{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

Descartes, Meditations.pdf - Copyrighted material CA MBRID...

Info icon This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Copyrighted material CA MBRID GE TE XTS IN THE HISTORY O F PHIL OSO PHY RENt DESCA RTES Meditations on First Philosophy CA MBRI DGE TEXTS IN T H E HI STORY OF PH ILOSOP H Y Ser~. t diton KARL AM ERI KS P",ft ..a, of Philosophy a/ /lu U,,;vrr.;ty of NOIr~ Da_ DES M OND M. CLA RKE 170ft"'" of Philosophy a/ UII;W:N;ry Q,J1~g~ Cork mai~ obitniv. nI Camhridg. T.~fS in .he: HiSlory of Philosophy i• •n upo r>d II>< ra ng., va ~ a r>d q .... liry nf '.xlS in II.. hiOl...,. of ph ilooopb y which art availablt in English. The::Itt;" i""lud.. '<x1S by filmitiar na ...... (<uch Onean.. and KIn. ] Ir>d al.., by Its. wt!l-known .u.n., .... WIt<:rn"<'T po«iblt, lu" art ""blioh...! in rompl ... and unabtidg...! form, and It.nsl • •;.",. IU .pecially commis,ion...! for ,h. :Itt;". Ea<:h volume ro",.in •• critical in'nod..ro.,., fO§<"tMr wilt. • guide to further .... dins and any ..-...011' g\o!sa.;.. and mctual al'P"ralU>. volu ...... Irt designed for OI000n. usc a. undcrgraduII< and poo'g.ldual. '""'01 Ind will be of in, ...." "'" only .0 .tudents of phil<>«ophy, ho. also to a wida .i>di-cna: <>f ",ada. in tl>< hiOfOry of ocicncr, the h i.....,. o f throlosy, and .It<: hist<><y <>f ideas. "The a. n.. • RENE DES CARTES Meditations on First Philosophy with Selections from the Objections and Replies TRANSLATE D AND E DITED BY JOHN COTTI NGHAM U,.;wrsiry of R.~"di"g with an introductory essay by BERNARD WILLIAMS and a new introduction for this fililion by J OHN CO TTINGHAM REVIS ED E DITION 'U"""H l P OY Til ' . . . .. ""pl c nl ,,. THE UNI ••. • " " O ' ~ . . . . . ,PQ. Tho Pin 8ui\.Ji". TN"",i....., S".... Cambrid,j<, Uni«ol Ki".oom " . . . . . ,De. UNI .... . IT' . . . .. ,OIJ. Tho Edinbu+ Suild;ng. Combnd", "a. UK 00 _ """ So...,.. N........... ~T '''''''_ ''''. USA 071 ",, 11....._ " "-d. POri Melbou"", "'" J""7. Au"",I" Rni. d. Ala"""' " •• 30' 0 Modnd, 00<1< HOII><. Tho "'....[ronl. Cap< T.,...., kwor. Soulh Ahie. sr,'" hnp:!/.... ,",umbndi!<.orx Th" booI< i. mcopyri[lJil. Subjta f<) ">lu'",, ««q'<;'" ,lid IQ ,,.. r-Wons '" eollooa;" 1;';"'';''80 """"n"""~ no "l'rudum.,., "' '''l' 1"" ...,. ..... pia<. ";1""" .... ... "Ikn f'<'m''' .... or Combhd ... U....nil' r.a.. m.v.n, Fi ... publioh<d 1!oM Rtp,int<d '~ 7 ' ,,011 (_ I, ,,.cO, I~' '_ (twice), . " , (twice) _it«! nI,';"" .. i,h ...... ali""",,1 m>l= 1,,0; Rtprin«ol 'm (Iwice). '9910 """'" _ ' , ""', _ J r....i«) l'Iin,nI in ,I\< Uni,nI Ki. . . . . . ,I\< Uni""";I, I'f<oo.. Comb""" A """~tor- ..."..J ~." r", ,In> b«>~ " .",;/.obl< ""... ,iN 8",,,~ /jb.,,, of C""& .. ,, C.,,J,,p..,, ;.. ""W",...;". dM. o..c..",", RrnI'. ,),,0-"$0. jMnli,. oo.... d. pri ... philoooph". ~;.h J Mnli ..riom 0<> fill" phik><oph, 1 RrnI' 0.-.",,- Wi,h ><1«1.,." (""" It.. Obi«<;."" . od <q>1... 1{both) al"al ond " . ..... «ol by John Conin~m; wilh.n inirudO<lOl"}""" by II<=>"J 'II,IIi.... , nd • ..,... 'mrod..mo. lot Ih" «i;,"" by J<>/<n C<>nilldtom. _ Rl-< cd. Po , .... - {Con,llIidsoo ''''''' ill "'" MwlT '" p/>i'-'rh,) Ind ...... bibl~"I'lU<. 1 "k,,,_ .od 'nda. «aN 0 ,,, H'" 0 (it.o"Jb.td:) """ 0 l " H'I' , lPlp<lN<t.) I. Fi, .. pb,looopbT - ~~, ........ to ,l¢o. • . M<t"l'b""" - ta ~, to . Sa>. I. eun;"p.. .. , John. ''<)_ . II. Willi.t ..... lI<I ... nl Arthu, ...,tl. o.m.. !II. Ad;"""," ...... .. rue obi«t _ _ <um ""I",.., ..,,,iI,., """"""-I'.noIIKIt. s.1<crion~ IV. Tul<. V. s...... " I".EJU ", ,~ ,,.-.k>o ,)-.Wi• .....