Exam 2 Study Guide

Exam 2 Study Guide - Philosophy Exam 2 Study Guide Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy 1 Descartes hypothesizes the existence of an evil

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Philosophy Exam 2 Study Guide Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy : 1. Descartes hypothesizes the existence of an evil demon , a personification who is "as clever and deceitful as he is powerful, who has directed his entire effort to misleading me." The evil demon presents a complete illusion of an external world, including other people, to Descartes' senses, where in fact there is no such external world in existence. 2. Descartes realizes they can be separated into those that are clear and distinct and those that are confused and obscure. The former group consists of the ideas of extension, duration and movement. These geometrical ideas cannot be misconstrued or combined in a way that makes them false 3. What is the Method of Doubt? Descartes says that he wishes to examine those things which he thinks to be true and set aside all those beliefs of which there might be some doubt. Descartes' method of doubt (broken into four "scientific" steps) including : a. accepting only information you know to be true b. breaking down these truths into smaller units c. solving the simple problems first d. making complete lists of further problems is also known as hyperbolic doubt or having the tendency to doubt, since it is an extreme or exaggerated form of doubt. [1] (Knowledge in the Cartesian sense means to know something beyond not merely all reasonable, but all possible, doubt.) In his Meditations on First Philosophy (1641), Descartes resolved to systematically doubt that any of his beliefs were true, in order to build, from the ground up, a belief system consisting of only certainly true beliefs. 4. Descartes concludes that the only indubitable knowledge is that he is a thinking thing . Thinking is his essence as it is the only thing about him that cannot be doubted. Thinking is thus every activity of a person of which he is immediately conscious 5. Descartes proceeds with what is known as the Wax Argument . He considers a piece of wax; his senses inform him that it has certain characteristics, such as shape,
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course PHIL 101 taught by Professor Phil during the Spring '08 term at UMBC.

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Exam 2 Study Guide - Philosophy Exam 2 Study Guide Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy 1 Descartes hypothesizes the existence of an evil

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