Philosophy: Sample Essay on Descartes’ Method of Doubt

Descartes’ Method of Doubt

Descartes refers to a rationalist who had thoughts concerning life that were documented. His date of birth was in 1596 but later passed on in 1650. Descartes emphasizes that there is need for individuals to reason critically before they declare to accept things that are in existence. This implies that individuals should stimulate their thoughts to reflect relevance of their meaning. This is especially when they attribute to reality and its existence.

In this regard, it is only useful to assert that a certain reality exists when thoughts that revolve around it are genuine. This explains why there is need for a foundation to support the basis of our acceptance which is also termed as foundationalism. Descartes further argue that the knowledge that individuals have concerning the world should not control our trust. This is because annoying situations occur when individuals realize later about the detrimental nature of their thoughts. This is in relation to identifying things that real.

In addition, each time people make these discoveries, it increases doubt on the knowledge we have concerning reality (Broughton, 2002). This is why Descartes always argue that there is no complete truth. According to him, it is better to follow self-critique because things we believe in do not reflect the truth. Furthermore, Descartes depicts an experiment that depicts what is true. This is clear when he exhibits doubts in things we believe in to critique and reveal more truth.

Descartes also puts emphasis on hypothetical doubts especially when all things were put in doubt. It applies in situation when people think that they understand what is true. He also reveals that when people trust their senses, they cannot determine whether they are revealing the truth. In this situation, Descartes’ view should not divert us from things we believe in.



Brandhorst, K. (2009). Descartes’ Meditations on first philosophy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Broughton, J. (2002). Descartes’s method of doubt. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.


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