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Phil 2010 Week 2 Notes- Summary of Rene Descartes Meditation 1 and 2

by: Marcia Nascimento

Phil 2010 Week 2 Notes- Summary of Rene Descartes Meditation 1 and 2 PHIL 2010 012 (TBA, Introduction to Philosophy

Marcia Nascimento

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About this Document

For those that did not go through Rene Descartes meditation and you need it for exams later, you might want to take a look at this brief summary of what his writings were all about.
Introduction to Philosophy (2010 012)
Chris Foster
Class Notes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Marcia Nascimento on Wednesday August 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 2010 012 (TBA, Introduction to Philosophy at Georgia State University taught by Chris Foster in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Philosophy (2010 012) in Political Science, Philosophy, & Religion at Georgia State University.

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Date Created: 08/31/16
Rene Descartes Meditation 1 & 2 Marcia Nascimento 08/31/16 14.12 In this document, for those of you who did not go through the meditations of Descartes and want a brief summary of what his meditations were all about, you are staring at the right document. Summary of Descartes meditations 1 and 2  Rene Descartes was one of the first modern philosophers who was known for defining point for existence.  He wanted regular people to read his writings.  In the beginning of his meditations, he wants to start over with what he knows.  He is looking to undermine the current foundation of knowledge, which he thinks is impure.  Descartes introduces a method of doubt. He believed in the concept that something is true if it is not obviously false.  He wants to say that things are true only when there is no doubt of whatsoever, which is too high of a standard for knowledge.  The reason he thinks this is a good setup for knowledge is because he doubts his inputs.  Descartes states that if your sensory inputs have failed you one time, you cannot trust them again. An example of our sensory inputs failing us is when you think someone is calling you, when nobody is actually calling you.  Descartes had a dream argument: 1. I cannot tell if I am dreaming right now-premise. 2. If I cannot tell whatever I’m dreaming, then I do not know if my experiences are real-premise. 3. Therefore, I cannot tell if my experiences are real-conclusion.  He thinks that the argument above shows that we cannot actually know if the experiences are real.  Do you think this is plausible or not? We have this kind of a consciousness that we believe it is true and that it happened.  The point Descartes is trying to make is that sometimes we whole heartedly believe in things that actually turn out to not have been true.  Descartes talks about a demon that provides him with all sorts of sensory inputs.  He argues that he cannot be sure whether the sensory input he has is coming from a demon or something real, but is that actually true?  In my opinion, Descartes was radical sceptic. This is because he doubts everything, and he is sceptical about the sources of knowledge.  Descartes does not actually believe that there is a real demon, he just uses a demon to show that you can or you cannot be sure that the demon actually exists.


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