Descartes Paper Dualism is defined as the division of something conceptually into two opposed or contrasted aspects. (Oxford Dictionary) It is a theory or system of thought that regards a domain of reality in terms of two independent principles. Descartes differentiates the mind and the body as distinct from one another. The mind does not extend in space and the body cannot think. Res extensa refers to extended things such as the body and res cogitans refers to mental substances such as the mind. (Gallo week 2 lecture) The essence of the res cogitans is a thinking thing that is non-extended. This concept is believed that minds are made up of non physical substance. Secondary qualities of res cogitans include sense perception and “imagination”. (Gallo week 2 lecture) Descartes discovered this essence of res cogitans by first doubting everything in his First Meditation. He supposes that what he sees does not exist, that his memory is faulty, and that he has no senses and no body. (Descartes 185) The use of hyperbolic doubt leads to the indubitable truth. By doubting everything, even existence, Descartes can point out that senses are misleading and the data which we receive from our sense are not reliable. Descartes introduces two arguments, the Dream Hypothesis and the Evil Demon Hypothesis. In the dream hypothesis, he has perceptions much like the sensations he has while dreaming. He has no definite signs of distinguishing the dream experience and the waking experience. Descartes realizes that it is possible that he is just dreaming and all of his perceptions are false. In the Evil Demon hypothesis, he is going to assume that instead of God being the source of his deceptions, that there is an evil demon is deceiving in the same way that he believed God can. Therefore, he has reasons to doubt his senses as well as the knowledge that he believes it brings him. This allows Descartes to convince himself that nothing exists and by convincing himself that nothing exists, he concludes that he himself exists at the very least as a res cogitans or a thinking thing. Doubting that the physical world exists, which seems to imply that he does not exist, but in order to have doubt, he must exist. “So after considering everything very thoroughly, I must finally conclude that this proposition, I am I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind.” (Descartes 187) This means that the mere fact that Descartes is thinking, regardless of whether or not what he is thinking is true or false, implies that there must be something that is engaged in the activity of thinking. Therefore, Descartes is certain that he has established a proposition that other truths can be drawn from. Descartes takes a closer look at a piece of wax and what is known about it by the way of his senses alone. The taste of honey, smell of flowers, color, shape and size he sees, the feeling of hardness, and the sound it makes when he wraps on it with his knuckle are all qualities. He observes that when the wax is placed near the fire, all the qualities change but it still takes up space and the wax still exists. The knowledge that the solid piece of wax and the melted wax are still the same does not come from the senses since all the secondary qualities have changed. (Descartes 189) The conclusion Descartes arrives at is that the piece of wax is “merely something extended, flexible, and changeable.” (Descartes 189) Descartes knows that he does not know this through the senses, and realizes that it is impossible for him to know the wax by imagination alone. The wax can change to an infinite number of shapes and Descartes cannot come up with every single shape in his imagination. He must “therefore admit that the nature of this piece of wax is in no way revealed by [his] imagination, but is perceived by the mind alone.” (Descartes 190) Instead, he concludes that he knows the wax from his intelligence and mind only. This proves…
communicate with the world outside us and even inside our bodies. Descartes in his “Meditations” just pretends that he does not trust his senses to get a new insight in his mind, to make a switch in his custom form of thinking, to look at the world from the new perspective. Even though Descartes says he rejects everything he knew before, he conveniently retains memories of Classical and Medieval philosophy, which he periodically refers to.
Descartes thinks he accumulated a lot of questionable and dubious…
1) The main concern in the Meditations is the certain existences. It connects to “Appearance and Reality” by that it discuss about what really exist and what is just imaginations.
2) Descartes realize that he had believed multitude errors that he had accepted as true. He claims that sometimes the senses can be deceived. Now, he begins a new life from the very foundations, and…
Professor Daniel Shannon
Introduction to Philosophy
November 24, 2014
God & the Necessity of Evil
In Rene Descartes Meditation IV, he explores the problem of error (evil) and why he is “subject to an infinitude of errors”(20) when it is inconsistent to believe that God, the most perfect being, would be directly responsible for evil through the creation of defective creatures. By analyzing Descartes premises in Meditation IV, I will demonstrate how he has truly solved the problem of…
1 being Algebra-->
2 being Geometry -->
Philosophy is self-sufficient, self-dependent
It encompasses all sciences - which in turn encompasses all Mathematics.
Out of all sciences, Mathematics provides sure, indubitable knowledge.
There is additivity in the condition stipulated -> 1+1 = 2
He asked the class if anybody disagreed to this solution.
He explained that…
May 1, 2013
The life of Rene Descartes and Bishop Berkeley
Rene Descartes was born on March 31, 1596 in the town of La Haye in the south of France. Descartes also spent time studying philosophy, theology, and medicine.
Descartes believed that the soul was a different entity from the body. He believed that the soul was distinct from the body and could exist without it. He believed that the two had opposite natures and that the body is…
Professor: Darya Myers
June 05, 2013
Rene Descartes was a highly influential French philosopher, scientist and mathematician, who was widely considered one of the celebrated geniuses of the sixteen century. He is also known as the “Father of Modern Philosophy.” Descartes grew up in a society where ideas and thoughts were not questioned, but were supposed to be accepted without being compromised. Descartes began to stride in the field of philosophy at a young age. He challenged and accepted…
Student ID - 10011675
8. Descartes argued that there were either ‘thinking things’ or ‘extended things’. What were the consequences for sociological theory?
Throughout sociological theory Descartes is known for his Cartesian dualism theory which states two different sorts of beings. Thinking things which are the subjects and extended things which are objects. The subject is defined as the conscious mind and the object would be the world of objects, which consist of height, weight, colour and so…
September, 21 2012 Philosophy
Thought of themselves as revolutionaries
Revolution says that they had no method to distinguish between what is true and what is not
Descarte believed that learning generally emulates the sciences
Empirical sciences: based on observation (physics and astronomy), apriori: make claims prior to experience (arithmetic and geometry)
Decided the physical sciences didn’t actually generate knowledge in the way he wanted cz scientific claims are probable not certain…
Carefully explain Descartes’ cogito and his attempt to build his knowledge structure from the ground up. (Be as succinct as possible.) Does Descartes succeed or fail in that attempt? Justify your answer in full.
This essay attempts to explain Descartes’ epistemology of his knowledge, his “Cogito, Ergo Sum” concept (found in the Meditations), and why he used it [the cogito concept] as a foundation when building…
Philosophy Essay (Descartes vs. Locke)
Socrates once said, “As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.” Several philosophers contradicted Socrates’ outlook and believed that true knowledge was in fact attainable. This epistemological view however had several stances to it, as philosophers held different beliefs in regards to the derivation of true knowledge. Rationalists believed that the mind was the source of true knowledge, while in Empiricism, true knowledge derived from the senses. Rene…