (from a philosophical standpoint). So… that throws us back to only being able to assert that we ourselves exist. Now, even if Descartes didn’t have any good way to prove his beliefs, many philosophers since have tried to do the same in a logical and rational manner. So, as a set up for next week’s post, today we will ask the following question:
How would you prove any of your beliefs are real?
That’s all for now, keep thinking and fight the good fight!