Descartes’ Meditations One and Two


In Meditations One and Two, Descartes employs hyperbolic doubt in order to find a firm foundation for knowledge. In this paper, reconstruct Descartes’ argument that the only thing of which he can be certain is that he is a thinking thing. In doing so, be sure to explain why he thinks he can doubt information he receives from his senses.


  • Prepare the paper for anonymized grading. This means you should not include your name anywhere on the paper or in the file name. You can include your student number on the paper, but this is not necessary.
  • Use a 12 point, easy-to-read font, and 1 inch margins. This paper should be double-spaced.
  • This paper should be 2 pages. You may go over by 1/4 of a page without a penalty. You should not write less than 2 pages. 
  • Avoid doing outside research for this paper. Except in rare cases, you should only study and refer to material from the course. 
  • You should use direct quotations and close paraphrases in the paper, and there should be citations for each of these quotations and paraphrases. You do not need a bibliography, but when you directly quote or closely paraphrase a reading from class, you should provide a parenthetical citation that includes the author name and page number. 
    • For example: “It is impossible to think of anything at all in the world, or indeed even beyond it, that could be considered good without limitation except a good will” (Kant, 485).
  • You do not need an introduction or conclusion for this paper, since it is only 2 pages. 
  • You should submit a doc, docx, or pdf file. 


                                          A Thinking Thing

In his first meditation, Descartes begins by demonstrating the things that can be doubted. After understanding that all of his previously held ideas based on the senses were incorrect, he began to question them all. He also questioned his rational beliefs, claiming that he might have been tricked into believing that they were true by an evil genius. Nevertheless, he maintained that prior beliefs should not be abandoned.

Descartes had an epistemological revelation where he realizes that one of his beliefs is certain because it cannot be doubted: “I am, I exist, is necessarily true each time that I pronounce it, or that I mentally conceive it” (109). He recognizes that since he is thinking, he exists.   Even if he’s been deceived by God of an evil genius or dreaming, this remains true because when there are thoughts, whether they are within deception or not, these thoughts, as well as their thinker, exist.   The Cogito is presented in the Meditations in this form.  Descartes is certain that he exists, but what is he?……………for help with this assignment contact us via email Address:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *