Philosophical Meditations by Descartes

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Philosophy

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Meditation on Second Philosophy, the philosopher attempts to demonstrate what he exactly means by “I” and “the thing that thinks”. The “first meditation” is subtitled, opens when the philosopher reflects on issues of falsehood he had been subjected to in his early stages of life, and also on the ensuing inadequacies of the body of knowledge he acquired as he grew up. These approaches apply similar cases both in the first and second philosophies (Allison, 23). This meditation has been motivated by the fact that the philosopher has decided to sweep away everything he ever thought of during his childhood days. He goes further to intimate that all he wants is to start all over again. He maintains that he often dreamed of such things and had in every aspect of things, believed them.

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In as much as his meditations and sensations are dream images, he maintains that even the dream images come from the waking experiences such as paintings (Descartes, 11). He says that even when the painter creates some imaginary object in his presentations, say a mermaid, the parts come from real objects, fish, and women, with the mermaid being in case point. He adds that when an artist paints something that is entirely new, then the colors are all drawn from a specific real experience. He thus concludes that his doubts can be based on composite things but cannot dare doubt such things as their size, shape, quantity and time among others from which they are constructed (Descartes, 18). By having doubts about everything, he can be sure that he won’t be misled into other falsehoods by the demon.

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