What is really behind Descartes’ famous doubt?

Insofar as Descartes’ philosophical project is an attempt to overcome self-doubt, it doesn't seem successful. His original reason for self-doubt was a clash between theology and experience. It is
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Introductory university courses in philosophy often cover Rene Descartes (1596-1650). Descartes’ enduring popularity stems in part from his openness about the reality of disagreement and his struggles to resolve it. “Philosophy,” he once wrote, “has been pursued for many centuries by the best minds, and yet everything in it is still disputed and hence doubtful” (Discourse on Method). Young people often encounter serious intellectual diversity and disagreement for the first time on their college campuses, so they easily relate to Descartes’ struggles. In his master work Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes focuses not on disagreements between people, but on the ways in which he disagrees with himself. Descartes is capable to taking up more than one perspective on things, and these perspectives seem to conflict. When he thinks about something that he “clearly and distinctly” perceives — such as “2+3=5” or “I must exist since I am thinking” — he can’t imagine how such a thing could. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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