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Word Count: 786
Descartes is famed by is familiar notion I think therefore I am Cogito ergo sum It is a conclusion he has reached in his second meditation after much deliberation on the existence of anything certain After he discovers his ability to doubt and to understand he is able to substantiate his necessary existence as a consequence What we doubt or understand may not ultimately correspond but we can never be uncertain that we are in the process of thought This idea is a major component in Descartes proof of the external world He relies on the existence of a non-deceiving God to ensure that an external world exists after calling it into doubt by the invocation of the dream argument In this argument Descartes suggests the possibility that none of our ideas are caused by external objects and therefore such objects may not exist He also raises the idea of a demon that may deceive us and allow us to perceive what is not really there Although he assures himself of his own existence by his modes of thought he remains uncertain of the reality of an external world He doubts whether there is anything of material substance that provokes thought within him rather than it being conceived in his mind completely independent of anything else Descartes then considers those reasons that have inclined him to believe these material things exist in the past I know by experience that these ideas do not depend upon my will nor consequently upon myself for often I notice them against my will I feel heat and therefore I believe that this feeling or idea of heat comes to me from something other than myself namely from the fire I am near Nothing is more obvious than the judgment that this object rather than something else grafts its likeness on to me Since however he has called upon anything to be false that provokes any doubt he does
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