Can Descartes Know That He Is in a Classroom at Langara? - Essay Example

Published: 2021-07-28
841 words
4 pages
8 min to read
Sewanee University of the South
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The idea that thinking provides a guarantee of the existence of the self is the fact that many philosophers have taken for granted. Rene Descartess assertion, I think, Therefore I am, has come to emerge as one of the many philosophical statements that be doubted. Regarding this concept, Descartes was trying to discover whether human beings can know anything for sure. It is undeniable that people could be lying to us as well as being deceived by our senses. In this way, he was close to despair as everything he could think of was open to some form of philosophical doubt. How could he, therefore, know that he is a classroom at Langara, and in what sense? This paper, thus, provides a philosophical exposition and explanation to this question.

I find that Descartes propositions in the concept I Think Therefore I Am are fundamental in philosophy as it is purported to form a foundation of knowledge in the face of radical doubt. According to Descartes, the very act of doubting ones existence serves considerably as a proof of the reality of an individuals mind (Martin & Bailey, 2012). In regard to the above consideration, my view is that there must be a thinking entity (self in this case) for therefore to be thought. But how can Descartes know that he is in Langara? In my view, an agent thinking must exist to perform the act of thinking. It is one way through which Descartes can know that he is in a classroom at Langara. Philosophically, it is possible that what seems like doubt to us is no doubt because the agent the agent doing the doubting is present. Descartes may have something that seems to him like a shadow of the doubt if he follows the statement doubt exists because no real doubting is taking place. Do know that he is the classroom at Langara, may be studying or lecturing,

Descartes must define his doubtfulness regarding presentations and therefore state his initial claim as, and there exist entities which present themselves as doubt. While Descartes may, at this moment, still not convinced that he is the classroom, he seems like he is the classroom (Martin & Bailey, 2012). It could be a problem on the part of Descartes especially if he believed that a conscious act was an entity that existed outside of consciousness and was created in exists in it. In order be sure about whether or not he is the classroom in Langara, he should not, however, approach his conscious acts as merely his appearance in the place where he thinks he is. Philosophically, consciousness is defined as the specific deliberate act and the manner it presents itself to him. He should therefore not use the unconscious features, based on their irrelevance.

Descartes must bear in mind the three points that he presupposes to ascertain whether he is in the classroom in Langara. First, he only claims the certainty of his existence from the first-person point of view (Martin & Bailey, 2012). Fascinatingly, he has not proved the existence of other minds until this given point. In the attempt to establish whether he in the classroom at Langara, Descartes must think this reasoning or thing as he follows the course of meditation. Secondly, Descartes does not believe in his existence and if it is necessary. According to him, if he thinks, then necessarily he exists. Conceivably, the proposition I am, I exist should be treated truly not because of the deduction as I have explained above or based on the empirical induction but the explicit and self-evidence of the proposition. To know whether or not he is in the classroom at Langara, Descartes must use the initial certainty as a foundation for building further knowledge. It would also act as a firm ground which he can use as he attempts to discover more truth.

The primary goal of Descartes in his assertions is to establish his first truth and demonstrate the capacity for this criterion, which is the immediate clarity and differences present in the self-evident proportions (Martin & Bailey, 2012). His thinking does not rely on clarity, distinctiveness, and self-evidence. However, an interesting aspect that Descartes must think about is if he can demonstrate that the existence of conscious acts provides a guarantee of the first person perspective, and in case it is constituted, then self must exist as a result of this. To establish if he is in the classroom at Langara, Descartes must think about the structure of his consciousness as a presentation, and whether it is structured around the first-person perspective. But why do I say that structured around the first person? As a radical skeptic, Descartes might insist that he is not the actual first person, but only the appearance of the one. But because the agent that thinks (his body) is present at the moment of thinking, Descartes can conclude that he is definitely in the classroom in Langara.


Martin, R. M., & Bailey, A. (2012). First philosophy: Fundamental problems and readings in philosophy. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press.

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