Philosophy Notes

Philosophy Notes - Descartes 1st&2nd Meditations What kind...

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What kind of thing am I? Methodology of Doubt - destroy every opinion that he's had to find the truth If it can be doubted, doubt it. He is looking for truths that are 100% indubitable. The foundation of beliefs are indubitable certainties. We are Scratch-N-Sniff Empiricists Descartes is a Sit-N-Think-Hard Rationalist 1st thing on the list: The Senses! Descartes: the senses can deceive us. (Oar/water/bending light) - Misrepresenting the world. - Different sensory modalities can represent the same phenomenon in different ways (they can be in conflict). The Dream Argument I sometimes have genuine coherent experiences, that I take, at the time, to be genuine waking experiences. But I later discover that they weren't genuine experiences at all - they were just an illusory experience. If you can't tell, then the first premise of the argument doesn't work. Arithmetic I Exist - Cogito Ergo Sum - I think therefore I am No thinking without a thinker 6th Meditation The Separability Argument 1. If I can clearly and distinctly conceive of one thing existing without another thing's existing, then the two are really distinct things. Question: What is he getting at here? Compare: Calvin College and Calvin College's Buildings Calvin is one thing, the buildings are another thing 2. I can clearly and distinctly conceive of myself (an unextended, thinking thing) existing without my body (an unthinking, extended thing) existing. Point: Just as we can conceive of Calvin College existing without its present buildings existing, so can Descartes conceive of himself existing without his body existing. [therefore] I am really distinct from my body. Deductive Arguments Valid - Truth Preservation Sound - Valid and all premises are true Inductive Arguments Strong Reliable Problems with Descartes Argument 1. If I can clearly and distinctly conceive of one thing existing without another thing's existing, then the two are really distinct things. Problem 1: Seeming to be clearly and distinctly conceiving something vs. Actually C & D conceiving something. a. Seeming to be Conceiving what actually cannot be conceived Main Point: our powers of conception can sometimes deceive us Problem 2: Maybe Descartes is here seeming to conceive what cannot in fact be conceived. a. Saul of Tarsus and the Apostle Paul Saul = Paul Descartes = Fred How do I know that The Divisibility Argument 1. Bodies are divisible into parts 2. Thinking things (i.e., minds) are not divisible into parts. 3. The same thing cannot both be and not be divisible into parts [therefore] Thinking things (i.e., minds) and bodies are distinct things. Justification for premise 1.
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Ja - Bodies are extended. (Bodies = anything that is material and occupies space) Jb - Extended things are divisible into parts [therefore] Bodies are divisible into parts. Justification for premise 2
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This note was uploaded on 04/23/2008 for the course PHIL 153 taught by Professor Corcoran during the Spring '08 term at Calvin.

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Philosophy Notes - Descartes 1st&2nd Meditations What kind...

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