Descartes’s method of doubt:Skepticism

Skepticism is the process of doubting anything or any belief.Philosophical Skepticism questions on certainty of knowledge.The idea of Skepticism was firstly known by Sophists.They were the philosophers of fifth century B.C.They used to doubt on everything but they didn’t give any solution of those doubts.The solution is given by Rene Descartes,a french philosopher.His aim is to build a philosophy which has certainty.To establish a self-evident philosophy Descartes tends to doubt on everything.By doubting,he wants to find the actuality of everything out.At first he has examined the beliefs which have been taken by sense perception.Sense perception can be deceived because it is taken from visible objects and sometimes whatever we see are not true.So he has doubted on sense perception.Secondly,he has chosen material thing.As material things are also related to human’s senses,it must be doubted.Then he has taken another catagory which is natural science.Natural science is also related to sense so it is untrustworthy.Lastly he has moved on mathematical belief.He is an admirer of mathematics and he regards it as the model of certainty.In mathematics everything is based on reason.For example,2+2=4; we can not describe it by our sense rather it is depended on reason and reason can’t be doubted.But to establish his methodological skepticism he has to doubt on mathematics also.So he has made his opinion exaggerated.Here he thinks that there may be an evil or powerful demon which is deceiving him.Being deceived,he pushes himself to believe mathematical terms.That is the strongest possible way to doubt and his intention to doubt on everything to establish a firm axiom is reached into final stage.By doubting every possible thing he realises that he can not doubt his own doubts where he himself exists.Then he gives the idea of certainty through his first principle – “I think,therefore I am”,in latin which is-“cogito,ergo sum”.According to Descartes one can not doubt one’s own thought.This principle is also known as Descartes’s cogito.The cogito proves that-Whatever a person thinks,he/she exists in the thinking thing.This cogito is self-evident,independent and most importantly it exists.So Descartes’s method of doubt helps him to form his first principle which is indubitable.

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