Cartesian doubt

Methodical doubt is a procedure that employs René Descartes in his Meditations on First Philosophy ( Meditations on First Philosophy ). The user of this method is to doubt the existence of anything that could be subject to error in any way. A similarity there is this with skepticism.

The methodical doubt in Descartes

Descartes applies this method to gradually, ie First, he questions the findings of our senses ( the - could be deceived by an evil demon - hypothetically ) and subsequently even to his own existence. But he recognizes this last doubt is unfounded, because the fact of doubting or thinking the fact of the existence of the doubters shows evident. Although the thinking person can doubt everything, at least not at the fact that he doubts.

In summary, this is in the formulation Cogito ergo sum ( "I think therefore I am" ). Descartes doubted mind you only methodologically, that is, this approach is mainly a thought experiment rather than a real questioning of reality.

Preforms and precursor

Aurelius Augustinus ( 354-430 )

" A pre-or archetype " of the Cartesian argument can already be found in the church father Augustine, already with his ( City of God, XI, 26. ) Argues that " fallor Si, sum. " - Even - if someone wanders in all, he but nevertheless is a misleading Santander.


Francis Bacon

Partial Francis Bacon is brought in connection with the methodical doubt Descartes: The doubts teaching at Bacon was in Descartes to " doubt compulsion", the "forced suspicion" to the method.


By David Hume was doubted whether the radical doubt was ever carried out. Hegel thought that the intention to doubt everything, and finally had to doubt themselves. As remarkable Descartes ' critics that this methodical doubt ultimately lead again to similar results as dogmatic philosophers - had previously claimed - without a doubt.