Length: The final paper must be a minimum of six (6) full pages, doublespaced

Cambria, Times or another standard font (size 12) (NOT including the

bibliography). .

Format: MSWord or PDF file. Please put your full name in the title of the

document: e.g. JaneSmith.docx or JohnSmith.pdf

1) Explain and evaluate Descartes’ doubts and how he escapes from doubt

in the Meditations on First Philosophy. Why is Descartes so obsessed with

doubt? In the First Meditation Descartes attempts to systematically doubt

everything that he had previously believed and in the Second Meditation

Descartes claims to have found one point of indubitable certainty: “I am, I exist”

(p.18). How does Descartes escape from his hyperbolic doubts and find this

one “Archimedean point” of certainty which cannot be doubted? What are the

three waves or phases of doubt? What, if anything, does Descartes not doubt

when he claims to be doubting everything that it is possible to doubt? In other

words, is there anything that he still presupposes when he claims to be doubting

everything? Why can’t the evil genius convince Descartes that he does not

exist? Do you think that Descartes successfully overcomes these doubts? Can

we ever escape such doubts? Can we know anything for certain? Use direct

references to the text to support your interpretation.

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