One Truth to Rule Them All

One Truth to Rule Them AllMeditations On the First Philosophy

In 1641 a book was unleashed upon the world that served as the inspiration for every other book on philosophy to follow.  This book was Meditations on the First Philosophy, and in it Descartes outlined how he came to the conclusion that God existed and that there is one basic truth.  That we exist as well.

Start With ‘Doubt’

Descartes set foot upon this ground of total skepticism and sought to conquer it on its own terms.  He started with our perceptions of the external world.  Our minds fill in our mistakes of perception.  We are creatures who like to catalog things.  When we encounter an object, if only briefly, we have to identify it and trigger the appropriate reaction.  It is one of the reasons we have survived as a species for as long as we have.  We are incredibly good at it.  But we are also mistaken about a good many of the items that we catalog.  It is because of this that Descartes cast doubt on the external world, be it a mistake of our perceptions, dreams, or an evil demon bent on deceiving us.

“I think therefore I am”

If I am being deceived, be it by my senses, a dream, or an evil demon, I am still the one being deceived. These deceptions prove the existence of one thing.

I think therefore I am.

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Rick Coste is a writer, podcaster & multimedia content provider. You can hear him weekly on the Philosophy Walk podcast.

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Comments

  1. Ryan Richardson says

    Hi Rick,

    Love the show really. I like to listen on the train on the way to work. I never was a big fan of the sound effects, they’d often wake me if I dozed in the morning … If I sleep, I just listen again … but later when I’m more alert.

    Anyway, I think you’ve toned them down (not sure if you have or I’ve gotten more accustomed to them) and they don’t bother me any more.

    The content is generally very good though I might like things grouped together by topic over a few weeks … small point though and maybe a lot more work for you.

    Anyway, keep up the good work.

    Ryan

    • says

      Thanks for the feedback Ryan, it’s much appreciated! I like the suggestion of grouping topics over a span of a few weeks or perhaps monthly (much like in October when the show focused on free will). I will definitely take that into consideration. Thanks again for listening!

      Rick

    • says

      Thanks for the feedback Brett. Good point. What I think I will do is produce a short series that refutes, or presents the arguments, in response to the ideas presented by Descartes, Donaldson, et all.

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