PHILO-120 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Empirical Evidence
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Intro to Philosophy
The meditator is entitled to consider a piece of wax in the last portion of the Second Meditation
because she is bracketing the doubts of the First Meditation.
The point of the meditator’s consideration of the wax is to show that mind is better known than
1. Summary: what has D established in the Second Meditation?
a. In the cogito-argument D found the foundational belief he was seeking.
b. We can be certain that our own selves exist - if I am thinking exist.
i. Note: D does not, in the Second Meditation, claim that the mind is an
immaterial or non-physical thing; all he claims is that the existence which
has been proved may not be associated with anything corporeal.
c. In the Sixth Meditation, D returns to the mind-body relationship
Casual Proof of God’s Existence
● Mediations Mission Statement:
○ Doubt everything.
■ Body, external world, mind.
○ Obtain certain knowledge.
■ Formal vs Representational reality.
● Less -> More Real
○ Order: Properties, finite substance, infinite substance (God) [“trademark’]
○ Ex: something is hot must be heated by something.
● Levels of Reality Principle
○ Causal Adequacy Principle
○ Ex: helium has different properties.
● Degrees of Reality
○ (1) Reality as measure of ontological independence
○ (2) Ideas have different degrees of reality, just as things do.
General Reflection Questions:
1. Given the doubts of the First Meditation, how can the meditator take herself to know the
doctrines of formal and objective reality and the casual principles?
2. What’s D’s justification for appealing to the notions of formal and objective reality and
the causal principles?
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