The Cogito Essay Example

  • Category:
    Philosophy
  • Document type:
    Essay
  • Level:
    High School
  • Page:
    2
  • Words:
    817

THE SECOND MEDITATION OF DESCARTES

The second meditation of Descartes is titled, “cogito ergo sum and sum res cogitans. “It describes the nature of the human mind and the existence of more knowledge of the human mind in comparison to its knowledge of the body. Descartes is in continuous search for absolute certainty and he disregards any ideas that have elements of doubt during the meditation. Taking the first meditation into consideration, he hopes for the existence of a certain element of existence as previously stated by Archimedes when he stated that shifting the earth was possible if only provided with an immovable point. That is because the first meditation considers the possibility of all of human existence as an illusion[ CITATION The162 l 1033 ].

The possibility that the human memory operates on illusions and that the physical world is an illusion leads to the conclusion that the only certainty in life is uncertainty. There is the possibility of the existence of confusion in his intellect and interpretations. The example of the wax in its various perceptions is used to explain the possibility of the inaccuracy of perception. However, there must be existence for the thinking and doubting to exist. It proves the existence of the minds that experiences such thoughts and doubts. Therefore, the senses prove existence. However, they do not prove that the perceived world is in itself real. He further proceeds into the meditation to conclude that he must be in existence as to deduce all the thoughts and the doubts. Therefore, he concludes the existence of the thinking “I” that thinks and doubts[ CITATION Spa161 l 1033 ].

The cognito argument gets its name from the explanation that it is a discourse on method. The term “Cognito en sum” stands for the idea, “I think, therefore, I am,”[ CITATION The162 l 1033 ]. Descartes realizes that he is, “Aa thinking thing for sure.” It is in this that Descartes comes into contact with his first instance of certainty and as a relief from all the skepticism and uncertainty posted in the first meditation. According to the cognito, the world is presented in a picture that paints the world as a place with knowledge accompanied by vast uncertainty[ CITATION Spa16 l 1033 ].

According to the argument, human beings are thinking things with a mind that is best positioned to know itself better than it can know anything else. The physical depends on the perception of the individual and the subsequent interpretation of the nature of the physical world by the mind. As a result, the differences in various minds that affect perceptions cause differences in the interpretations of the human world. The eyes that pick up the physical world stimuli may be faulty in different people and their interpretation may vary.

However, the mind that does the work of the interpretation of stimuli is sure in existence. It is the best proof of its existence because it is skeptic about the physical world. The mind is responsible for all the questions about certainty. Therefore, it exists as to think about such possibilities. According to the cognito concept, the mind understands itself best-better than it does the physical world or other dimensions such as the spiritual.

The differences that exist in perception and the fact that the only certainty is that there is an “I” that exists prove that the mind is the most powerful tool of human existence. It is for that reason that the conclusion of existence in the trap of the mind seems logical. We are because the mind is. Human existence, therefore, is a concept of the mind. We are trapped in the mind that dictates our existence and perception of existence. It determines the perception of the physical and non-physical. The perceptions may vary across human beings in slight degrees but the mind is sure about its nature as proved by such doubts and thoughts as experienced during the meditations.

In conclusion, Descartes proves his point that the mind knows itself best. It is best to say that the only certainty in this existence of uncertainty is that we exist as proved by the Ming. The existence of thoughts and doubts about certainty about existence shows that there is the existence of the driving force of such mental debates and doubts. The driver is the brain. As a result, the conclusion is that there is a mind that exists. It also proves that the mind knows itself best, better than it knows the body and the rest of the physical world.

Works Cited

Sparknotes. Meditations on First Philosophy- Second Meditation, Part 2: the wax argument. 2016. Web. 28 11 2016. <http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/meditations/section4.rhtml>.

—. Meditations on First Philosophy: Second Meditation, Part 1: cogito ergo sum and sum res cogitans. 2016. Web. 29 11 2016. <http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/meditations/section3.rhtml>.

The Metaphysics Research Lab. Descartes’ Epistemology. 6 10 2016. Web. 28 11 2016. <http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-epistemology/>.