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Lecture 5

Lecture 5 on Principles of Evidence, Meditations

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Department
Humanities
Course
HUMA 1160
Professor
Stanley Tweyman
Semester
Fall

Description
Oct.7 , 2013 HUMA 1160 Correction on Test: Question 1 – last line (and [c] Principle…) Question 2 – discuss, as well [b], how he…. - Logic of discovery is the Regulae - Pg.211 of Course Kit – After the study of Regulae, we should continue to study metaphysics, which contains the first principles of human knowledge - God, Immoralities of our soul and all the clear and distinct (simple) notions which are in us - Absolutely nothing can be known before these first principles are known - The consequence of this is that if nothing can be known before they are known, then nothing can be used to support them - Therefore, these first principles have to be self-evident - Axioms in geometry, and first principles Passage on pgs.101-104 - 2 methods to conduct analysis o Analysis o Synthesis - In order for analysis to work (meditations), you have to be attentive and you can’t be hostile to a subject matter (negative towards a subject) - The starting point in philosophy is indifference - Indifferent: Not hostile - “He understands the matter no less perfectly and makes it as much as his own as if he had himself discovered” - Analysis is not logical; Descartes therefore wants to say that the necessity of the conclusion (e.g. Seeing why this is true, if God exists, etc.), you have to make it your own as if you had discovered it - Synthesis is the method of geometry, which is logical in nature - It doesn’t matter if you like/hate geometry; As long as you focus on the premises - Descartes uses analysis because it is the “best and truest method of teaching” - First principles of geometry therefore agree with what the senses reveal Meditations: - First of all, there is no proof of god’s existence - The first principle of metaphysics are contradicted by the senses - If you had the true idea of god, you would never be able to deny god’s existence - All that the senses reveal about us is that the self is identical to your body - Senses reveal that we’re physical - Descartes believes that this is incorrect - He believes that the true idea of the self is the union of mind and body - Common characteristic of body parts is that they all share space - Descartes points out that the notion of the mind (introspect, thinking about yourself) because it seems to be non-spatial - Mental phenomena are not used to take up space - If Descartes were to teach you that the self is the union of mind and body, you would say, “I don’t believe it” because how can something non-spatial connect to space? - His point is that through the method of analysis, it can come true but through the method of synthesis, it cannot be understood - Therefore, follow the method of analysis and you will come to understand the union of mind and body and you will see that it is self-evident - Descartes: The Meditations is not a book of logical truths, rather, is to unprejudiced the mind of all sensory influences, and secondly, to make the mind focus (attentive), to the relevant innate ideas whereby you can grasp the truth of the first principle - Therefore, he calls this a meditative procedure, rather than a logical procedure - The method of analysis is used in the meditations proposes that there are innate ideas (can be grasped once when all sensory prejudice is removed) - Single greatest impediment of doing metaphysics is that you get rid of all sensory beliefs Question 2 on TEST Pre-Amble to Meditations 1 - What Descartes wants to do is to examine whether we can find the first principles of human knowledge - Where do we get our knowledge? We believe that the knowledge comes thru the senses and knowledge comes thru the mind and thru the intellect - Descartes explores in Meditations whether the senses can provide the first principles of human knowledge - Therefore, meditations does not deal with intellect; Only deals with senses - If they cannot establish the first principle of knowledge, then the senses will not be relevant in the quest of human knowledge Pg,45 (Meditations) - Descartes wants to establish the foundation of human learning which requires as the starting point, to find the first principle of human learning - He needs to undertake a “general upheaval of all [his] former opinions” - Empirical senses - Ordinary consciousness – How does it view knowledge of the world? How many factors or components are there when we see the world? We think that we are seeing the table - There are so many variations of our deception of objects including the vision of our eyes, how the object appears, the lighting, etc. - Us humans have an intermediary between us and physical objects – that intermediary is our vision - Therefore, there are three factors o Perceiver o Physical object o Sensation - Problem: Whenever we look at something, we are dependent upon our sensation, which reveals features about the physical object. Descartes’ problem is “How do I know that my perception of the table accurately represents the table?” - Descartes: We never know whether the sensation or per
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