Is there a flaw in Descartes’ “clear and distinct” argument?

The argument is analyzed in IEP’s Real Distinction Argument. Their conclusion about its main flaw is this:”In the end, the main difficulty with Descartes’ real distinction argument is that he has not adequately eliminated the possibility of minds being extended things like brains.”

Why does Descartes doubt clear and distinct ideas?

Clear and Distinct Perception
Clear and distinct perceptions are defined by Descartes as those perceptions which are so self-evident that, while they are held in the mind, they cannot logically be doubted.

What is Descartes definition for distinct ideas?

Later in the Meditations Descartes goes on to say that this kind of idea is a ‘clear and distinct idea’ which basically means something that is so self-evidently true that it cannot logically be doubted.

How is Descartes argument circular?

Many commentators, both at the time that Descartes wrote and since, have argued that this involves a circular argument, as he relies upon the principle of clarity and distinctness to argue for the existence of God, and then claims that God is the guarantor of his clear and distinct ideas.

Why does Descartes doubt his senses?

Abstract. Descartes first invokes the errors of the senses in the Meditations to generate doubt; he suggests that because the senses sometimes deceive, we have reason not to trust them.

What is the place in Descartes argument of what he calls clear and distinct understanding?

Descartes argues that mind and body are really distinct in two places in the Sixth Meditation. The first argument is that he has a clear and distinct understanding of the mind as a thinking, non-extended thing and of the body as an extended, non-thinking thing.

Does Descartes beg the question?

So, if the proposition “I think” is meaningful -that is, if it succeeds in attributing the property of thinking to a subject “I”-, it is trivial that I exist. However, in order for the proposition “I think” to be meaningful, I must exist in the first place. So, Descartes seems to beg the question of “my” existence.

Does Descartes believe in God?

According to Descartes, God’s existence is established by the fact that Descartes has a clear and distinct idea of God; but the truth of Descartes’s clear and distinct ideas are guaranteed by the fact that God exists and is not a deceiver. Thus, in order to show that God exists, Descartes must assume that God exists.

What is the meaning of distinct ideas?

Once an Idea is distinct enough that its meaning is understood, the scientist can see that the axioms are necessary consequences of the Idea, in virtue of the fact that they express part of this meaning.

Are clear and distinct ideas a priori?

Clear and distinct ideas
This property – where the truth of an idea presents itself clearly and distinctly – goes back to the idea of rational intuition. Rational intuition is an a priori faculty that enables us to see truth.

What are the aspects of the idea of a triangle which Descartes can comprehend clearly and distinctly?

In the case of a triangle, he can perceive that a triangle is three-sided and derive all sorts of other properties using the understanding alone. He can also perceive these properties with the imagination, by picturing the triangle in his mind’s eye.

Is Descartes argument for the veracity of clear and distinct ideas circular?

Cartesian circle, Allegedly circular reasoning used by René Descartes to show that whatever he perceives “clearly and distinctly” is true.

Is Descartes ontological argument valid?

Descartes does not conceive of the ontological argument on the model of an Euclidean or axiomatic proof, in which theorems are derived from epistemically prior axioms and definitions.

What are Descartes skeptical arguments?

The Cartesian skeptical argument is often presented as follows: (1) If you know that an external world proposition P is true, then you know that the skeptical hypothesis SH is false. But (2) you don’t know that SH is false. Therefore, (3) you do not know that P.

What’s wrong with the ontological argument?

In the end, the Ontological Argument fails as a proof for the existence of God when careful attention is paid to the cognitive terms that it employs. When the terms are disambiguated, either nothing philosophically interesting follows or nothing follows at all.

Is Descartes successful in proving the existence of God?

Descartes does present himself as an intelligent person with rational discussions, but has failed to provide much rational explanations with regards to the existence of God.

What did Descartes doubt?

Descartes’ method
René Descartes, the originator of Cartesian doubt, put all beliefs, ideas, thoughts, and matter in doubt. He showed that his grounds, or reasoning, for any knowledge could just as well be false. Sensory experience, the primary mode of knowledge, is often erroneous and therefore must be doubted.

What did Descartes believe in?

Descartes was also a rationalist and believed in the power of innate ideas. Descartes argued the theory of innate knowledge and that all humans were born with knowledge through the higher power of God. It was this theory of innate knowledge that was later combated by philosopher John Locke (1632–1704), an empiricist.