PAR101DWA15and16 - Richard Vasquez Section 2 Meditation Two...

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Richard Vasquez Section 2 February 22, 2013 “Meditation Two” of Descartes’ Meditations of First Philosophy continues from the previous discussion of doubt. It introduces and attempts to define the concept of “I.” Through his description of the “I,” Descartes concludes that he is a thing that thinks and, thus, exists. He then uses an example of wax from a honeycomb. Wax can be molded into an infinite number of shapes; therefore, our senses alone cannot be trusted in forming an opinion on an object of so many possibilities. Our knowledge of the wax must, then, come from the intellectual ability of the mind. Accordingly, he concludes that the mind is better known than the body. When considering Descartes’ introduction, the overall conclusion of “Meditation 2” becomes evident: he is a thing composed of two distinct aspects, mind and body, with distinct capabilities. In paragraph 5 Descartes questions, “But what is a man? Shall I say a rational animal? Assuredly not; for it would be necessary[…]to inquire into what is meant by
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