Rene Descartes – Dualism and Skepticism

By | January 28, 2019

Rene Descartes is one of the famous philosophers whose philosophical work attracts major following to date. He was a French Mathematician and Philosopher. He was well educated at various prestigious schools but she sought to seek knowledge that comes from him. In the course of his life, he claimed to have experienced three powerful dreams or visions which influenced his life. Rene Descartes works are found in his Meditation of First Philosophy, which was published in Latin language in 1641. This was a philosophical piece of that penned the concepts of dualism and skepticism. In this piece, he discussed a number of Aristotelian doctrines and at the same time questioned basic premise, especially the concept stating that knowledge comes from sense and mental states just resemble them. Mediation of First Philosophy is considered a important piece of work to date because it has been used in study of knowledge especially when referring to the concept of dualism and skepticism as articulated by Descartes. These concepts have become philosophical foundation of knowledge.


  1. Dualism

  2. Dualism can be described as a set of views that defines the relationship between mind and body beginning with the claim that mental phenomena are non-physical.

  3. The concept of dualism articulates the idea that mind and boy interact but they are separate from each other.

  4. Descartes discussed the existence of God and real idea of separation of mind and boy.

  5. Dualism claims that mind is a nonphysical substance. He identified the mind with consciousness and self-awareness and he also distinguished this from

  6. This concept is difficult to accept especially for those who hold secular humanist, materialist, and evolutionist worldview. This is because accepting this concept amounts to accepting supernaturalism. In most cases, Bible believers readily accept dualism while people who have opposite worldview are most likely to reject it.

  7. Skepticism

    1. Skepticism is a western philosophical thought that argues that human beings can never achieve certain knowledge. It is a philosophical concept that originated from Greece and it is derived from two main principles: that there is nothing like human knowledge and that all human knowledge is only probable true most of the time or not true.

    2. Descartes reinvented the Western epistemology giving a radical perspective on skepticism – what if nothing was true? How if you doubted everything, is it possible to find something or anything that is true?

    3. Descartes summed up his thoughts in the famous cogito – cogito ergo sum, which can be translated into “I think, therefore I am.” It is from this proposition that Descartes was able to come up with a series of true propositions including existence of God.

    4. Ultimately, it was evident that Descartes was trying to reconcile Western traditional knowledge with religious faith and his ultimate goals was to prove existence of God and validity of Christian religion

  8. My own Opinion

  9. In my own opinion, I think Rene Descartes remains one of the most important philosophers of all time. As evidence in his Meditation of First Philosophy, Rene Descartes develops the two concepts of dualism and skepticism. His philosophical thoughts have been important in development of philosophy.

  10. Being one of the most learned people of his time, Rene Descartes got interested in philosophy early and started discussing different Aristotelian concepts early in life. His two most important achievements were his work on dualism and skepticism, philosophical thoughts that remain up to date.

  11. In dualism, Descartes discuss about separable nature of body and mind

  12. In skepticism, Descartes proves validity of human knowledge especially existence of God.

  13. Conclusion

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