Essay about Descartes' Cogito


Dream and reality frequently overlap and hard to differentiate. Thus Descartes comes up with the idea Cognito where it means "I think; therefore I am." The whole idea of Cognito is to prove that human is not sure about their existence, but instead, they think that they exist; so therefore they exist. 

Human belief sometimes does not come from the truth but their knowledge. Each person has a proposition to their belief, which makes their belief become the truth considering they can justify the belief. Hence why Descartes says we will not know what is reality or dream. There is nothing to use to tell us. 

Descartes claims: "what we experience right now, might be all dream and none of it is true" (Descartes, 192). He says if we can not define whether we are dream or awake, we can not be assured about anything in our lives because everything can turn into a dream. Although the opposition to that would be if we are in reality, we can feel and experience things such as pinch ourselves and observing it. Regardless, an example for backing up Descartes's claim is when people dream about going to the washroom and end up peeing in reality, it shows that people can not differentiate between dream and reality. For that reason, Descartes's claim does make much sense to think. 

However, I cannot entirely agree with Descartes's claim. In detail, it might be true that what we experience is all an illusion, but we can feel things and those things give us unique feelings. For example, when we dream about falling off a building, we flinch because, at first, we think it is genuine but realize after that it is a dream. Descartes also proving human does not believe in their sense and often create an illusion. In that case, he believes doubts make us uncertain (Descartes, 192). 

At the same time, Descartes's Cognito idea sounds convincing. The idea can apply to anyone in the world. To put it in another way, people only believe in what they thoughts. For example, Descartes uses "I think that I exist, therefore I exist"; clearly, we believe in ourselves even with doubt, we still believe it. These thoughts do not need other beliefs to justify them because they are already self-justifying with their thoughts.

There are two types of belief which are basic and non-basic. The basic belief is the one we call "self-justifying," and non-basic believes that another reference has justified. Cognito's ideal place on the basic belief is that it is a self-justifying belief; Hence, the idea sounds convincing. When people use basic beliefs as their thoughts, it is hard for anyone to oppose their idea because they already believe in it.

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