Read e-book online Descartes: meditations on first philosophy PDF

By Kurt Brandhorst

ISBN-10: 0748634797

ISBN-13: 9780748634798

ISBN-10: 0748634800

ISBN-13: 9780748634804

ISBN-10: 0748634819

ISBN-13: 9780748634811

Descartes' Meditations is among the first texts philosophy scholar will learn, and person who many get back to again and again. instead of easily telling the reader what to imagine, Meditations invitations us to take a philosophical trip. This publication prepares readers for that trip, aiding them to have interaction with all of the meditations and suggesting methods in the course of the tougher passages. This advisor additionally deals scholars a clean procedure via bringing to existence the trail of self-discovery encapsulated within the paintings, whereas protecting the emphasis on metaphysics. via concentrating on what the textual content itself has to claim, instead of what has been acknowledged approximately it through others, it's going to aid readers in any respect degrees to find - or rediscover - why Descartes' Meditations is without doubt one of the cornerstones of philosophy.

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Indd 41 9/4/10 14:29:35 42 Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy God deceives me and a powerful doubt is available to Descartes. Of course, like the madness hypothesis, this doubt is useless to anyone who denies any of the above features of Descartes’ opinion. Rather than attempting to prove the existence of such a deceiving God, however, Descartes examines each of a set of alternate hypotheses. Because of the complex structure of the opinion Descartes starts out with, there are two basic challenges to the deceiving God hypothesis: on the one hand there are those who would accept the existence of an omnipotent God but deny the deception; on the other there are those who would deny the existence of such a God altogether.

For example, God can make it the case that from birth I am wearing rose-coloured glasses and I would then never have the visual experience of whiteness. Still, it is curious that Descartes adds this second scenario when it is clear that an interventionist omnipotent God is sufficient to wipe out any possibility of certainty thus far considered. As we will see, not only does the interventionist God prove to be incoherent, but the creator God proves to be necessary. It is crucial at this point to remember that Descartes does not need such a God to exist for the opinion to be useful in the method of doubt.

This purpose is to find, if at all possible, a starting point that is entirely impossible to doubt. The method of doubt, therefore, is a search and the doubt is the method of testing things in order to see if they measure up. It is important to stress this feature of the method of doubt because once one enters into the doubt Descartes proposes it is tempting to take it too far and to forget what the point of the whole exercise was. It is tempting to do this because Descartes is proposing a very radical form of doubt that, like a powerful drug, can be addictive.

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Descartes: meditations on first philosophy by Kurt Brandhorst


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