Rene Descartes Essay
Meditations on the First Philosophy: In Which the Existence of God and the Distinction Between mind and Body are Demonstrated.
Rene Descartes was an advocate of Dualism, which is a philosophy that states that the world is made up of two elemental categories that are incompatible, such as mind and body, which always exist separately.He wrote his Meditations with two central issues in mind: Proving the existence of God and proving the immortality of the soul through natural reason.The Meditations are divided into six separate sections that focus on different parts of Descartes' argument.
Thefirst Meditation focuses on the concept of true beliefs.Descartes sets out to determine what is true by doubting everything that he know or has learned to the point of writing the Meditations.His main suspicion of knowledge is that which is gained via sensory input (empirical).He created a systematic doubting experiment where sensory information is questioned for several reasons in search of undeniable truths.Through this experiment, he discerns between primary and secondary qualities of things.Primary objects, objects of senses, exist in the mind.For example, an apple tastes sweet, looks red, and smells fruity.These qualities do not exist in the physical world, but are manifestations of the mind.Secondary objects, objects of mathematics, existence in space and have physical qualities (e.g. an apple is round and is singular).
Descartes continues thefirst Meditation as he investigates God as a deceiver.He poses that God may possibly be tricking his mind to perceive what does not exist.He refutes this, however, based on the concept that infinite goodness must exist in God as a necessary attribute of God.To further rectify any deception with Christianity, he postulates the existence of the evil genius.
The second Meditation focuses on the mind, and the fact that it is easier to prove the existence of th