'Meditation on I think, therefore I am,' - Decartes uses this phrase to test his methodic doubts and the deception that others might bring. The phrase means that the fact that someone can try to lure him into thinking that he exists while he does not, even the most powerful demon; he would have to be alive so as to be deceived. He implies that one cannot convince someone to be something he or she is not unless they are alive to hear that. Whatever someone thinks he is, or he is not, must exist in the first place so that he or she can argue from there. Rene had built his philosophy on radical doubt, and that is why he uses the phrase. He explains that human senses deceives them and makes them think that there exists nothing else apart from what people presents. He claimed that everything that has ever crossed someones mind when awake could also be experienced when asleep and vice versa. He, therefore, deduces that everything that has ever entered his mind while awake has been more of an illusion than reality.
The Relationship Between Intellect and Will and How It Is Possible That We Err
After doing three Meditations, Decartes inferred that it is impossible for God to ever deceive himself. By the fact that people believe that God is the one who is above judgment, then the faculty that encompasses judgment should never go wrong since it is impossible to receive anything else but perfection from God. He uses this concept to explain the existence of human error. He argues that, even though the faculty of judgment comes from God, human beings are not like God and they frequently if not often make mistakes. Though human being was created by God, they are nothing close to God. Instead, there exists an intermediary that connects God and nothingness.
The human error according to Decartes occurs due to two factors which are: the faculty of knowledge and the sense of choice or freedom of the will. It implies that the human error depends on the intellect capacity and will. The purpose of the intellect is to help people to perceive situations that can be subjected to possible judgment. Decartes does not believe that human error is not caused by the freedom of choice or will since will and freedom were given to human being by God. He believes that human makes mistakes because the scope of human will is greater than that of his intellect. He implies that having the will to do something becomes infinite, but when the intellect is at work, then it becomes finite. The reason most people make mistakes is because they use the power of will so much.
The willpower is capable of judging anything and on the other hand, when someone uses intellect, he or she cannot perceive everything, since some of the perceptions can be confusing. By making a confused judgment, it will affirm something that would not have been. If the intellect can distinguish between the confused perceptions, then it means that the will can choose not to affirm it. Contrary to this, if the will chooses to assert the perceptions which have not been distinguished by the intellect, and the perception turns out to be confused, then it means that human error will surface. It will commence further when people try to judge things that they go beyond human understanding
How Do Mind and Body Interact?
Decartes point of view on the issue concerning body and mind interaction is very critical. He argues that their interaction is very causal. There is a significant relationship that is portrayed in the body and mind, and thus, they correlate. He claimed that the causal interaction is the pineal gland, which is located between the two hemispheres of the brain. The gland in the middle substance communicates with the glands in the posterior cavities. The mind, therefore, interprets the images that are brought forth and the Pineal glands sway the particles and finally move them to another direction. The changes of direction when swayed by the pineal gland are what makes the body do different things and react to different situations. He also argues that the mind and the body can be seen as two distinct substances. The statement means that the nature of the mind is entirely different from that of the body, and it is possible for one to exist without the other. It is, however, true that the mind causes some of the organs in the human body to move and is therefore responsible for the movement of the limbs in the body. The bodys sense organs can also cause sensations in the mind and therefore their nature might not be different at all.
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