1st Essay Outline - 1st Meditation Descartes realizes that...

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1 st Meditation Descartes realizes that his foundation which he bases everything on is false o Will dismiss anything that he doesn’t have full certainty o Concludes that he cannot rely on his own foundation o He has no proof between certainty and doubt So in order to find the truth he eliminates and destroys his world Finds certainty through doubt > negative way of finding certainty o Overall, wants to create a foundation that is firm, unshakable Achieves this by arguing with himself, One which resists doubt and one that doubts. Senses o He doubts the senses How can he be certain of them? Paradox arises: how can he prove the senses when all he has are the senses? o Resist states that you cannot doubt that you are sitting there in front of the fireplace feeling the warmth So unless he is insane to think that things are true when they are actually not Think they are kings when they are actually paupers [line 20, pg 14] o Doubt goes into sleeping example States that he is mad because stuff like that even more wilder things exist in his dreams o Resist states that the vividness and the “distinctness” of the current that allows us to know we are not dreaming. [bottom of page 14] “Extends his hand consciously and deliberately, and I feel it” o So he concludes that even in dreams we create bizarre forms by slapping stuff together [line 20 pg 15] o So we can doubt composite things, but we cannot doubt the basic things like colors, shapes, etc.
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o Therefore we can doubt subjects like physics, astronomy, medicine and all other things that are dependent on composite things. But we can’t doubt subjects based on the simplest most general things like arithmetic, geometry. For when I am awake or asleep, two plus three make five and a square does not have more than four sides. [middle page 15] Intellect o Starts on the subject of god who is all powerful and “knows no bounds” o And that he is tricking him and that 2+3 really doesn’t = 5 This would denote a deceiving god and that makes it evil But god must be all good and cannot be evil because god is all benevolent.
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