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Descartes's Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy

by: Alexandra Intriago

Descartes's Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy PHIL109124

Marketplace > Boston College > Western Culture > PHIL109124 > Descartes s Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy
Alexandra Intriago
Perspectives on Western Culture II
Professor Connors

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About this Document

These notes cover the Descartes unit and notes for 2-8
Perspectives on Western Culture II
Professor Connors
Class Notes
philosophy, theology
25 ?




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This 0 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alexandra Intriago on Saturday February 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL109124 at Boston College taught by Professor Connors in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 22 views. For similar materials see Perspectives on Western Culture II in Western Culture at Boston College.


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Date Created: 02/13/16
Descartes s Discourse on Method Mathematics is a science based on certainty o Contrasts with theology and philosophy Philosophy and theology were imprecise and vague Can you always be certain l struggle in this philosophy 0 Quest for certain conclusions Becomes disgruntled and thinks traveling and meeting others is more bene cial than studying books and reading in your own head Four rules to always be certain in any problem you face 1 Never accept anything as true you did not plainly know to be such a CLEARLY and DISTINCTLY pure shapes geometry b Senses are only in your mind c Disagrees with Hobbes in that he does not believe that everything is matter 2 Break down problems a Sove each premise individuay 3 Conduct thoughts with simplest things rst and then progress as you learn more move onto the complex after 4 Be speci c so that you do not leave anything out These four rules will lead you to certainty Code of Morality 1 obey laws and customs of his country 2 Be resolute in actions and do not second guess a Avoid paths that lead to or are prone to doubt 3 We should conquer our own self not the world a First responsibility Stoics Light of Reason reason can distinguish what is true and false 0 Faculty used for truth and falsity Meditations on First Philosophy Descartes Method for certitude in Philosophy 0 Method for Philosophical Inquiry called Method of Doubt Ends up doubting his senses other philosophy thought knowledge can come from senses Similar to what Socrates did Very circular Result of doubting indifference you think the opposite could be true Only two sources of certainty yourself and God Argument for doubting senses 0 You could be viewed as insane if you do not doubt 0 Limitations Measurements of objects change how close or far you are to it what is the true image What are we truly perceiving o What do the senses actually tell us Being Awake vs Being Asleep 0 Dreams can appear just as vivid as when we are awake o Descartes no clear way of discerning Descartes prefers math because it is exact Debating whether his thoughts are his own Archimedes o BuoyancyWater displacement Doubting whether he himself exists Cogito how do you know that you exist 1 Proves that you exist 2 Clari es who you are Cannot think when you are asleep 0 Cannot doubt the fact that you doubt because then you are certain Thinking Substance o quotI think therefore I amquot The mind is better known than the body 0 You know that you are a thinking substance Wax Experiment 0 You use descriptions based on senses o How do you know a piece of wax is wax o Descartes says we know through your imagination o Redescription of matter 0 Mind better known than body Matter is an extended substance 0 Must have quantity Self is the rst source of certainty Meditation 3 Wants to be certain of God s existence because then he can be certain of other things like his own existence Has idea of perfect being inside of him and that had to come from somewhere ldea image of a thing 0 Picturing something in your mind Adventitious Idea 0 Color tree 0 Comes from senses 0 From experience 0 Not subject to the will Innate Idea 0 Subject to will 0 Not directly from experience Imagined Idea 0 An idea that you are born with 0 Not subject to will 0 Not from experience 0 No matter how hard you try you will never see yourself 0 Subject of certainty The idea of God is innate You cannot have an imagined cause and real effect 0 Perfect being cannot be adventitious because you have to expenenceit 0 God cannot be imagined because then you would have to be God You are not perfect We are nite and only think in nite terms 0 Perfection without aw without limitation God is the source of our idea of a perfect being Meditation 4 o Truthfalsity Possibility of error 0 What allows for this 0 Error occurs whenever will extends beyond what reason has revealed to it 0 We are able to mismatch what we choose to think as true 0 Reason and will con ict with each other 0 We can correct our proneness to error by letting our reason beat out our will Meditation 5 o The idea of an in nite being was put into us by someone o How do we cause something that is in nitely perfect o This being must exist throws out cause and effect 0 Early Modern Rationalist and lmperialist o Rationalist Descartes We start from innate ideas planted in us and this gives us certainty You discover truths you do not fabricate 0 Example the triangle 0 Essence and Existence 0 Essence What something is 0 Existence that it is nite being do not have existence You have to show that something actually exists before you can think of its idea of existence 0 Descartes has already proven that he is a thinking being and that he clearly and distinctly perceives things 0 Objection You cannot move from the idea to the thing If you can doubt something from being true you are uncertain Original concept in question within the thing itself Existence does not add anything


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