Throughout Mediations I and II, Descartes disputes definitions of reality and identity, establishing a precursor to Emerson’s philosophy thus consolidating the two philosophers’ theories. Initially, Descartes questions all notions of reality. In Mediation I, Descartes begins his argument explaining the senses which perceive reality can be deceptive and “it is wiser not to trust entirely to any thing by which we have once been deceived” (Descartes 59). But, he then continues to reason; “opinions [are] in some measure doubtful…and at the same time highly probable, so that there is much more reason to believe in than to deny them” (Descartes 62). Descartes maintains trust within his previously held beliefs though he may doubt certain physical senses. Additionally, Descartes seeks t...
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... inquiries of reality, personal beliefs, and search for identity, consolidate his hypothesis with Emerson’s by providing a foundation for his ‘self-trust’ theories. Additionally, Emerson’s thesis mirrors Plato’s as accepted social, historical, and scholastic viewpoints are challenged. Emerson’s definition ‘self-trust’ effectively reconciles discrepancies between the three philosophers’ ideology, establishing a basis for truth in philosophy.
Descartes, Rene. “Meditation I & Meditation II”. Discourse on the Method and Meditaions on First Philosophy. Yale University Press., 1996.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. “The American Scholar”. American Public Addresses 1740 – 1952. A. Craid Baird. McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1956.
Plato. “Allegory of the Cave”. Plato Republic. Trans. G.M.A. Grube. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1992.
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