~ 0 JIl JLj66 J h,..Jbod". Ii... «lit .... I<aN 0 I" n ' l" I"ptrbad 0... «1";",, I..., 0 )LI jjLI' • '''~ 0 JIl lJ"" n• ..!"""" p.t pott>.t,k ,. •• Contents • 'I' ate Our ,mJ disti"d ~oo.. ,,"d rb. 'Omu ;"" arch' On Mrdjwjon Sj x Tb. Mll du/;"(/io,, M/WU" mjlld ""d b.ody I .... .07 " 7 Introductory essay Bernard Williams 'I w""ld not u~ anyonelo read Ihi, book exceptthOK who . re able and willing 10 meditale ","""sty wilh me', O¢Karl" says '0 his .ude.. in <he ,,",face (1'. 11 , below), and lie makes il dU'lha, he mean. the M~d;""io1I. no{ 10 be a "eati.." a mere exposition of philosophical ",aSOnS and.;onelusions, but nlthe. an uetdse in .hinking, pr...,nted as an encouragemall .nd aguide 10 rude .. who wil1think p!.ilo<ophically .hemsel~. Its thoughts, cotrl:lpondingly, are pr...,nled a5 Ihey mighl be conducted by iu .uthor _ ot ro,h •• , as though .hey we.e being conducted at tile very moment at which you rud them. Indttd, th. 'I" who i. haYing Ih..., thoUghll may lie yourself. Although we Ue conscious, in reading <h. MN;l4rio~., Ihat they were w.inen by a parti""lar person, R.... DcianCl, and al a particular time, about "~o, the 'I" thaI appean throughout them from Ihe finl ",n,en« on docs not lpecifically rep.esenl <hat person: il ,ep •...,nll anyon< who will l UI' inlO Ihe position it mark ... the position of the Ihinke. who i. prepared 10 U'COn,idc. and .«ast hn 0. lie, belief., as Descartes .upposed w. mighl, from Ihe ground up. Thn T il diffiormt, tllen, from <h. 'I· lhat o«un in the R.4'Ii4 10 IIIe Objutio7lS. (E>rtracu from boIh of Ihne also appea' in 1M volurroe; how tMy came 10 he wrinm i, explaint(\ by the tra",lator in his NoI:. on the IOXf, p. "Iiv. ) In ,he R.4'I~., Des.i::anes speaks STraightforwardly for himself, and the 'I' •• p.esents lhe author of Ih. Mdi'<ltiofu. The ' I' in the M~d;l4tio ... themselvCl repramlS their namlO. or prot;lgonnt. WMm ""'" may call 'the thinker', Of cou,,", the author has 10 !<Ike tCSpoIUibiliry for the thinker's reflections, He takes responsibiliry boIh fo, ,lie condUCI of them and for the-i. outcome, where <h., includes the bel iefs 10 which we: .baLI have bem led if .... are persuaded by lhe ."umenu, and also the improved SUlCI of mind lhat the author hpects US to ",,,h by following hn work. Bul the author i. not answerable for <:very notion entertained by dI(" thinktr and for evuy tum <hal the ",flection takes on the way, The ." ..iii ""ries Qf though .. ha. an upshOl or culmination, ruched in lhot Sixth MNiwion, and ..,"'" Qf lhot ,hink .... '. earli.. tooughu ha .. e btf:n ""ercomc and left behind in ,he process of reachi"ll that final poinl. Some Qf those woo .ubminN the Ob~mo ... found it hard 10 follow lhot working OUt of Ihis idea, and 10 sec how far lhe thinker had got at YJriou. poin .. in .h. Pf""'" 01 fe/kaion. It i•• till hafd today, and rommen· tators' discussions of Ihe Mtdit~lio~. often take Ihe form of asking how much at a gi ... n stag< Onea"n .ake. him""lf 10 hue "lablish~. ln such di<cussion., i. i. lH.cart~. and hi. in •• n.ion •• hat ro...., into quntion;.he modern obiectors addr... themsdvn. if 1... direaly than the obj«lOrs whO$<" Ie,,", Ip!"".r in thi ...olume, to the author. It wu, .ftor all, IX5Can.. woo goove.hot thinker II... di •• ctions he follows. Th.re i. a sug· genion implicit in 'he beginning of the work thO! the thinker <k>n not know how it will all turn out: but that is. ~ction. To say that it is a fiction is not necessarily 10 $;Iy that in lermS of the wOfk itself it is untrue. This miglu 1..0", bun a work in whim th. think..