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Malicious Demon

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Also known as Mirage Doubt; whereby senses sometimes deceive, hence allows someone to doubt some of his senses perceptions. Descartes believed that his senses sometimes deceive him. Also known as Matrix Doubt – this is whereby one cannot differentiate between dream life and waking life. Matrix Doubt allows someone to one to doubt his sense perceptions. Also known as Deceiving God, Malicious Demon, or Evolution– It implies that humans may have been fashioned in a way such as to have hallucinations and makes mistakes when doing mathematics; one doubts math and all his sense perceptions.

Through the methodological doubt, it has been proven that empiricism is a dire foundation. It has the task of revealing to the new foundation a good candidate, if there is one. Descartes eliminated the original foundation which is empiricism by the end of the, first mediation (Descartes 46). It also came to his attention that mathematics should not be considered a candidate for the original foundation. This discovery disoriented Descartes because he did not have a basis of knowledge to rely on. Descartes likens himself to a prisoner enjoying an imaginary freedom while asleep, dreading waking at the end of the meditation. Likewise Descartes is drawn back to his original beliefs, while dreading waking up to toil in the midst of the inextricable obscurity of the issues he has raised.

Descartes finally believes that the only unquestionable thing in life is our very existence; expressed in his illustrious proclamation 'I think, therefore I am'. He appears to put his belief in what he refers to as the 'natural light', meaning the naturally provided knowledge such as the naturally provided knowledge of perfection of a supreme being.

Having proved the existence of the mind, Descartes could doubt all other things like what is seen, heard, smelled, and tasted. He imagined that there was a deceiving demon that was deceiving him and others. He supposed that this demon planted illusions in his and the heads of everyone else, making them believe that they smelled, touched, tasted and/or heard (Descartes 17). He subjects all his beliefs on existence and sensory data to the very strong and most hyperbolic doubts. He invokes the belief of a malign demon that is powerfully deceiving him as regards sensory experience, and his understanding of the very simple logical and mathematical truths so as to reach unquestionable premise that is epistemologically difficult.

In my opinion Descartes was making matters complicated by questioning everything’s existence, because if only the mind exists, then we are left to wonder where the mind exists if living is a false reality. In Descartes’ theory it’s frustrating that there is no true way to prove if one is under deception. Descartes felt that there was deception, however, how can there be deception if there is no way of proving that there is really deception, and that we are living in the land of deception. It’s therefore senseless disputing the truth in the world because there is no way of unplugging yourself from the world to find out if there is a demon of deception. Descartes would however argue that the demon’s deceptions were perfect as he was deceiving through all senses without detection of his deceptions.

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