Exam 1 question 2

Exam 1 question 2 - through thoughts. He confirms this...

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Philosophy – Meditations by Descartes Word count:282 In meditation 2, Descartes attempts to answer the question: “Do I exist and if so, what am I?” ( Meditations 18). He goes into a thought experiment in which he tries to separate himself from external things by denying his senses. He thinks about his existence and concludes that he must exist because he clearly and distinctly understands his being in his intellect. Then Descartes thinks about what he might be. He states that he is not a rational animal because the concept of a rational animal is too complex. Descartes also rejects the stoic idea of soul and the body. After rejecting different beliefs, Descartes finally concludes that thought exists and cannot be separated from him despite the fact that he can separate himself from his senses ( Meditations 19). He therefore concludes that he is a thinking thing because he clearly understands his being
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Unformatted text preview: through thoughts. He confirms this concept by using metaphysics in his experiment with wax. He observes a piece of a cold wax and describes its color, shape, and size ( Meditations 21). Such qualities seem to remain constant. However, as he brings the wax close to the fire, its properties change. Although Descartes senses might indicate that it has changed, no one denies that the same wax still remains ( Meditations 21). It is only the imagination that tells the observer that the wax has changed. Therefore, the truth cannot be achieved by the faculty of imagination ( Meditations 22). Rather, a man knows the truth only through his mind alone, because his intellect allows him to perceive and understand distinctly. Accordingly, the idea that the meditator perceives and understands clearly is more distinct than the idea of corporeal things....
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHIL 201 taught by Professor Wilson during the Spring '08 term at Emory.

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