Week Two - Descartes Notes
Week Two - Descartes Notes phi 205
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This 1 page Class Notes was uploaded by Stephani Mager on Wednesday August 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to phi 205 at North Carolina State University taught by Benjamin Bagley in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 34 views. For similar materials see Intro to Philosophy in Philosophical / Religious / Ethical Perspectives at North Carolina State University.
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Date Created: 08/31/16
Philosophy 205 – Week Two Descartes, “Meditations on First Philosophy” Key Terms: Efficient cause: one of the four causes Aristotle distinguished. The efficient causation of an event is the agent or event that brings the effect about. Falsehood: how to decipher if something is true or false o Formal falsehood: something that is not true and can only be found in judgments o Material falsehood: “in an idea when it presents what is not a thing as though it were a thing” (Descartes 166). Example: How can you be sure that darkness is real rather than it being the absence of light? The same can be applied to heat and coldness. Freedom of will: sometimes used to contrast with freedom of action. One’s will in this sense is one’s decision, choice, or dominating desire. o It does not seem to be restricted Metaphysical: questions the nature of reality. In the context of the reading, it is discussing questions on whether or not God is. Omnipotent: God is all powerful. o In the reading: God can do anything that is logically possible. Omniscient: God is all-knowing. o In the reading: God knows what is possible to know Creator of all things other than himself; eternal life Skepticism: Despite “attempting” to understand God and all that God is capable of, and despite saying that he won’t be overly skeptical, Descartes is. (Descartes 159). Concepts in the Reading Using These Key Terms and Others: Freedom of will – o Descartes says that his freedom of will does not seem to be restricted o He mentions that most things, like forming ideas, to remember, and to imagine are all greater and boundless to God. o The only thing about Descartes that is not greater to God is his will or freedom of choice, because “it cannot conceivably be greater than it is” (Descartes 170). o “divine grace and knowledge of nature clearly increase and strengthen rather than diminish my freedom” (170). Sensing – o “Sensing is just thinking” (161). o “I seem to see, to hear, and to feel” (161). o Despite that fact that dreams are not entirely real, he mentions that sensing them is important o External senses – common sense o Sensations can help to “Draw a conclusive argument for the existence of physical objects” (175).
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