•• fictional ignonnce 01 how hi. r.Hection. would .urn OUt was ron"i",. ingly .unainN. To some ."tenl ;t il so, and to tha ••"tent, one 01 'M gifts offered to the reader by Ihi. extraordinary work i. a Irttdom.o write it difkremly, to .... our wi.h the thinker and end up in a differen. pia",. The r.writinll 01 Dr<.<an •• · .. ory in that w.y It.. <"Of1 . . i,utN • good de.1 of modern philosophy. How....., if would be wrong 10 .ugse.. that th. Medil4lio~. offen no mol" than an inviution to philosophical ..fl«tion, hy .. king ..,fM q ....tion. and ohowingone way in which they might be anlwered. W. a.. expea~, rather. to sense the autoor', guiding hand .hroughout. Modern r..den may ,ake .hi, for g.an'~ .00 •• ,ily, bccau$O Il>oy undern.im.at. Dr<.<an..' intention to eng.g. the re.der in 1M argumen,. They m.y think of th. M.d;latio~ ... just a device that IX"""".. chose: to g<t aero.. ,h. opinion.th •• we nOW find ..<fibed to him in histotiH of philosophy. It i., cenainly, a devicc fc:it convincing u., but;, i. more than (hot, becau$O il aim. 10 con .. ince u. by making u. conduct the argUfMn. our$Olv ... The fim f . .de~ 0/ tit. Mtdit;>cio'l' may Itave ~It the author's guiding pre$On", for a different rea,.,n, that they w.re consciouo of a kind of writing that it ....,mbl.d. It wa., and .. mains, a v.ry unu.ual wo.k, and there had n"er b«n a work of philosophy pruen'~ in ouch a form before. But .here did ."in, familiarly, work. of rdigiou. medita.ion, .nd Dr<.<aneo' book ..If-ron..io.,,ly .... mblc:. them. like many of them, it i, oot.nsibly di .. ided between day. of contempl ation and, again lik.tMm, it en.courall" and h.lp< the reader 10 Overro"", and gel rid of mislc:ading and seductive $Iar.. 01.1>0 $Qui,,., 0$ to arrive at an undentanding 0/ hi. or htr own nature and of a created being'. rela.ion. wilh God. ,. " Th~ who wrole religious meditations wen: acring as guides to a spirit- ual di5<:ipJine. [>t~.';,"n· work siyn hi, rtaden guida~ in an inrelJec.. tII<Il discipline. and Mips IDem 10 d~r in rhemselve5 puR intellectual conception. - oJ malt~r, of mind .nd of God _ from whic:h m.y wiU be able 10 Iorm a lruc: and unclouded understanding of the world. Th. inquiry in .... hich he lead. them does indeed yidel a conviction of d.e: .,.iS1m« of God. The,.., n no .usa" at .11 to .uppose thai Dcscartn wal inoin~O' in tht-~ Rligious aI~rmaliOrl$ (though ,!.wries thu _ribc to him o;omplu mategin of <:!«:ric h.« a mange ~pacil)' 10 lurv;ve.) WhIt i, true islh., the thoughts thaI Iud 10 1M$( <;ono;lusionl arc: 00'1 in me leal! religious in 'pir;., and God', ."i".net i. n •• bH,hed as a purely mt1aphyl- ial condu.ion. Anything to do with. ""Iigi"",]if. or, indud, with any dislin.ctinly religious asp«t. of life, will have 10 come in .fte. Oneonn' rellcctions aR o ver. The MtdiUrriolU, thollsh they hne an analogy 10 11'11 dition"l medilations that btiong to the r.ligious lif., assuredly do no< belong to it themselves. A still Kfute. diff.un.cc lies in the authority with which the twO kinds of wo.ks w.u offeRd. The authors of religious meditations claimed authority from their O.... n (Xpcricncc, but also, most ohen, from a uligious office. [kscarttS ~ nOt suppose that hi. .ight fo claim a reader'. atten· tion lin in any SlIeramemal, traditional Of profmional poIition. His auth· ority.o Jl,ow us how.o .hink lin only in .his, .hor he ha. himself,;u h. supposes, un.covued method. of limple, clur·hcaded and rational inquiry wh ich all ••ason.hl. people can conduct if Ihey clear thei. minds of pujudicc and address themselves in a maightfotward way to lhe q....tion •. No opccial rnoini"A, no uligiou. diKipliM, no knowle. of lexts o. of history il needed in order 10 do ,his. He was disposed to Ihink, in fact, thar such .hings could be an actual obstacl •. His iUlli~carion for beli.vinglha. hi. readers had these pow .... if only they could use .hem, i••o be found in the Mtdit.motU themselves. If we follow Dcsarru to .he: end 01 them and "cept hi. roruidcralions, we .... 