Descartes Meditation 6/ Essay

Descartes Sixth Meditation Essay

In the Sixth Meditation, Descartes makes a point that there is a distinction between mind and body. It is in Meditation Two when Descartes believes he has shown the mind to be better known than the body. In Meditation Six, however, he goes on to claim that, as he knows his mind and knows clearly and distinctly that its essence consists purely of thought. Also, that bodies' essences consist purely of extension, and that he can conceive of his mind and body as existing separately. By the power of God, anything that can be clearly and distinctly conceived of as existing separately from something else can be created as existing separately. However, Descartes claims that the mind and body have been created separated without good reason. This point is not shown clearly, and further, although I can conceive of my own mind existing independently of my body, it does not necessarily exist as so.
On page 56, when Descartes talks about how sailors are related to ships and why the mind body union is different, he is vague on the metaphorical analogy. To try to get his point across, dualism is used. Descartes is talking about something called interactionist substance dualism. He is stating that the mind and body causally interact with one another. This can be summed up to say that as easily as the mind can cause changes in the body, the body can also cause changes in the mind. Therefore the mind and body must be intimately united. An example of this is having the intuition to raise your hand. Your mind thinks about raising your hand and your body automatically does so. Contrary to this, if you step on a pin, your body tells your brain it has stepped on something sharp, thus causing pain, and your brain tells you that you have pain and to get off. In order to follow this, you must have a strong belief in the existence of God. For only God has the means necessary to make me certain that the two things exist separately of each other. This is because God is a perfect entity, and is capable of countless things whose true causes are beyond my knowledge.
To try to explain Dualism through God, we must talk about corporeal bodies and our knowledge of them. Regarding the nature of corporeal bodies and what is known about them and given Descartes premises, the conclusions he draws in Meditation Six are generally the correct ones. He again invokes the causal to argue that the ideas of bodies we have within our minds must be caused by something with at least as much formal reality as the ideas have objective reality. By saying this he means that a formal reality is expressed as an infinite substance, finite substance, or finite mode. And by objective, we are talking about ideas or representations that we have of these finite substances, infinite substances, and finite modes. One could theoretically be producing these ideas, but Descartes dismisses this possibility for two reasons; first, that the idea of corporeality does not presuppose thought and second, that our will...

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Descartes’ first meditation, his main objective is to present three skeptical arguments to bring doubt upon what he considers his basic beliefs. Descartes believes this to be an intricate part of his complete epistemological argument. Descartes skeptical arguments are not intended to be a denial of his basic beliefs. On the contrary, he uses these arguments to help prove one of his main theses, which is the existence of God. One of the main premises that Descartes uses in his proof for the existence of God comes from the evil demon argument, which he proposed, in the first meditation. It is this evil demon argument, which will be the topic of the following discussion.
     The purpose of…show more content…

In the evil demon argument, Descartes is not denying the existence of God. The way the argument is presented, Descartes makes it seem as if the evil demon coexists with God. Therefore, when his mind is being deceived or being given false information it is not from God but from the evil demon. From this skeptical argument, one would come to doubt the existence of the external world. If an evil demon really existed there would be the possibility that the only part of our being that exists would be our minds, in whatever form that maybe, probably incorporeal. Therefore meaning that the world that we live in, the external world, is non-existent and merely a mirage placed into our minds by an evil demon. Obviously, to any sane person, this would sound irrational, but this is the possible world that Descartes presents to establish doubt in his common beliefs, mainly his belief that there exists an external world.
One of the questions that needs to be raised when discussing Descartes’ first meditation and his skeptical arguments is; is it possible to completely separate one’s self from all their current beliefs? For this is what Descartes sets out to do in the first meditation. This question is highly relevant in terms of Descartes evil demon argument, for it appears no matter what, he is not able to separate himself from his belief in God. Descartes’ argument is not that the evil demon

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