Although his arguments are strong and relatively truthful, they do no prove the existence of God. At the start of the meditation, Descartes begins by rejecting all his beliefs, so that he would not be deceived by any misconceptions from reaching the truth.
The idea cannot be adventitious, coming from without, nor can it be invented by the Meditator. Thus, the idea must be innate, and the Meditator must have been created by God with this idea already in him.
He clearly and distinctly perceives that God is no deceiver, since all deception relies on some defect or other, and a perfect God has no defects. Analysis Now that we have reached the end of the Third Meditation, we can more easily review the overall strategy that Descartes is pursuing.
The Meditation begins with the Meditator certain only that he exists and that he is a thinking thing. He concludes that he comes to know these facts through clear and distinct perception, and reasons that it should follow that all his other clear and distinct perceptions are true.
In order to confirm the truth of clear and distinct perceptions, however, he must prove the existence of a benevolent God. If God were a deceiver, he could be deceived even with respect to his clear and distinct perceptions. The proof seems to fall into what is now called the "Cartesian Circle.
If both a and b are true, Descartes is guilty of circular reasoning. There are number of ways in which we could attempt to release Descartes from this circle. In this reading, there are different kinds of clear and distinct perceptions, some of which are totally immune from doubt and some of which need God to confirm them.
Another strategy is to re-evaluate the epistemological role that God is meant to play in the Meditations. According to this reading, God cannot possibly be intended by Descartes as confirmation of clear and distinct perceptions.
Rather than seeing God as the confirmation of clear and distinct perceptions, we could read God as a buffer against doubt. In this reading, b is true, but we would re-formulate a as saying that we can re-affirm our clear and distinct perceptions retrospectively once we are certain that God exists.
The problem with this reading is that it totally re-structures the way we understand the Meditations: This proof relies on causal reasoning, suggesting that there must be a cause of the idea of God that is as great as God himself.
The proof of the first cause is usually used in pointing out that there must be some unmoved mover at the source of all change in this universe. However, this proof has since been discredited, since it relies on a faulty understanding of causation which assumes, among other things, that all causal chains must have a first term.This comes on the heels of an earlier causal argument for God's existence in the Third Meditation, raising questions about the order and relation between these two distinct proofs.
Descartes repeats the ontological argument in a few other central texts including the Principles of Philosophy.
He also defends it in the First, Second, and Fifth Replies . A summary of Third Meditation, part 3: the existence of God and the Cartesian Circle in Rene Descartes's Meditations on First Philosophy.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Meditations on First Philosophy and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. A summary of Third Meditation, part 3: the existence of God and the Cartesian Circle in Rene Descartes's Meditations on First Philosophy.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Meditations on First Philosophy and what it means. Descartes' Proof of the Existence of God in Meditation Three This paper is intended to explain and evaluate Descartes' proof for the existence of god in Meditation Three.
It shall show the weaknesses in the proof, but also give credit to the strengths in his proof. Descartes' ontological (or a priori) argument is both one of the most fascinating and poorly understood aspects of his benjaminpohle.comation with the argument stems from the effort to prove God's existence from simple but powerful premises.
Existence is derived immediately from the clear and distinct idea of a supremely perfect being. Descartes presents two distinct proofs for the existence of God in the Third and Fifth Meditation.
In this paper I will discuss the proof employed in the Fifth Meditation, the so called ontological argument.