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Descartes Meditations 2 Notes.docx

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PHIL 1071

Descartes Meditations: Mediation II: 1. Explain Descartes’metaphor of a “deep whirlpool” in the opening passage of this meditation. • He means that he is confused and to a certain extent lost • He feels he’s been tossed around and can neither touch bottom with his feet, or swim up to the top • Can’t find certainty to set aside this worry or forget about this worry o Could this without drama but wants you to feel what he feels 2. What assertion does Descartes think is “necessarily true every time I utter it”? • The assertion Descartes makes is “I am, I exist” • He believes that he should never be deceived to believe he is nothing so long as he thinks that he is something • Even if all contents of thought are false, then there is still this mind that is being deceived o so there is a mind there • Cogito ergo sum – I think therefore I am o Still a me there being deceived, by me means a thinking thing o This only works in the first person, because cannot doubt yourself thinks 3. Why does Descartes suggest that the body seems to be easier to know than the soul (p.18- 19)? • He sees the soul as a rarified I-know-not-what, like a wind, or fire, or ether. o Sensing and thinking various things, taking in food, all attributed to the soul • When it came to the body he was not in doubt, thought he knew its nature o Understood all that is capable of being bounded by shape, enclosed in space, and filling up space in such a way to exclude another body from it, of being perceived by touch, sight, taste,
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