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Does Descartes manage to defeat scepticism and leave room for human error?

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  • Essay length: 1026 words
  • Submitted: 22/12/2003
  • Marked by teacher: (?) David Moss
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University Degree Philosophy and Theology

Teacher essay summary

3 star(s)

This is a good start to an essay, which cuts off abruptly before a conclusion has been reached. The writing is lucid and quickly reaches the point. Presentation of Descartes' views is mostly accurate and some fair evaluation of these views is offered. As it stands, much of the essay doesn't really address the question. If the essay were to continue like this to present a basic conclusion as to whether, on balance, Descartes' arguments are successful, it would be deserving of a moderately good mark.

Marked by teacher David Moss 01/03/2012

The first 200 words of this essay...

Does Descartes manage to defeat scepticism and leave room for human error?

Descartes believes he has defeated scepticism by acknowledging the idea that there clearly and distinctly exists a being that is 'independent and complete'1- God. He finds it necessary to demonstrate the existence of God in order to seek knowledge of things other than the assertion 'I am thinking, therefore I am'.

Descartes highlights that there is a contradiction in saying that God is a deceiver because that would imply that God is malicious. Furthermore Descartes says that within him is 'a faculty of judgement'2 of which he is certain has come from God. Thus for Descartes God would not give him a faculty that would make him capable of error. Despite these observations Descartes acknowledges that we are capable of error. The latter seems inconsistent with the previous statements.

Since God is not the source of human error Descartes works on finding an alternative explanation. Descartes says as humans are not supreme beings they are prone to making mistakes. Thus human error is not due to God but due to the fact that they are defects. In other words God has not

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MbT essay summary

This is a good start to an essay, which cuts off abruptly before a conclusion has been reached. The writing is lucid and quickly reaches the point. Presentation of Descartes' views is mostly accurate and some fair evaluation of these views is offered. As it stands, much of the essay doesn't really address the question. If the essay were to continue like this to present a basic conclusion as to whether, on balance, Descartes' arguments are successful, it would be deserving of a moderately good mark.

Marked by teacher David Moss 01/03/2012

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