Is Descartes full of crap or is it just me?

Is Descartes full of crap or is it just me?


by anna_t

Question by dmoats098: Is Descartes full of crap or is it just me?
I’m reading his “meditations”… he just sounds like an idiot on acid to me. Somebody please tell me why this guy was heralded as a genius!

Best answer:

Answer by Ω Brian Ω
It’s just you. The guy was a genius and is considered the father of modern philosophy. That doesn’t mean everything he said is correct, but he was very influential in shaping philosophy and modern science into what it is today. He is a prime example of the product of the Enlightenment period, and how it sculpted the Western world into how it is now, which you probably take for granted.

It’s also important to note that he was not a skeptic, but he used his method of Cartesian doubt to strip all knowledge away, to the bare bones of all you can know is that you exist. However, if you actually read all the of Meditations, once he hits this rock bottom, he digs his way back out and tries to prove the existence of the external world. He did believe that the coat he was wearing and the world around him was real, he just wanted to rebuild a system of knowledge from scratch since he believed that the majority of what was taught at the time, the dominating system of education, called Scholasticism, was a bunch of vague nonsense. His theory of knowledge is known today in epistemology as Foundationalism.

What do you think? Answer below!

  1. All hatSep 02, 2011

    Nah – he was pretty sharp I think. He started noticing that we don’t necessarily know a thing just because we feel we do or have an impression of it. He began investigating the whole idea of being sure of something. How can we know when we are sure of something – he was a bit clumsy with it, of course, being the first guy to start hacking the trail, but even so, some of his ideas remain the state of the art today, such as, we can never know if we’re dreaming or not at any given time, and that remains maddeningly true.

  2. Joe NSep 02, 2011

    Obviously, it’s just you.

  3. ChicadeeSep 02, 2011

    lol, you made me laugh with ” sounds like an idiot on acid”
    He makes sense though, because how can anyone be sure of anything sinc life is full of mysteries? however, I think his thinking is a bit flawed as he seems to contradict himself because he maintains God’s existance but says we cant be sure of anything.

  4. Kevin WilliamSep 02, 2011

    no i think you’re kind of right. some of it is plain silly.

  5. OKwithmeSep 02, 2011

    I think it was weed, and he was kinda happy

    P.S. Spinoza knocked out most of his theories

  6. J JSep 02, 2011

    Descartes took nothing for granted, he even questioned his own existence. Seeing that you can’t trust the senses he looked to pure reason, a reason so pure he even questioned his own existence. (thats how serious he took his taking nothing for granted approach)

    From that he relizaed that in order to deny your own existence, you have to exist in the first place, cause if you didn’t exist you wouldn’t be able to question your own existence, thus showing a first principle, an axiomatic truth, and you say he is just full of crap ? tell us what you have contributed oh wise one…….ya punk

  7. froufrouSep 02, 2011

    you have to remember that philosophy is just people, thinking and speaking their thoughts out to the rest of us,
    so yes, we can all sound like we are ‘full of cr*p’ to everon eelse if we were to tell them all our inner thoughts all the time

    that doesnt mean some of those thoughts dont make sence, nor does it mean some of them are not utter rubbish
    its really up to you what you do and dont take from other peoples inner thoughts

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