02-25 Descarte's Third Meditation - Rebuilding From The...

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Rebuilding From The Foundations: Descartes’ 3 rd  Meditation        February 25, 2009 Highliight of the first two meditations     o Project: tear apart our beliefs and rebuild from the foundations so as to establish that our knowledge  is stable and lasting o I cannot ddoubt that I think tand that I exist; these ebliefs ar foundational o I know that iam essentially a thinking thing (a thing that doubts, affirms, denies, iunderstands,  imagines, senses, etc.) o The mind is know better than the body I not only know that I am thinking; I also knowwhat I am thinking about. Will Ferrell exists vs. I judge that Will Ferrell exists. I move my arms vs. I will to move my arms I see a tree vs. I seem to see a tree Benefits of uncovering the foundational beliefs     1. They will provide a firm bedrock upon which we can rebuild the entire edifice of our knowledge. 2. They will provide an exemplar from which we can identify the marks of genuine knowledge o from this exemplar we can extract a criterion for knowledge. Descartes,      3rd       Meditation     , Reader p. 90     “Now I will cast around more carefully to see whether there may be other things within me which I have not yet noticed.  I am certain that I am a  thinking thing.  Do I not therefore also know what is required for my being certain about anything?  In this first item of knowledge there is simply a clear  and distinct perception of what I am asserting; this would not be enough to make me certain of the truth of the matter if it could ever turn out that  something which I perceived with such clarity and distinctness was false.  So I now seem to be able to lay down as a general rule that whatever I perceive  very clearly and distinctly is true.” Descartes’ Truth Principle
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