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mind to put thoughts into. Without anything around, no sky, no earth, no body, one thing cannot be denied and that is the soul. All doubt ends at the existence of the “I.” “First of all then, I perceived by my senses that I had a head, hands, feet and other limbs making up the body which I regarded as part of myself, or perhaps even as my whole self. I also perceived by my senses that this body was situated among many other bodies which could affect it in various favourable or unfavourable ways; and I gauged the favourable effects by a sensation of pleasure and the unfavourable ones by a sensation of pain. In addition to pain and pleasure, I also had sensations within me of hunger, thirst, and other such appetites, and also of physical propensities towards cheerfulness, sadness, anger and similar emotions. And outside me, besides the extension, shapes and movements of bodies, I also had sensations of their hardness and heat, and of the other tactile qualities. In addition, I had sensations of light, colours, smells, tastes, and sounds, the variety of which enabled me to distinguish the sky, the earth, the seas, and all other bodies, on from another…I am not merely present in my body as a sailor is present in a ship, but that I am very closely joined and, as it were, intermingled with it, so that I and the body form a unit.” (409, 412)This passage marks a breakthrough in thought in Descartes’s Mediations. He has determined that the “I” and the body are more connected than he previously thought. He needs to
Barnett 8provide for his body, and his mind reminds him of that. The sensations his mind experiences happen because his body is undoubtedly connected to his mind, and they work as a unit rather than separate entities. Beyond all methods of doubt, the body and the mind are one. “I will now shut my eyes, stop my ears, and withdraw all my senses. I will eliminate from my thoughts all images of bodily things, or rather, since this is hardly possible, I will regard all such images as vacuous, false, and worthless. I will converse myself and scrutinize myself more deeply; and in this way I will attempt to achieve little by little, a more intimate knowledge of myself. I am a thing that thinks: that is, a thing that doubts, affirms, denies, understands a few things, is ignorant of many things, is willing, is unwilling, and also which imagines ad has sensory perceptions; for as I have noted before, even though the objects of my sensory experience and imagination may have no existence outside me, nonetheless the modes of thinking which I refer to as cases of sensory perception and imagination, in so far as they are simply modes of thinking, do exist within me- of that I am certain.” (392)This is a really good passage that can be summarized by one popular quote that has appeared in this essay many times: “I think, therefore I am.” This passage sums up all of the questions Descartes had about his personal existence and the conclusion he came up with to determine that it is necessary for a thing that doubts and thinks, that thing must exist. Descartes