PHILO-120 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Mimesis, Oligarchy, Third Man Argument
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Intro to Philosophy
The Second Meditation
● Topics: Second Meditation
○ Cogito - “Archimedean Point”
○ Nature of Mind
○ Mind better Known than Body
● Synopsis of the Second Meditation
○ In the Second Meditation, the mind uses it own freedom and supposes the non-
existence of all the things about whose existence it can even have the slightest
doubt; and in so doing the mind notices that it is impossible that it should not
itself exist during the time. This exercise is also of the greatest benefit, since it
enables the mind to distinguish without difficulty what belongs to itself, i.e. to an
intellectual nature, from what belongs to the body” (VII 12).
■ Nothing is certain.
■ Mind is better known than body.
Method of doubt in the
● First Mediation: reject beliefs that are not epistemically certain
● Second Mediation: uncover beliefs that are epistemically certain
● Archimedean Point:
○ Meant to illuminate the mediator.
○ An epistemically certain beliefs on which the epistemic certainty of other beliefs
can be founded.
■ Descartes states that the archimedes used to demand just one firm and
immovable point in order to shift the entire earth so I too can hope for
great things if I manage to find just one thing that is certain.
● The Cogito
○ I think there for I am: I am, I exist is necessarily true whenever it is put forward
by me or conceived in my mind.
Character and Constitution Answering Glaucon
*Final Plato Lecture
○ Forms of Injustice
○ Why Just Life is Happiest
○ Against Poetry
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