Meditations in First Philosophy Essay

Meditations in First Philosophy Essay

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Rene Descartes was born in 1596. At the age of 10, he began school at College Henri IV. Descartes received a classical education at College Henri IV and learned many subjects, including math, at the Jesuit institution. Many years later, he received his baccalaureate and licentiate degrees in law and then joined the army of Prince Maurice of Nassau. Descartes never served combat, but he did have a life changing moment while in the army. While meditating about the uncertainty and disunity of knowledge, he had an epiphany about how he could make knowledge more certain and unified, such as mathematics. After a period of not focusing on how to make his idea a reality, he finally sat down and focused after receiving encouragement from Cardinal de Berulle. In 1637, he wrote “A Discourse on the Method for Conducting One’s Reason Well and Searching for the Sciences” Part IV of this book explored the beginnings of how knowledge could be unified and have absolute certain. After many questions and comments on Part IV he wrote “Meditations in First Philosophy” to expand on his ideas in 1640. “Meditations” was a very controversial book and made a lot of people outraged. Descartes went on to write more books before passing away from pneumonia in 1650.
In the first meditation of “Meditations in First Philosophy”, Descartes writes about the things he once considered to be certain truths which now can be proven as doubts. These are a few of his assertions.
1. Senses are deceptive.
2. Descartes questions does God really exist.
Descartes doubted senses because they could deceive a person. For example, dreams give people a false sense of security that they are awake. Everything inside a dream feels real even though it isn’t. Descartes establishe...


... middle of paper ...


...erceive functions. The res cogitans is also indivisible. It doesn’t have numerous parts. It is a complete thing. He also notes that the mind is only affected by the brain. The res extensa is divisible and has numerous parts. It is also goes down in a downward motion. The body is dependent on many things such as food and water. The body needs the brain to connect all of its parts. “…the senses thus act to preserve and maintain the body.” The body also needs the senses to alert when it is hungry, when its throat is dry, or when something is too hot or cold. Although, senses may be deceptive there are around to protect the body.



Works Cited

Descartes, Rene. Meditations in First Philosophy. Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, 1998. Book.
"Summary of Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy." n.d. home.sandiego.edu. Web Page. 17 March 2014.

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