This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Descarte's Meditation On First Philosophy: Sixt Meditation

1095 words - 4 pages


Essay #2: Descartes

In the Sixth Meditation, Descartes argues that, "there is a great difference between the mind and the body (59)." In this paper I will challenge Descartes' by showing that his idea of the mind and the body as two separate entities, or "mind body dualism" is invalid.

At a very early stage in Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes attempts to rid himself of everything that he thought he once knew, and reestablish his knowledge from the base. One of the first new concepts he determines must be true is "I am, I exist." He takes this concept as true because he has been doubting and thinking for his entire life, so he determines that there must be something performing those two actions. Once he has determined that he exists, Descartes asks himself what it is that exists. This leads him to a second realization; that he is a thing that thinks. Descartes then realizes that there must be something that enables him to think, and this thing, he reasons is known as the mind. Therefore, at this point Descartes is certain that he exists, he thinks, and he has a mind which encompasses the "faculties of willing, of understanding, [and] sensory perception(59)." Descartes has now offered full-proof reasoning explaining how he knows the mind exists. However, he cannot offer this same type of evidence for the body. Unlike the mind, he figures that the body is "essentially extended (61)" and cannot be proven to exist while he also points out that the body is divisible, but "the mind cannot be divided (61)." The reason for this, as Descartes explains is that one can doubt whether or not he has a body, but one cannot doubt that he is a thinking thing, and as stated earlier thinking things,

must have minds, proving that minds exist. Therefore, it is Descartes conclusion that the mind is completely different from the body. If we expanded on this thought one could see how in the meditations Descartes treats the mind and the body as two different types of substances almost like oil in water; they are together, but they don't mix, thus making them different. Next, Descartes reasons that because the body is essentially extended while the mind is not extended, he would be able to survive without his body. However, the same could not be said for his mind, once again leading to his overall concluding thought that the two must be completely different.

The main criticism of Descartes' argument revolves around his belief that the mind is different from the body. The premise Socrates uses to reach his conclusion is based on the flawed reasoning that because he knows he is a thing that thinks, and something must be doing the thinking, he must have a mind. While Descartes' original statement that he is a thing that...

Find Another Essay On Descarte's Meditation on First Philosophy: Sixt Meditation

Descartes First Meditation Essay

907 words - 4 pages 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

Meditations on First Philosophy Essay

674 words - 3 pages In The Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes explores all the methods for doubt. Descartes had to search through doubt in order to understand and eventually overcome it. In addition, Descartes could not accept anything without dismissing the total accounts of doubt. In Meditation three, Descartes is able to overcome his doubt about the evil genius and also proves that God must exist. Meanwhile, Meditation One is all about the reasons for

Meditations on First Philosophy

992 words - 4 pages , which we don’t perceive clearly or distinctly. In fact the lack or imperfection lies in the operation of the will and it is not due to the faculties, which we have received from God. Descartes proved the existence of God by saying that since existence is inseparable from God, he really exists and God can never deceive. Works Cited Descartes, Rene. Meditations on First Philosophy: With Selections from the Objections and Replies. Translated by John Cottingham. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. 1996.

Meditations on First Philosophy

1570 words - 7 pages “Cogito ergo sum;” I think therefore I am. This philosophical statement stimulated a renaissance in the field of philosophy, creating modern Western philosophy as is known today. This important notion was dictated by Rene Descartes in his 1641 metaphysics work, Mediations on First Philosophy, and influenced all modern philosophical works written after Descartes revolutionary achievement. This work was written at a time when modern physics was

Different Kinds of Meditation in the Book On Real Happines by Sharon Salzberg

1562 words - 7 pages kind of thoughtful exercise, meditation in today’s world is usually practiced separately from any belief system. My Personal Reflection: Sharon Salzberg provides different kinds of meditation in her book on real happiness in order to help people transform their lives through this practice. Some of the various kinds of meditation in her book include concentration, mindfulness and the body, mindfulness and emotions, and cultivating compassion

