By the end of Meditation 2, Descartes has some foundational
- That I am thinking.
- That it seems to me that I‟m in lecture.
- That I feel warm…
- What about „phantom pain‟?
- Phantom pain: pain on a limb (for example) that isn‟t really there.
They actually can be in pain.
Granting infallible access to our own thoughts and sensations
- Even for Descartes, we don‟t have infallible access to the causes of
our sensations and thoughts.
- So, more work is needed to ground any knowledge of the external
- Descartes adds to his foundations:
God is not a deceiver
If God exists and is not a deceiver, He would have given me a
way to arrive at true beliefs.
- Descartes thinks that if God had not given me the ability to learn the
truth, He would be, in effect, a deceiver.
- Descartes things that God has given him the ability to form „clear and
distinct‟ ideas, and those one are true.
1. I now believe that I am in a lecture hall
2. My present belief is clear and distinct.
3. Clean and distinct ideas are true.
I am now in a lecture hall.
- Using clear and distinct ideas is Descarte‟s „rule‟ (…)
- How does Descartes know that if God exists, He is not a deceiver? By
- Introspection: Thinking of your own thoughts.
- It‟s part of his idea/concept of God that He is perfect in all ways.
Omnipotent (all perfect), omniscient (all knowing), omnibenevolent (all
powerful), omnipresent (always present)
How does Descartes know that God exists?
- Because of the nature of his idea of God.
- Descartes asks: how, possibly, could an idea have come to me?
1. Innate: comes from within, born with it.
Reality, truth, though…? Maybe he was born with them. 2. Acquired: you get it in light of your experiences through your
Ideas from hearing a noise, seeing the sun…?
3. Invented by himself: not a matter of experience nor is he both with
An important distinction
- Formal vs representational reality
- Actual or formal reality or perfection.
- If there are actual things, they fall on a scale of Formal reality or
- Some thin