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Slide1

An Outline of Descartes's Meditations on First Philosophy

Descartes’

Arguments for Universal Doubt and the "

Cogito

" Argument (An Outline of Meditations 1,2)

Slide2

The argument for universal doubt:

The dream argument

:

I often have perceptions very much like the ones I usually have in sensation while I am dreaming.

Slide3

There are no definite signs to distinguish dream experience from waking experience.

therefore

Slide4

It

is possible that I am dreaming right now and that all of my perceptions are false

Slide5

The deceiving God argument

:

We

believe that there is an all powerful God who has created us and who is all powerful.

Slide6

He has in his power to make us be deceived even about matters of mathematical knowledge which we seem to see clearly

.

Therefore:

Slide7

It is possible that we are deceived even in our mathematical knowledge of the basic structure of the world.

Slide8

Objections to the deceiving God argument:

We think that God is perfectly good and would not deceive us.

Slide9

Some think that there does not exist such a powerful God.

Slide10

The demon argument

:

Instead of assuming that God is the source of our deceptions, we will assume that there exists an evil demon, who is capable of deceiving us in the same way we supposed God to be

able

Slide11

Therefore, I have reason to doubt the totality of what my senses tell me as well as the mathematical knowledge that it seems I have.

Slide12

The Argument for our Existence (the "Cogito")

:

Even if we assume that there is a deceiver, from the very fact that I am deceived it follows that I exist.

Slide13

In general it will follow from any state of thinking (e.g., imagining, sensing, feeling, reasoning) that I exist. While I can be deceived about the objective content of any thought, I cannot be deceived about the fact that I exist and that I

seem

to perceive objects with certain characteristics.

Slide14

Since I only can be certain of the existence of myself insofar as I am thinking, I have knowledge of my existence only as a thinking thing (

res

cogitans

)

.

I THINK, THEREFORE, I

AM

Cogito Ergo sum

Slide15

The Argument God Exists

In my mind I have a clear idea of a perfect entity (God) and this idea has objective reality

Slide16

The idea of God could not have originated in me, since I am a finite substance

The idea of a perfect God could not have come from me as I am imperfect

Therefore:

Slide17

The idea of God must have originated from that perfect

E

ntity itself (

ie

, from God)

Slide18

Therefore:

God Exists

Slide19

“The Mind-Body Problem”

It is possible that all knowledge of external objects, including my body, could be false if I am being tricked by an evil demon

However, I

cannot

be deceived about my existence or my nature as a thinking thing( because I know that I exist)

Slide20

Yet a Perfect God would not deceive us

Therefore:

Therefore, what we perceive with our

Reason

is

R

eality

Slide21

Outer Reality is different than the reality of thought

Thought– MIND

Extension– MATTER

Both of these originate from God because only God exists independently from anything else

Slide22

All Knowledge of External Reality is in the Mind

Wax example:

All the properties of wax that we perceive with the senses change as the wax melts

Yet the Wax remains “Wax” even though it looks, feels and smells different

We know that it is Wax through our mind, not through our senses

Slide23

The

mind is superior to the body

Human Beings have the capacity to rise above bodily needs and

behave RATIONALLY

Slide24

Slide25

Slide26

Slide27

Slide28

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