How could philosopher René Descartes prove his own existence?

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How could philosopher René Descartes prove his own existence?

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He couldn’t prove his existance to you. He could only show you the means by which you could prove yours to yourself, and apply those same to himself.

Descartes is analysing all his prior beliefs at the start of the first meditation to find a belief that cannot be doubted and is certain. At the end of the first meditation, he concludes that he is not certain that he is not being deceived about everything by an omnipotent demon, which includes deception of his own existence.

At the start of the second meditation, he is convinced that there is something that can be known with certainty; his own existence. This is one simple way his argument can be formulated:

P1: If I am being deceived by an omnipotent demon about my existence, then I exist (since there must be a target that is being decieved)
P2: If I am not being deceived by an omnipotent demon about my existence, then I exist (since I am not being deceived about my own existence)
P3: I am either being deceived or not being deceived about my existence
C: Therefore I exist (since I exist both if I am being deceived or if I am not being deceived, and these are the only two options)

There are different variations in how you can formulate his argument, but I hope this helps in some way!

His line of thinking was to question everything. You might see that you are in a house. But what if that house is just an illusion that you think you see? After all, if you sleep and dream of a house, then that house doesn’t really exist either. So how could you know if the house you saw waking existed? Strictly speaking, you can’t.

You might feel your own body. But again that sense and feelings might be fake. You might be a bodyless spirit that is just tricked by a god or demon to think that it has a body.

But what you can always know is that **you**, your mind exists. Even if a demon can trick you about your senses and experiences, there must be someone he tricks. If you can wonder about your own existance, then there must be **something** that currently wonders about its existence.

That way he concluded “I think, therefor I am”. Even if you doubt everything, including your senses, you can always know with absolute certainty that *you* exist as long as you can think about whether you exist.