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Lecture 4

Humanities Lecture 4 More about Descartes beliefs.


Department
Humanities
Course Code
HUMA 1160
Professor
Stanley Tweyman
Lecture
4

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In meditation two, decartes talks about himself.
The point decartes wants to make is that the first principles of metaphysics (truth,god thyself) are not in
accordance with what the senses reveal. the point he makes is that in order to do metaphysics what we
need to do is two parts (pg 101-104) ....1st - we must eliminate the influence of the senses so that what
remains of our ideas are only those ideas which are not sensorial. 2nd - direct our attention these inate
ideas. ...these require a new method called method of analysis... is only a method in use in the
meditations. the things that need to be known before meditations 1 -- (pg 41) (..passage on pg 45-46)
highlited
-this concerns the notion of perception. what theory of perception is involved in meditation 1? - the
perceiver is in direct contact with the object. --not correct. the condition surrounding your senses, will
help you perceive things... (ex. of his cateract eye surgery --he saw a black van before and after realzed
it was blue). this has lead philosophers to conclude that we are never in direct contact with an object
because in order to be aware of the physical object you must have a sensation, therefore the conclusion
reached is that rather than being in direct contact with objects are our own sensations. our only access
to the outside world is through our sensations.
represantitive realism - the perceptions we have represent reality.
what decartes is thinking is that he is looking for these principles (pg 46 hilighted) ..they are called
principles of evidence. ..if we find this effective then all of the beliefs that it supported are to be rejected
as false.
he starts with ordinary conscienceness. . these principles of evidence --these are the rules in which
principles are brought into conscienceness or out of them.
the audit will seek errors in fact and errors in belief. the conclusion he reaches is that not only did you
make mistakes, you could have made mistakes (like customs agents at border) . by rejecting this
principle of evidence we have to reject the whole belief.
word to use on test- dialected (adjective dialetical) decartes procedure for coming up with evidence is
dialectical. what this means is the principle of evidence following the previous rejection of evidence
must avoid the objections of the principles that preceided it. ...using this principle ...did we make any
errors in fact/principle --answer =yes. mistakes could have been made therefore this set of principles is
to be *rejected*.
how do u know ur finished? when u reject principles of evidence there is no basis in believing that there
is an external world. therefore the end point of meditation 1 is to come to the realization that the only
thing you can be certain of as existing is yourself. it is called Solitzism . (only things that exist are me and
my states of mind/conscienceness)
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