Notes on Descartes’ 3rd Meditation

Notes on Descartes’ 3rd Meditation - Notes...

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Notes on Descartes’ 3 rd Meditation -going to withdraw all his senses and blot out images of corporeal things -or just regard them as false/worthless -admits his limits (cant blot out all images) -reaffirms that he is a thinking being -reaffirms that though imagining and sensing may not exist outside of him but nonetheless are modes of thinking and as such exist in him ^(review of everything he truly knows/noticed that he knows) -what is required for him to be certain of anything? 35 -first affirmation (that he is a thinking thing) is clear and distinct -would hardly be enough if anything he perceived as clear and distinct were false -poses that everything he can clearly and distinctly perceive is true -however he has believed previously in things that turned out to be doubtful (the earth, the sky, the stars, all things perceived by senses) -what about them was clearly perceived? -that he had an idea/thought of them in his mind -does not deny now that those ideas are/were in him ( for Descartes, are those ideas still there in his mind or not? Just because he experienced those thoughts then, does that mean that he has them still in his mind? @a little before 36, “but even now I do not deny that these ideas are in me.” ) -other thing that he used to believe he clearly perceived (w/o any perception): -things existed outside of him which his ideas resembled and proceeded from -he was mistaken or if his judgment was a true one, it did not come from his perception ( first notion that a true judgment can somehow be mistaken, but in what way is it mistaken if the judgment is true? Because I thought that truth and falsity only depended upon/are in regards to the judgment. Maybe thought to have come from deception by God? ) -what about simple arithmetic or geometry? (2+2) -did he not understand them clearly enough to be known as true? -he doubted them at one point -only because possibility of God to give him the nature to be deceived -it would be easy for God to cause him to err and still believe it to be true -however he feels so certain about these things -he has no reason to believe God to be a deceiver or even if he exists -so basis for doubting is tenuous and metaphysical in this case -in order to remove this basis for doubt, must seek whether or not God exists and if he does, whether or not he can be a deceiver ( language of can be indicates that this would come directly from/be necessitated by God’s nature ) -if he is ignorant of this, he can never be certain about anything else -will proceed by grouping all thoughts into classes -then seeing in which truth or falsity resides -some are images of things called “ideas” (like an angel, or God, or the sky) -others are called volitions or affects, and others judgments
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-there is often some thing that is the subject of the thought, whether it be fear or will, and in the thought is something more than the likeness of the thing -ideas, considered alone and in their own right, cannot be false (it is no less true to imagine one thing instead of another)
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This note was uploaded on 09/05/2011 for the course PHL 302 taught by Professor Fennen during the Spring '10 term at Miami University.

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Notes on Descartes’ 3rd Meditation - Notes...

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