Descartes and his theories

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateB+, January 1996

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'I think therefore I am.' Man wills, refuses, perceives, understands, and denies many principles. As explained by Rene' Descartes, man is a thinking thing, a conscious being who truthfully exists because he is certain that it is so. All that man perceives is internally present and not external to him or his mind. The focal point of the third meditation that must be dealt with is: Can one perceive or confirm the existence of an idea or object that is external to him mainly - God?

There are three ways, Descartes explains, that one may come to the conclusion of an objects existence. The first is through nature. The second is through feeling an object independent of one's will, for example; heat and cold. The third, and most elaborated upon is the point of cause and effect, or more simply, the objective reality of an idea. We will primarily deal with the third reason of cause and effect.

Descartes brings some examples to demonstrate his cause and effect theory. More importantly, is the logic that lies behind the actual theory. The rationale that an object will have an effect is only if it stems from a legitimate cause. A stone, for example, cannot be perceived accurately if there isn't an initial idea preceding with equal or superior properties in one's intellect. The mind generates ideas and develops reality through previous schema or beliefs as Descartes states: ' And although an idea may give rise to another idea, this regress cannot, nevertheless, be infinite;we must in the end reach a first idea, the cause of which is, as it were, the archetype in which all the reality that is found objectively in these ideas is contained formally.'

Additionally, properties such as color, sound, heat, and cold are too complex...