Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy

Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy - fMeditations on...

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fMeditations on First Philosophy Descrates FIRST MEDITATION Epistemological project- what can be doubted? Why should we believe all things? Starts off by saying: Manytimes we believe in something which ends up being wrong. Simple mistakes (how old people are, birthdays). Typically not a big deal, but you don’tk now how much of what you think you know is false. Set of all beliefs = withholding policy Set of all beliefs = set of false beliefs + set of doubts Withholding policy- criterion used to find beliefs Assent- affirming something with full confidence Argument 1 (senses) 1. Sometimes our senses fail us 2. We cannot always trust our senses C. Therefore we can sometimes doubt what our senses tell us Sometimes our senses fail us Veridical vs deviant Veridical- any “true” experience you feel Deviant- “deviates” from reality This is the type of experience we’re talking about in the first argument. Deviant a posteriori It’s a weak argument though. We’re pretty good at distinguishing veridical versus deviant Argument 2 (dream) A posteriori argument- if true we have reason do doubt any a posteriori argument ever given 1. I don’t know that I’m not dreaming and I can’t know that 2. If I know I’m observing my body then I know that I’m not dreaming but I don’t know that I’m not dreaming C. Therefore I don’t know that I’m observing my body Observing is the key word. Body can be replaced by any other words He needs to prove that the waking experience = the dreaming experience (as far as content goes). Then he’s set. If it’s possible the content is the same, then dreaming = waking. You’d have to prove that dreaming and waking are the same, not including the word content and that’s not possible. All a posteriori arguments have been proven to be false Being able to distinguish dream vsreality. Itsbased on content. He’s not saying you dream when you’re awake, but if it just came down to content, you can have the same exact content in dreams and in reality. Therefore experience cannot be based on content. Why does Descartes think that he can’t know when he’s dreaming? He can’t trust his senses because they are similar in his dream as they are in reality Weak argument = weak thesis Content of waking = content of sleeping (what thoughts/beliefs are about)
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The possibility in dream can = the possibility in waking If its possible that it can be the same if the content it identical you can’t distinguish between waking and dream Whatever evidence you cound four being awake is equal to the evidence of being asleep As far as the mind’s concerned experience There’s nothing other than content to distinguish them Descartes: how do you prove that you’re awake? Because it’s obvious. It should be proveable but it’s not. Descarte’s dream argument = SOUND!
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Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy - fMeditations on...

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