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

Rene Descartes' Meditations On First Philosophy

1791 words - 7 pages

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...

Find Another Essay On Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy

Descartes – Meditations on First Philosophy

3389 words - 14 pages goal of Descartes in Meditations on First Philosophy was to find truth behind all of his beliefs in order to build a solid foundation of certainty, and to focus his beliefs strictly on his idea of certainty; essentially to question knowledge. Descartes beliefs are mainly based on the theory that, if someone thinks that they really know something, they must be correct. Descartes meditations bring about 3 key issues that are discussed throughout

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

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

Rene Descartes' Examination of the Nature of Mateial Things and What is Possible to Know of them Based on Passages from Meditations on First Philosophy. (the Wax example)

605 words - 2 pages "How do we know what we know?" This is a question asked by Rene Descartes as well as a host of other philosophers. A particular passage written in Meditations on First Philosophy by Descartes dubbed the "Wax Passage" examined the nature of material things, and what we really know about them. Descartes' thought process shall be followed, and his conclusion that if all attributes are stripped away, what is left is the "essence" of the wax, will be

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. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-modal/

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

Meditations on First Philosophy

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

The Meditations of Rene Descartes

700 words - 3 pages his basis on life claiming that everything is to be doubted. Rene Descartes first begins to come to some kind of belief by the Third Meditation. Rene states . . . "I am certain that I am a thinking being; but do I not therefore likewise know what is required to make me certain of something?" (p113 Methods & Meditations). He goes on to say that God could not possibly be deceitful, it would not be his divine nature. This is when things start to

Meditations on First Philosophy: Interpretation

1007 words - 5 pages Throughout part one of Meditations, Descartes believes that most of the information we have discovered has just been accepted freely, without a counterargument. Descartes wants to clear his mind of all of his former opinions because he wants to find out if they are true on his own; he doesn’t want to agree with something just because many other people do. Descartes discusses how our senses can deceive us, so he thinks it is possible for people

Descartes 4 Meditations on philosophy - Research Paper

2772 words - 12 pages , it plainly cannot happen that I err. ... Today I have learned not merely what I must avoid so as never to make a mistake, but at the same time what I must do to attain truth. With these pieces of the puzzle now in place, Descartes is prepared to set knowledge on a solid foundation—to overturn the radical skepticism that he opened Meditations with and to show that human beings have a soul that is distinct from the body. PHI-10 Introduction to Philosophy 1 Descartes’ Meditations, Meditation 4

The Folly of René Descartes’ Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy

1488 words - 6 pages The Folly of René Descartes’ Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy In order to embark on his quest for truth, Descartes first devises his four rules which should serve as a solid foundation for all else that he comes to understand. Those rules are here evaluated in terms of what they fail to take into consideration. The rules are examined individually and consecutively, and are therefore also reiterated in order to be

Similar Essays

Meditations On First Philosophy, By Rene Descartes

1548 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

Rene Descartes' Meditations On First Philosophy

1968 words - 8 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

Analysis Of Rene Descartes' Meditations On First Philosophy

1559 words - 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

Descartes' Meditations On First Philosophy Essay

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