11 have come 10 • cone_prion 01 oul"M'lvC$ ., noli.on.l, immaterial.e1ves born with po.e inl.llectual ideas and • cal'"city for uasonin, which en.lble us 10 ,rup in basic rclp«ts ,h. nature of the world. Each 01 ... ~ i!ldffd ."in in some kind 0 1 union with. particula. physical body. 'My body', one says, and Descartes took this ph .... se to rqistcr a profound midi, th.,what one truly is, i.. mind '",aUy di.tinct' from the body. W• .-d IItf\$Of)' information provided throu(l:h the: body no< only 10 oumvc in lhc: material world, Wt 10 find ou. particuJ.r tcientific laws. But our own nature, the: ""i.tcncc of God and indeed the: mosrabmact KI1.IrnIfI! features of the: physical world jt.dl can bt discovtttd, [kscartClsuppoted. by directed intell~.nd rational insighl. ,. /nrmJ",tory ..say Among these thing. w~ diocov.r, wh.., _ dir<'Ct our intellig.nce in Ih~ right way. is thaI we are ~nlP who •• ~ c.pabl~ 01 making jill! .ueh discoveries. and we vin insight into the wa y in which we can m.kt them. So w~ discover also how th. MtdUatio,u. a work of pu~ r.fl«tion aiming to 11ft UI lrom .rror and to help u. unde"tond th ... ba~ir m.ne", ,an .uc· Cftd. 1" ~nd lies in i" ~nning, T>OI illS! Meause irs author knows how the: thinker will COm~ OUI, bul in the philosophic.l .. n.. th>l if undertake to follow its method of inqui.,., our doing so. Dts<:anes suppos«l, i. justified by our Ming tM kind 01 ',..,>llIm that ir fin.lIy .how. u• • o M. Th~ .... thod deployed ond invoked in the M.diuWOIfJ works, To.n imponant degr~. through a rgument, clea r chain. of ,..,.ooning. This tells u. something of bo.... to ,ud the book. We are asked to argue:, not merely through it, hut wi.h i•. B«ause of this, it ilspeciaUy appropriate thattM book w.. associ.ted ... ill fi", publication, wilh Ob~'liotlJ and RtpU• •. One.n.. h.d some political motiv.s in having th. Obiution. assembled, as he: 0150 did in dedicating the: book to the Sorbon".. He w.nted to h.ve hi. work accepted by the rcligiou. authonli ... For the: ... ",. . e. son, M did not welcome an the Ob~(/io". that were roll<'Cted by his friend Mer· senne, wh o organised the cn,rrpri.., being .mb.,•• ....! in patticula. by those of the English sceplic and m.t~riali" Hobbes. But wh>lev~r the: . ... . ogy of the publication, it wa •• rue '0 ,h •• piri. of the .....,..k, as Onean.. dearly beli .... ed, Ihat it should appe .. t~th.r with .rgum..,,, attempting to refute it or defend i•. II we.,.., '0 !"tad th. Mtditatio". properly. we muS! ... "",mMr th •• the thin ker is not .imply the aUlhor. We must nO! forget ,hat the work i•• carefully designed whole, of greallit ••a.,. cunning, and th>l it ra .. ly la~ OUt arguments in a complete Or formal way. But Ihis o:Iofs !lot mean , h.t it is no. ,u".ined by argum.n" o. ,h • • arguing wi.h it i. inappropriate. II "",an. only th., we mu .. f~ad il carefully to find out what ill a<gllmen" arc, and what Oneart"';s taking for gr.nted. II _ rcfl<'Ct on wh.t h(;1 .aking for gr.n.ed o r a.king u. by impiiation '0 .