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Lecture 12

Philosophy 34-110 Lecture 12: Meditation 3

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4/3/17 Meditation 3 and 4 Lecture - Med 2 review: what can’t we doubt? our own existence - As soon as he tries to doubt it, he’s thinking; so he must exist - I am a thinking thing - Cannot prove that I have a body; I am more base than that - Wax argument: Premise 1. all the information offered by the senses about the wax has changed • Problem:Alot of things change; does not mean that everything changes - still has mass… its mass as changed though; its smell and appearance has changed, but it still has smell, still has appearance • Fundamentally, perhaps it did not change? Or everything did? - Premise 2. The wax present after the heating is the same wax that was there before the heating • When you heat the wax, you’re oxidizing it, and changing its chemical construct; but bear in mind the concept of oxygen didn’t exist for another century - a) that which makes something what it is, is a property or relation that does not change; and - b) to have knowledge of what something is, involves grasping what doesn’t change in it - How do we know the wax is the same wax? We can’t rely on our senses alone - Conclusion: Therefore, we cannot know what the wax is with just the senses - Three potential ways to come to know the wax: senses, imagination, reason/understanding - Don’t know it through senses, imagination, must come to know it through the faculty of understanding; process of deduction - Why not imagination? Wax definition: is something flexible, extended, infinitely mutable (can take on infinitely many different shapes) • Problem: How do you know that the wax is extended if it is infinitely mutable? Could taking infinite shapes also mean not taking a shape? - What is imagination? The capacity to internally visualize something; no matter how many shapes I imagine, it will only ever be a finite number of shapes; transcends what we can think of • How do we know that it’s infinitely mutable? Large number, variously mutable; but how can we prove it’s in- finitely mutable? • Internally visualizing: we can visualize what it was before in order to then understand how its former form and now —> what if it’s imagination and understanding? • We still have to remember sensory information, then internally visualize without experiencing it, and make certain checks with reason 4/3/17 • Looking at senses as mutually exclusive from imagination and reason; they could work together? - How do we identify it as the same object as before? Understanding; it’s like how babies don’t have the capacity to recognize that a toy is still there if it’s hidden, but we understand where it went and that when it is shown again, you know it’s the same object - The object pe
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