Literature Review

Literature Review

Descartes Meditations 3 Essay

René Descartes - Wikipedia

René Descartes - Wikipedia

René Descartes (/ ˈ d eɪ ˌ k ɑːr t /; French: [ʁəne dekaʁt]; Latinized: Renatus Cartesius; adjectival form: "Cartesian"; 31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650) was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist.

Descartes Meditations 3 Essay

Descartes lays out a provisional moral code by which he plans to live while engaged in his methodological doubt in search of absolute certainty. This is the main point of the wax example found in the . Based on this principle, he can be the cause of the objective reality of any idea that he has either formally or eminently.

Hence the mind is an immaterial thinking substance, while its ideas are its modes or ways of thinking. Here descartes is rejecting the claim held by some that bodies have something over and above extension as part of their nature, namely impenetrability, while space is just penetrable extension in which impenetrable bodies are located. Second, the formal reality contained in something is a reality actually contained in that thing.

Hence, clear and distinct ideas must be true on pain of contradiction. It is absolutely certain because both conclusions (namely that god exists and that god cannot be a deceiver) have themselves been demonstrated from immediately grasped and absolutely certain intuitive truths. He is formally a finite substance, and so he can be the cause of any idea with the objective reality of a finite substance.

It might seem that descartes wants to abandon any role for the senses now that he has arrived at his conclusion, but this summary is intended not to say that sensory perception has no value, rather cogitation has greater value. Once this principle is established, descartes looks for an idea of which he could not be the cause. But ideas are modes or ways of thinking, and, therefore, modes are not substances, since they must be the ideas of some mind or other.

So imagination and sensation are faculties of the mind in a weaker sense than intellect and will, since they require a body in order to perform their functions. All sensory beliefs had been found doubtful in the previous meditation, and therefore all such beliefs are now considered false. On this account, there is no place in which a particular body is located, but rather what is called a place is just a particular bodys relation to other bodies.

Descartes point is that even though the senses deceive us some of the time, what basis for doubt exists for the immediate belief that, for example, you are reading this article? But maybe the belief of reading this article or of sitting by the fireplace is not based on true sensations at all but on the false sensations found in dreams. The main thrust of their concern is that the mind must be able to come into contact with the body in order to cause it to move. To be as firm and decisive in action as possible and to follow even the most doubtful opinions once they have been adopted. He was the youngest of the couples three surviving children. Given descartes unexplained use of this phrase, it is reasonable to suppose that he used it in the way his contemporaries would have understood it.

Descartes' Epistemology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

René Descartes (1596–1650) is widely regarded as the father of modern philosophy. His noteworthy contributions extend to mathematics and physics.
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Descartes Meditations 3 Essay

Descartes, Rene | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
René Descartes (1596—1650) René Descartes is often credited with being the “Father of Modern Philosophy.” This title is justified due both to his break with the traditional Scholastic-Aristotelian philosophy prevalent at his time and to his development and promotion of the new, mechanistic sciences.
Descartes Meditations 3 Essay

His fundamental break with scholastic philosophy was twofold. This claim is based on the earlier thesis that the physical universe is a plenum of contiguous bodies. Descartes idea of god will be discussed momentarily, but lets consider his claim that the mind is better known than the body.

Haldane translates it here as soul. However, when a body is said to change its place, it merely has changed its relation to these other bodies, but it does not leave an empty space behind to be filled by another body. But this, precisely so taken, is nothing other than thinking ( (section 29).

But what is this something else? According to the causal adequacy principle of the  , this cause must have at least as much reality either formally or eminently as is contained objectively in the produced sensory idea. Accordingly, the bodys union with the soul makes it a living human body or a human body, strictly speaking (see letter to mersenne dated 9 february 1645). These animal spirits then move the fibers extending to the brain through the tube of nerves causing the sensation of pain.

These ideas can be examined and set aside at will but their internal content cannot be manipulated. Finally, a reality is contained in something eminently when that reality is contained in it in a higher form such that (1) the thing does not possess that reality formally, but (2) it has the ability to cause that reality formally in something else. Notice that this is a thesis about any body left all by itself, and so only lone bodies will continue to move in a straight line.

From here descartes sets out to find something that lies beyond all doubt. Although this might be true, it does not say anything new or useful about swallows, and so it seemed to descartes that scholastic philosophy and science was incapable of discovering any new or useful knowledge. Descartes second law of motion is that all motion is in itself rectilinear and hence any body moving in a circle always tends to move away from the center of the circle which it describes (at viiia 63-64 csm i 241-242).

The first thesis is derived from gods immutability and implies that no quantity of motion is ever added to or subtracted from the universe, but rather quantities of motion are merely passed from one body to another. Descartes recognizes that sensation is a passive faculty that receives sensory ideas from something else. In the , descartes uses the scholastic conception of gravity in a stone, to make his point. By following this maxim, descartes hopes to avoid the regrets experienced by those who set out on a supposedly good course that they later judge to be bad. This is because his own best efforts were not sufficient to achieve that end, and so whatever effort would be sufficient is beyond his abilities.

  • Cogito, ergo sum - Wikipedia

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