Meditation 3

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  • Descartes - Meditation 3
    • Clear and Distinct Ideas
      • Descartes is certain that he is a thinking thing. In this item of knowledge there is a clear and distinct perception of what he is asserting: but this would not be enough to make him certain of the truth of the matter if it could ever turn out that something which he perceived with such clarity and distinctness was false.
    • The Trademark Argument
      • Helps to support the clear and distinct rule
        • Summary: 1. We have an idea of God in our mind          2. This idea must have a cause              3. There must be as much reality in an effect as in its cause              4. The cause of the idea is God                 5. The idea is like a trademark left in our minds by God            6. The idea of God includes the notion that he is benevolent      7. Hence God is no deceiver   8. Hence whatever we perceive distinctly must be true since a benevolent God wouldn't allow this level of deception.
      • Analysis
        • The Trademark Argument doesn't sufficiently answer the question of the existence of God - not everyone believes in him
          • If God is an innate idea then why is it that not everyone has it?
            • Accepting his reasoning here relies on also accepting his reasoning re: God and clear and distinct perceptions circular reasoning re: trademark argument means he hasn't established that a non-deceiving God exists, therefore has not established that he can trust his clear and distinct perceptions


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