Descartes' Meditations


Descartes overall objective in the Meditations is to question knowledge. To
explore such metaphysical issues as the existence of God and the separation of
mind and body, it was important for him to distinguish what we can know as truth.
He believed that reason as opposed to experience was the source for discovering
what is of absolute certainty. In my explication, I will examine meditation two
in order to discover why knowledge was so important to Descartes.

Meditation One The first meditation acts as a foundation for all those that
follow. Here Descartes discerns between mere opinion and strict absolute
certainty. To make this consideration he establishes that he must first ...

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of “an evil genius, as clever and
deceitful as he is powerful, who has directed his entire effort to misleading
me” ( ). By proposing this solution he is able to suspend his judgment and
maintain that all his former beliefs are false. By using doubt as his tool,
Descartes is now ready to build his following proofs with certainty.

Meditation Two Comparing his task to that of Archimedes, Descartes embarks on
his journey of truth. Attempting to affirm the idea that God must exist as a
fabricator for his ideas, he stumbles on his first validity: the notion that he
(Descartes) exists. He ascertains that if he can both persuade himself of
something, and likewise be deceived of something, then surely he must exist.
This self validating statement is known as the Cogito Argument. Simply put it
implies whatever thinks exists. Having established this, Descartes asks
himself: What is this I which “necessarily exists”? Descartes now begins to
explore his inner consciousness ...

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constitutes an idea as being clear and
distinct. Using his existence as an example he reasons that whatever he
perceives very clearly and very distinctly is true. Concerning the beliefs he
holds of the sensible world, he comes to the conclusion that these things could
have been caused by things outside himself, and the ideas are similar to those
things. Up to this point Descartes has held that God could deceive him about the
truth of simple matters, such as that 2 + 3=5. To affirm that such objective
ideas are safe from doubt, Descartes has to prove that God exists and that he is
no deceiver. He finds that doubt carries within it the idea of certainty.
From this query he follows ...

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Added: 10/15/2005 09:06:57 PM
Category: Miscellaneous
Type: Free Paper
Words: 2745
Pages: 10

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