PHILO-120 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Spiritual Exercises Of Ignatius Of Loyola, Empirical Evidence, Evil Demon
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Intro to Philosophy
*Quantitative leap from Plato.
● Raphael, the School of Athens
● Aristotle's approach to philosophy differs from that of Plato because: Aristotle thinks that
knowledge originates from sense experience.
● The Mediations was published in the 17th century.
● The Mediations can be seen as cognitive exercises, modeled on the Spiritual Exercises
written by St. Ignatius of Loyola.
● The doubts of the First Mediation are: a methodological tool, meant to prepare
meditator’s mind for succeeding mediations.
● The Evil Deceiver is introduced at the end of the First Meditation in order to:
counterbalance the meditator’s preconceived beliefs.
10 Key Points of First Meditation
1. Introduction of The Method of Doubt
a. Descartes wants to find a foundation of knowledge that is so secure it can
stand up against the doubts of the strongest scepticism
2. Descartes presents what is, in effect, a dialogue between a person employing
common sense and a sceptic
a. The person relying on common sense believes that there are various
reliable sources of knowledge, while the sceptic claims that there is no
secure foundation for knowledge.
3. The sceptic in this debate acts in the same way as an ancient sceptic.
a. That is the sceptical procedure is to isolate internal contradictions in the
positions of those who claim that they know things.
4. Discussion of two sources of knowledge: the senses and the intellect
5. Are the sense a reliable source of knowledge?
a. Common sense: Sense perception is reliable
b. Sceptic: But perception of obscure and distant objects is unreliable. (ex:
stick in the water perception.
c. Common sense: But sense perception about close-up objects is reliable.
(ex: holding piece of paper in my hand.
d. Sceptic You must be dreaming.
6. The Argument from Dreaming
a. Compare dreaming state with waking state. When dreaming, we are not
aware that we are dreaming. Things strike us as fuzzy, incoherent, far-
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