IB Philosophy Core: Descartes Meditation 3

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  • Created by: Milly
  • Created on: 28-04-13 09:07
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  • Third Meditation
    • When ideas are 'clear and distinct' they are certain -derived from cogito
      • He could only think that 2+3=5 was uncertain, is in the presence of an evil demon
    • Ideas
      • Innate
        • Clear and distinct ideas
        • From the natural light
        • A form of reason
      • Adventitious
        • Ideas from the outside world
        • From sense experience
      • Ficticious
        • From imagination
        • Usually from adventitious ideas
    • Natural light
      • Ideas that are clear and distinct from innate thought
      • 'Inclinations' are vaguer forms of thought
      • Teaches him that 'cause must have as much reality as its effect'
        • Medieval belief based on the 'hierarchy of reality'
        • Those of formal reality have existence
        • Those of objective reality are merely representations
        • Trademark argument
          • He has an idea of the infinitely powerful and perfect God
          • Cause must be greater than effect - St Aquinas
            • Humans are finite so we must have a infinite cause- this is God
          • He could not have created himself as he would have made himself perfect - he would not doubt or lack anything
          • God cannot be a deceiver because humans are in his image
            • Descartes aims to be good, so God must be better
          • God leaves a trademark on the mind of Descartes
    • Trademark argument
      • He has an idea of the infinitely powerful and perfect God
      • Cause must be greater than effect - St Aquinas
        • Humans are finite so we must have a infinite cause- this is God
      • He could not have created himself as he would have made himself perfect - he would not doubt or lack anything
      • God cannot be a deceiver because humans are in his image
        • Descartes aims to be good, so God must be better
      • God leaves a trademark on the mind of Descartes
    • Objections
      • Cartesian circle
        • He needs his thought to prove God's existence
          • He cannot be sure of his mind unless a good God exists
          • 'as long as I remain ignorant to this matter, I seem unable to be certain of any other at all.'
      • Omnibenevolent argument
        • Based on the idea of being created in God's image
          • Comes from Genesis
            • This assumption has not been doubted
            • He cannot leave his faith alone
      • Why couldn't Descartes have created the idea of infinity himself?
        • Descartes responded we cannot have the idea of finite without the idea of infinite
          • In order to know what half an orange is you must know what a whole orange is
      • Why can't our parents have made us?
        • Descartes responded that there is an infinite regression of generations
      • In science non-living objects evolve to live

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