Thoughts on the 3rd Meditation and the argument for the existence of God

1092 words - 4 pages In the Third Meditation, Descartes sets out to create and argument for the existence of God. The purpose of this argument was for Descartes to fulfill his quest to have only true beliefs. Questioning things whenever possible in order to achieve this goal, Descartes breaks down existence from the very beginning leading into the third meditation. Descartes starts off his argument by noting that if there is a God, God may be deceiving him into

The Unexpected Meditation on Death:Emily Dickinson "I heard a Fly Buzz"

1172 words - 5 pages , we can see how it represents our disillusionment, and lack of knowledge about what really happens when one dies. The regular rhythmic meter in the poem parallels that of a chant or meditation, which is exactly what this poem exemplifies. Dickinson's poem is a meditation on the idea of death. The past tense persona is used to illustrate the poem is not literally about a person dying, but more so the thoughts associated with death. Dickinson plays

Nietzsche’s Meditation on Buddhism

2490 words - 10 pages Many of us have been taught at a really early age what religion we are to follow and, what God is our God. We don’t have a say or don’t even think we have a say. At a certain age you stumble on a person that changes your prospective on life and makes you question everything. Nietzsche was that person that yanked my comfortable welcome carpet off my feet. Religion and all that came with it was nothing but an afterthought. When again I

Descartes – Meditations on First Philosophy

3389 words - 14 pages pretty accurate in deciphering between what is false and what is reality. By the end of the meditation it seems as though he is right back where he began and that in fact he did not get anywhere. He was better off to just believe what he originally believed then to question it and put him through such torture. In essence it was almost as though the only thing that he proved was that his senses were intended to help him figure out the world and everything about it not lead him to discovering the truths of the universe. BibliographyDescartes, Rene. Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy. 4th ed. Indianapolis: Hackett Company, 1998.

Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy

644 words - 3 pages B. MitchellK. HamstraPhilosophy RGC19 June 2003"For as long as I think; for it might perhaps happen, if I totally ceased thinking, that I would at the same time completely cease to be."-Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditations I and II (Descartes, 26)I agree with Descartes' statement. In order to experience the world in its entirety, we must be able think. Without the ability to reason, human beings are just another animal

Certainty in Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy

618 words - 2 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

Similar Essays

Meditation On First Philosophy By Rene Descartes

1545 words - 6 pages “Cogito ergo sum - I think therefore I am.” A mathematician, scientific thinker, and metaphysician Rene Descartes used this term in his “Meditation on First Philosophy.” This term has become famous especially in western philosophy. However, this term was not Descartes only legacy. His legacies include the development of the Cartesian coordinates, philosophical books, and theories. Even though the distinction between mind and body can be traced

Descarte's Sixth Meditation Essay

1375 words - 6 pages without the mind, like the mind can without its extension.Descartes sixth very conclusive meditation has similarly to the first very basic concepts. What makes Descartes meditations so remarkable is his methodological approach to his philosophy. He starts right at the foundation of knowledge building his own basis and thoroughly working himself upward. Even though some of his thoughts are slightly contradictory he still manages to make them

Descarte's Meditation One Essay

590 words - 2 pages Descartes' Meditation OneBeing a foundationalist, Descartes needs to destroy the foundations of his beliefsso that in his Meditations he will be able to build upon new foundations of undeniableand self evident truths. In order to do this Descartes must first find a valid argument thatwill allow him to doubt his foundation beliefs and in turn doubt what is considered to bereality. He begins by first noting that one can not trust their own senses

Descartes' First Meditation Essay

1797 words - 7 pages for the future meditations when instead of focusing in destroying the foundations, he will concern himself with rebuilding his knowledge based on absolute truths. His first argument in the this meditation, the sense deception argument, is quite easy to understand. He proposes that there are times when our senses can deceive us and "it is a mark of prudence never to place our complete trust in those who have deceived us even once."(Pg60) The