I Think, Therefore I Am

An analysis of philosopher, Rene Descartes’ Method of Doubt.

Rene Descartes’ method of doubt provides a powerful tool for attempting to determine the fundamental nature of reality. The paper analyzes Meditations I and II, where Descartes uses the Method of Doubt in order to attempt to determine which beliefs and opinions are true. It shows that in order to do this, Descartes proposes a series of skeptical hypotheses, each aimed at determining if we can trust our specific faculties of sense, reason, and imagination. The paper concludes that Descartes method of doubt determines that all that we can truly know is cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am).
“Descartes notes that examining each belief, and determining if it is true “would be truly an endless labor”. As such, he argues that it is necessary to attempt to find a principle that can serve as the fundamental basis, or bedrock, for all his beliefs. Descartes argues that examining each individual belief is unnecessary, as well as laborious, given that an examination of his fundamental belief will reveal if all other beliefs, which rest upon it, are true as well. Says Descartes, “as the removal from below of the foundation necessarily involves the downfall of the whole edifice, I will at once approach the criticism of the principles on which all my former beliefs rested” Descartes, Meditations I).”