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Philosophy 2: The Purpose Of Descartes Meditations (Essay Sample)


Is for the Philosophy same require as last time make the style close and do not use too much high-level word. And, I will post the requirement by photo.


Philosophy 2
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Descartes Meditations
The purpose of Descartes Meditations is twofold - to prevent the meditator’s prejudices from preventing her from arriving at clear and distinct ideas, and to prevent backsliding after she does arrive at these clear and distinct ideas. This is clearly the opposite purpose to the letter from Cardinal Bellarmine as implied in its content. For Descartes, he employs the analytic method in which sometimes Descartes makes a claim that the Meditations is merely a heuristic device to help the meditator get past her prejudices. Sometimes Descartes says something that he quite self-consciously does not mean, making an imprecise or false claim that drops out at the end of the Meditations but that was helpful in getting the meditator to this endpoint. In other cases he makes a claim that he does intend but that is easily misinterpreted if we are not on to the fact that he is simply dying to help the meditator. When we misinterpret these claims, or when we take Descartes literally when, for heuristic purposes, he makes a claim that he does not mean and that will drop out at the end of the Meditations, hence, we get a picture of Descartes as being sloppy, as offering really bad arguments, often as contradicting what he says outside of the Meditations.
Descartes’ Method of Doubt is to accept only those of his beliefs that admit of no doubt whatsoever. He says in the First Meditation that he will treat as false any beliefs that admit of even the slightest doubt and see if he can uncover any beliefs that do not admit of any doubt whatsoever. It turns out, though, that every result at which he arrives in the Second Meditation, in fact every result at which he arrives prior to the end of the Fifth Meditation, is still dubitable (Nelson and Newman, 1999). They are results that he cannot doubt while thinking of them or while attending to their demonstrations, but they are results that still admit of doubt. Examples of these results are that two and three are five and the conclusion that God exists in the Third Meditation. The former is a result of which we are certain without any demonstration; the latter is a result that we cannot doubt while we are carefully attending to any of the Third Meditation proofs of God’s existence. Although they are evident to Descartes while he is thinking of them - and thus he cannot doubt them directly - he can doubt them indirectly. He can doubt them by turning his attention away from them (and, if applicable, their demonstrations) and considering instead the possibility that he has been so constructed that things that are evident to him are nonetheless false. Prior to the end of the Fifth Meditation, he has a number of beliefs that he can only doubt indirectly - those beliefs that are evident to him when he is thinking of them. By the end of the Fifth Meditation, he cannot doubt these beliefs indirectly either. When he raises the possibility that his mind has been so constructed that what is evident to him is nonetheless false, he is thereby thinking of his creator; but when he thinks of his creator at this point in the Meditations, he thinks of God whose existence (and omni-benevolence, etc.) is evident. He can no longer doubt those beliefs that are evident to him, neither directly — he could never do this - nor indirectly. Only at this point is his knowledge of anything completely indubitable (Bennett, 1994). Here I conclude that a proper understanding of Descartes’ method of doubt reveals that he does no such thing. His Second Meditation conclusion that he is a thinking thing is not the conclusion that all that there is to him is his thinking, but rather the conclusion that thinking pertains to him.
Moreover, we consider Descartes’ discussion of the wax. After c...

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