«CP', w. a.. doing put of what h~ invited us to do, " 'hen h...ked ~. to meditate with him. A question of whal he: ill taking for granted prnenlS itself ngh, or ,he: beginning. ' Rea${}n now Ie. d..... to think', he wri teS in 'M Fim Media'ion (p. ,~, below) w. Ih;t{ I should bold bad: my .... nl from opini"". whidJ .'" not complnely unain .nod ind"bitablt iust •• ","",fully a. I do from thoot ....hich ..... potently false. So, lor thr pu~ of n'j«ting .11 my opiniON. il will be enough if I find in each of them 0,1ea" 0Qm( rcuon lor doub!. And 10 do this I will nOl need 10 ",n through them . u individ .... lIy ... Once me foundotion. of • buiidins ar ......xrmincd. anything buil, on.hem ct>Ilapoc$ of i.. <>WIt accOld; so I wiU go .... ight for m. ba.ic ptincip\co on which .l1 my formt1" belifflruted. 'I' ate Why doc. ..a... n now lead him to think thi.? Everyone i. engaged in 'rying 10 gel in/ormation about malters 0/ 'on~rn 10 him; rome, such as DeoanH, .r. in volved in .h. Ki.ne.. and wan' to a.. ive at sy.um.tic Ind rca ... ned ~liek aboul nalure, But no on. ordinarily supposes ,hallh. rational way to stan on thne things i•• o .hrow aw.y or loy aside all .h. inform•• ion on • •hinks on •• lrudy h••. Dnan.. thinks not only th •• this is 11M: right course for him, bUllhl il i• ..,If-evidently the right coursc for him. Why should he think thi.? Why should doubl oeem the path to knowltd~, if lhe .. is a palh.o knowledge'l .ll? We mull nori~ lim Ih at.he approach i. nOt . uppow<l.o be applied 10 tht ordin.ry .ffairs of li f• . DCK. r ... m.k .. th.1 point oyer and oy.. apin, ,"ying for inst.n« th •• w. must distinguish be.woen 'the actions of ~ft· and 'the search for Il'Uth·; and in !he S)",op';, to the Mtd,.t.oriofts (p. ' I, be:low) he i, p.. p...d.o u.., .uch. distinction even 10 define wh •• counts a, Kriouo: 'no •• ne ptUOI"I has .... r ..,riou.ly doub,ed thne ,hings'. H. don no' mun that the r«ulIO of hi. reflection. will nol affect ordinary prama or the conduct of .h. Ki.n .... On the conl1ary, this i. what h. hopes they will do, scmng the scim.... for ins!Once, 00 the right path. Nor don he think Ih .t thne reflections ... a triv;.l way of passing the lime. ll\(y Q!IOOf be mat, if ......tTtlUally they could ha.elhnc ~Ql.nd scien· tific effects. He m.y .hink .ha. it is particularly hi. own, the au.hor·" u.., 0/ Ihe Doub. th.1 will have those effect" but he .1... be:1~voslh.t it is. _nhwhil. exerci.., lor any 0/ us, on~ in a lifc!ime, to take temporllrily the position of the thinker of such ..flccrion., .nd this will not be. trivi.l undertaking, ";I"'r. Indeed, h. hi"",,]f said that the meditation to wh ich 1M: invited 1,1$ in th. Pma« was itK1I, in its own way, ''''riou.'. When Descanos says Ih.t the thoughu deploying th. Doubt a.. to be separated from pracricallife, and in lhat sen.., tb ut only in Ihat sen..,) arc not '..,riou,', he is defining a speci al kind of intellectual project whith by ilS n'lUre an be: «InduCted only if it i. sep~rated from ~1l oth.r ~C"tivi,;ts, In ordinary life, when"'" w.nt the .lUth on a subject, w~ p~ .. ue it, n..., ..• arily, in a context of other thingo Ih .t w. art .iming to do, including other inquirios we need to m.ke. Th. pattern of our inquiries i< formed by man y «Innraint. On how we con sptnd ourt;me ~nd .... rgi .., and by consideration. of what we ri,k by failing to look into one thing Or spendi ng too long looking into another. Thne const~nt and often implicit calculations of 1M economics of inquiry help to sh apt ,he body 01 OUr beliefs; and Ihey hav~ the «In..,quenathat our be:lids, while th~y aim •• tru.h, will, in ....+ lably, only partly .chi""e it. Dnattn conceived of a ptojtct th•• would ~ PIl.t ly th .... reh fo r truth, and would be: ~nconstrained by any other objo«.ivn at all . 8ecou.., it 'empor.lrily lays a.ide the demands of pracri· alrationality, it hal 10 be: det.ched from pr.cti«; .nd beauS( il il con· "...
View Full Document

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern