Rene Descartes Meditation On First Philosophy The Existence of Human Mind





Rene Descartes Meditation On First Philosophy: The Existence of Human Mind

We live in an era where everyone is trying to establish the validity of factual nature. Rene Descartes was a philosopher who lived between 1596 to 1650. Descartes gave mediations on various factors, including the existence of God and the existence of the human mind. In 1641, Descartes gave meditations on the first philosophy. He gave his views on knowledge, the existence of the mind and its relation to the body, how we perceive ideas, and the fact that God exists. He gave all these meditations in an attempt to bring out some mathematical truths on the above concepts. “I am, I exist, is necessarily true each time that I pronounce it, or that I mentally conceive it” (Descartes, 13). This is one of his meditations on the existence of the human mind and it indeed exists.

First, arguing about the ability to think, provided that one can have thoughts, then it implies that the human mind exists. Descartes argues that where he is dreaming or not, there are thoughts as a result of the mind. The mind is nonphysical, non-spatial but can influence daily activities and matter. The mind is different from the brain since the brain can exist, but to be functional, there must be the human mind.

The nature of the mind is to think, which proves its existence. In agreement to Descartes’s argument that if something does not think then he has no mind. Indeed, all thoughts are controlled by the mind. Since the nature of the mind is to think then human beings could not make rational decisions if the human mind did not exist. The mind exists even when we are asleep, we can still think through our dreams. Through the mode of thinking, there are ideas. Ideas can be both factual and non-factual but it is because of the existence of the mind that human beings have to come up with different ideas.

The existence of the human mind can be proven by the ability to make rational and irrational decisions. Descartes asserts that the mind controls the different modes of thinking. At some point, one has to decide on certain events. To make right or wrong decision, the mind has to be used. Without the mind, a lot of things would be in inexistence. There would be no technological innovations due to the lack of the ability to think. Since the human mind exists, it is easy for people to judge events, correct their mistakes, and help others. It is through the mind that the brain is able to receive information from different parts of the body, process it and give the correct output information. The mind controls the brain since once information is received, since the mind can think, it then dictates what to be done next.

Lastly, Descartes did a meditation that there are different thoughts that the mind processes. There are both judgments and emotions, which results from the mind’s ability to think. Descartes says “Other thoughts have various additional forms: thus when I will, or am afraid, or affirm, or deny, there is always a particular thing which I take as the object of my thought, but my thought includes something more than the likeness of that thing.” (Cottingham, 24). It is through the mind’s ability to think that one becomes afraid or gains the courage to do something. Humans can exist without the body but cannot exist without thought. For instance, one can lose several body parts but still can think about various subjects.

Conclusively, it is true that the mind exists and controls human activities. Without the mind, humans can hardly exist or cope up with daily challenges. Human beings, including Descartes, are the same people who doubt everything, understands different things, and affirm what is true or not. The thought is what makes doubt the existence of the human mind.

Works Cited

Cottingham, John. “Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy: With Selections from the Objections and Replies.” (1996).

Descartes, René. René Descartes: Meditations on first philosophy: With selections from the objections and replies. Cambridge University Press, 2013.