Rene Descartes starts off with a description of the wax so he can prove to us the changes that will happen throughout his experiment.
“Let us take, for instance, this piece of wax. It has been taken quite recently from the honeycomb; it has not yet lost all the honey flavor. It retains some of the scent of the flowers from which it was collected. Its color, shape, and size are manifest. It is hard and cold; it is easy to touch. If you rap on it with your knuckle it will emit a sound” (Descartes, 21)
Rene Descartes experiment is to melt the wax to try to prove existence. Rene Descartes also shares with us what is happening to the wax while it is close to fire.
“I am bringing it close to the fire. The
remaining traces of the honey flavor are disappearing. Its scent is van-
ishing; the color is changing; the original shape is disappearing. Its size is
increasing; it is becoming liquid and hot; you can hardly touch it. And
now, when you rap on it, it no longer emits any sound.” (Descartes, 21)
Rene Descartes explained to us in his book how wax changes its forms so quickly when it is close to fire. But yet when we are done melting the wax, we still call it wax even though its forms have completely changed.
The question Rene Descartes was asking himself three questions after his experiment. The first was, what was grasped by the changing of the wax? “So what was there in the wa...
... middle of paper ...
...y doing the grasping to perceive the wax.
“For since I now know that even bodies are not, properly speaking, per-
ceived by the senses or by the faculty of imagination, but by the intellect
alone, and that they are not perceived through their being touched or
seen, but only through their being understood, I manifestly know that nothing can be
perceived more easily and more evidently than my own mind.” (Descartes, 23)
The final decision is that the mind is what grasps and can perceive the wax.
Rene Descartes just proved to us two things throughout this essay. One being how we can tell that things actually exist and the other was how the mind can grasp and perceive the wax.
Descartes, René. Meditations on First Philosophy. Trans. Donald A. Cress. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 1993. Print.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes does and experiment with wax to try to prove that things actually exist in this world. This essay is going to prove how we can tell that things actually exist and what can perceive the wax. Rene Descartes starts off with a description of the wax so he can prove to us the changes that will happen throughout his experiment. “Let us take, for instance, this piece of wax. It has been taken quite recently from the honeycomb; it has not yet lost all the honey flavor.... [tags: meditation on first philosophy]
1226 words (3.5 pages)
- Throughout the six meditations on First Philosophy, French philosopher Rene Descartes seeks to find a concrete foundation for the basis of science, one which he states can only include certain and unquestionable beliefs. Anything less concrete, he argues will be exposed to the external world and to opposition by philosophical sceptics. The sense of the Cartesian reform is the imposition of a new method of thinking. Descartes’ method to begin with is reductive, removing all knowledge acquired without control, to become analytical, putting forward any knowledge in a process of division to present simple elements, those which are clear and distinct.... [tags: Philosophy]
1342 words (3.8 pages)
- Descartes believes that knowledge comes from within the mind. This is a single indisputable fact to build on that can be gained through individual reflection. While seeking true knowledge, Descartes writes his Six Meditations. In these meditations, Descartes tries to develop a strong foundation, which all knowledge can be built upon. In the First Meditation, Descartes begins developing this foundation through the method of doubt. He casts doubt upon all his previous beliefs, including “matters which are not entirely certain and indubitable [and] those which appear to be manifestly false.” (Descartes, p.75, par.3) Once Descartes clears away all beliefs that can be called into doubt, he c... [tags: Meditations on First Philosophy Essays]
2108 words (6 pages)
- In Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, he talks about the distinction between God and existence. This paper is going to argue that in Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, both are contrasting how we know that God really exists and how we know what we perceive in this world actually exists as well. This essay will start by talking all about Rene Descartes and his ideas around the existence of God and life itself with everything living in it. Rene Descartes is putting forward an argument that everything we perceive in life is true when he says; “And thus I now seem able to posit as a general rule that everything I very clearly and distinctly p... [tags: literary analysis, rene descartes]
1125 words (3.2 pages)
- Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy Rene Descartes’ third meditation from his book Meditations on First Philosophy, examines Descartes’ arguments for the existence of God. The purpose of this essay will be to explore Descartes’ reasoning and proofs of God’s existence. In the third meditation, Descartes states two arguments attempting to prove God’s existence, the Trademark argument and the traditional Cosmological argument. Although his arguments are strong and relatively truthful, they do no prove the existence of God.... [tags: Existence God Religion Descartes Essays]
1961 words (5.6 pages)
- Rene Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy Rene Descartes set the groundwork for seventeenth century rationalism, the view opposed by the empiricist school of thought. As a rationalist, Descartes firmly believed in reason as the principal source of knowledge. He favoured deduction and intellect over the senses and because of this he did not find comfort in believing that his opinions, which he had developed in his youth, were credible. It is for this reason that Rene Descartes chose to “raze everything to the ground and begin again from the original foundations,” (13).... [tags: rationalism, doubt, knowledge]
1319 words (3.8 pages)
- The Free Will in Meditations on First Philosophy by Descartes I In Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes takes the reader through a methodological exercise in philosophical enquiry. After stripping the intellect of all doubtful and false beliefs, he re-examines the nature and structure of being in an attempt to secure a universally valid epistemology free from skepticism. Hoping for the successful reconciliation of science and theology, Descartes works to reconstruct a new foundation of absolute and certain truth to act as a catalyst for future scientific research by “showing that a mathematical [rational-objective] physics of the world is attainable by creatures with our intellectua... [tags: Philosophy Philosophical Descartes Essays]
3757 words (10.7 pages)
- Certainty in Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy René Descartes was the first philosopher to raise the question of how we can claim to know anything about the world with certainty. The idea is not that these doubts are probable, but that their possibility can never be entirely ruled out. If we can never be certain, how can we claim to know anything. The First Meditation of Meditations on First Philosophy, subtitled "What can be called into doubt," opens with the Meditator reflecting on the number of falsehoods he has believed during his life and on the subsequent ability of the body to deceive him.... [tags: Philosophy Religion Essays]
624 words (1.8 pages)
- The Logical Fallacies of Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy includes a proof for the existence of material objects, such as trees. Descartes accomplishes this by first doubting all things, from which he learns that he can be certain of nothing but his own existence as a thinking thing. From this established certainty, Descartes is able to provide proof for the existence of God, and, finally proof of the existence of material objects. Descartes’ proof of God, however, from which the proof of material things is made possible, is suspect: the proof relies on knowledge of clear and distinct ideas but knowledge of clear and distinct ideas... [tags: Philosophy Religion Essays]
2340 words (6.7 pages)
- In the field of philosophy there can be numerous answers to a general question, depending on a particular philosopher's views on the subject. Often times an answer is left undetermined. In the broad sense of the word and also stated in the dictionary philosophy can be described as the pursuit of human knowledge and human values. There are many different people with many different theories of knowledge. Two of these people, also philosophers, in which this paper will go into depth about are Descartes and Plato.... [tags: Compare Contrast philosophy]
1499 words (4.3 pages)