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. 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 wax that was so distinctly grasped?” (Descartes, 21) The reason why he was asking this question was because he didn’t understand how we are still calling it the same thing even though its forms have changed from what they were before that wax got touched by fire. The second question he asked himself was, was the wax the same the whole time? “Perhaps the wax was what I now think it is.” (Descartes, 21) He started to think that his mind was fooling around with him by making him think that the wax changed its forms completely from the fire, even though they really didn’t. Lastly, Rene Descartes asked himself or does the wax develop over time? “…was a body that a short time ago manifested itself to me in these ways, and now does so in other ways.” (Descartes, 21) For instance, human bodies are constantly changing their forms. He started to think along the lines of that. Was the first wax he described in its beginning state and still needed to develop into the second state he described? These were all things that Rene Descartes did not know the answer to so he decided to further investigate into the significance of the wax being able to change its forms over time.
Rene Descartes then decided that he was going to...