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Lecture 12

34-110 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Phantom Limb, Omnipotence, IonPremium

3 pages61 viewsFall 2014

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Meditation 3 and 4
-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: A lot 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
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