Rene Descartes Meditation 2

Submitted By jshortli04
Words: 725
Pages: 3

Joseph Shortlidge
March 12, 2013
Essay #2
Prof. Kraft

Descartes’ Meditation II

René Descartes wrote the Meditation II, along with the other five, during the 1640s. The Meditation II talks about the nature of the human body and functions of the brain but begins with the explanation of how strong doubts exist in Meditation I (Descartes 1). The difference of what actually appears and what is perceived to be there are the two main topics examined. (Descartes 1-16). The Meditation II is very tricky, but clever at the same time. Descartes writes creatively, making the readers think about how someone can reach certainty if the mind is full of doubts. Philosophy assesses wisdom and how it can relate to every aspect in the world. Similarly, Meditation II uses such wisdom to make people rethink if what they experience is actually real. The only way to judge life is by one’s ideas and thoughts. Think about the question: if everything we experience is passed indirectly, how are we certain it happened? Using our senses may seem to validate the truth, however senses may be the number one deceiver (Descartes 3). With nothing to convince one their existence is real, doubts once again grew in the mind. This time Descartes knew his existence was real, but could not figure out where his ideals, thoughts, ingenuities, perceptions, and deceptions came from (Descartes 3). The only thing stumping Descartes was the lack of clearness in his life (Descartes 4). How can one not lie all the time, even about what is knowledgeable? How can one make an overall opinion with not being able to tell the future? Finally, to be certain one must push aside previous opinions and only judge by what is, “certain and indubitable” (Descartes 4). Descartes made it possible in his mind that he was a man and was able to inspire his own thoughts without the help of someone else. Next, he realizes he has extremities and a body, which was healthy (Descartes 5). He was able to walk and have full function of all body parts; he always was able to act, think, perceive, etc. through his soul (Descartes 5). On the other hand, Descartes believes there is another being out to deceive him. The devil or a god could be at the head of those deceptions, but Descartes thinks this could be a dream during sleep (Descartes 6). During sleep, Descartes figures out he can think and experience things with his perception. This thinking during sleep, known as a dream, makes Descartes existent in his own mind. Many different things have caused Descartes to believe he is non-existent, and the main one being unknowns (Descartes 7). Descartes once again says he is real and existent, but states he can only judge things that are known to him (Descartes 7). By this he means