. Explain Descartes’ method of doubt. What is Descartes’ purpose in exercising this method?

Posted: March 9th, 2022

Review and Discussion Questions
1. Explain Descartes’ method of doubt. What is Descartes’ purpose in exercising this
method?
2. Why can’t Descartes be certain about beliefs he acquires through the evidence of the
senses?
3. Why can’t Descartes be certain about mathematical beliefs like the belief that 2+2=4?
4. What belief(s) does Descartes ultimately identify as indubitable?
5. Why can’t an evil deceiver deceive Descartes about his belief that he thinks?
6. How does Descartes build up from the foundation of indubitable beliefs?
7. How does Descartes argue for the existence of a good God?
8. How does Descartes’ argument for God fail?
9. Given the existence of a good God, how does Descartes justify his beliefs based on
reason and on the senses?
10. How does Descartes argue for the distinction between mind and body? How does this
argument fail?
11. Explain Spinoza’s Monism.
12. How does Spinoza’s view of God differ from more traditional theological perspectives?
13. How does Spinoza handle the mind/body problem?
14. How does Spinoza handle the matter of free will?
15. What sort of freedom can humans aspire to on Spinoza’s view?
16. What are monads and how does Leibniz hope monad will help him avoid Spinoza’s
theologically controversial views?

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