Explain Descartes' argument for the impossibility of knowledge from Sense experience (Meditation II).

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  • Explain Descartes' argument for the impossibility of knowledge from Sense experience (Meditation II).  
    • Sense experience
      • Senses can be deceived
      • Deceiving things...We know that these are illusions etc. and can spot them a mile off. We know when we are being deceived!
      • The senses do exactly what they are meant to do, it is the world that deceives
    • Dreaming
      • X requires ~XIn order to be ‘dreaming’ we must have ‘not dreaming’ which we may not have according to Descartes. We must have a reality to contrast with a ‘non reality’
    • The  Wax
      • Take a piece of wax – it is hard cold and makes a sound
      • Put the same wax by the fire, the smell, the colour, the shape etc. are all destroyed
      • All the sensations about the wax change yet we maintain it is still the same
      • Perhaps this is because I can imagine the wax in all its forms, yet we are stuck as I could not possibly imagine all the infinite forms!
      • So since I do not know the wax through the imagination or the senses, then it is clear that the wax must be understood through the understanding only
      • Therefore it is clear to see that there is nothing easier to know than my mind.
    • I am; I exist (I think therefore I am – Discourse)
      • This proposition is necessarily true every time I express it
        • The mere fact that I am able to doubt my own existence means that I am here to doubt and thus I must exist.
          • This is the point of foundation that Descartes will no build upon
            • This is the point of foundation that Descartes will no build upon

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