Critical Analysis of Meditations on the First Philosophy
April 17, 2014
Rene Descartes writes his Meditations on First Philosophy according to God and the soul. Both of these factors are addressed in all six of his meditations. Each meditation has its own theme and main objective that contribute to its explanation. Although Descartes writing was challenging to understand, I have found sources to help clarify and back up the ideas that have been stated. I will analysis the ideas Descartes has mentioned in the first three of his meditations.
The first meditation: “Of the things which may be brought within the sphere of the doubtful” In this section, ...view middle of the document...
Although I chose to believe them until they are proven wrong, Descartes remains skeptical.
The second meditation “Of the Nature of the Human Mind; and that it is more easily known than the Body” Descartes in this meditation discussed if there is anything that is certain. After the last meditation he thinks about what he believes to be certain. He concluded that because he is questioning the certainty of everything that he must have a mind and that must be real. Although he still does not believe that anything else is certain, he has decided that the mind is. He states, “I am, I exist, is necessarily true each time that I pronounce it, or that I mentally conceive it.” This statement backs up his discovery of the mind being certain. Although I myself am still skeptical about him not believing that the body is real, I do agree that the mind must be real if it has the ability to think on its own and make decisions.
The third meditation “Of God: that He exists.” In this meditation he discovers that perception and imagination must be certain. “I am nevertheless assured that these modes of thought that I call perceptions and imaginations, inasmuch only as they are modes of thought, certainly reside [and are met with] in me.” After he discovers that these two things must be real, he starts to question if he has made God up himself. Now that he has realized that imagination is not untrue he believes that he could possibly be making God up. He then has a realization that “One certainly ought not to find it strange that God, in creating me, placed this idea within me to be like the mark of the workman imprinted on his work” After reading this meditation I agree with his realization that imagination and perception are real. To have an active mind I believe that you need to be able to perceive things going on around you. In the journal Descartes: God as the Idea of Infinity, the author compares Descartes idea’s in his meditation with those of other philosophers. In the Journal see states “If Descartes is to make knowing the condition for existence it is important that he is attentive to the kind of knowing which is able to render existence certain.” She describes what Descartes was trying to emphasis in his meditations, because a person can demonstrated a certain level of knowing then they must be real. When he starts to question whether God is made up in his imagination or not, I began to consider if this was true. No one will ever actually know if god exists, so why is he questioning this? It would be in his imagination or it could be...