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Descartes-Meditations 4-6.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHI2383
Professor
All Professors
Semester
Winter

Description
DescartesMeditation 4 Part OneTruth and FalsityDescartes reflecting on the ground he has covered so faroAll his certain knowledge and the knowledge that God exists comes from the intellect and not from senses or imagination Certain of Gods existence and thusoKnows God would not deceive him Will to deceive is a sign of weakness or maliceoIf God created him God is responsible for his judgement and so his faculty of judgement must be infallible so long as he uses it correctlyThinks all of this is well and good but if God granted him infallible judgement how can he be mistaken like he is from time to timeDescartes find himself between God perfect and supreme and nothingnessWas created by a supreme and infinite being and all in him by that supreme being is infallible but h was also created to be only a finite beingoWhile he participates partly in the supreme being of God he also participates in nothingnessWhen he is wrong it is not the result of some faulty faculty created by God but it is rather the result of his nonbeing his lack of perfectionEverything that God has created is perfect but God has created the Meditator as a finite being whose finitude still leaves room for errorDescartes remains unsatisfiedoIf God is a perfect creator he should be able to create perfect beingsoSurely God could have willed it that Descartes would never err and God always wills whats bestRealizes that Gods motives and reasons arent understandable to finite beings such as himselfoBecause of this he rejects the search for final causes in physics it would require a great deal of arrogance to try to read Gods mind or understand his motivesRather than look at one isolated part of the universe Descartes suggests that he might find perfection if he looks at Gods creation as a wholeHe may appear to be an imperfect being when considered on his own but he may play a perfectly appropriate role in the wider context of a perfect universeDescartesMeditation 4 Part TwoDescartes next looks at the source of his errorsoDepend simultaneously on1The intellect the faculty of knowledge2The will the faculty of choice or freedom of the willIntellect only allows us to perceive ideas not make judgements on them therefore in this strict sense it cannot be the source of his errorReflects that he could not conceive of his will as being any greater or more perfectIn all his other mental facilities memory imagination etc he realizes that God is better equipped
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