Second Meditation Review

In the Second Meditation Descartes starts off by talking about how his feelings after the previous day which was when he wrote the First Meditation. He talks about how unraveling these doubts that he had in his head lead him to not be able to stop thinking about them, but at the same time he could not find a solution to these doubts. Although he is caught up in this dilemma he was still willing to give it another try. He restates the fact that if anything brings up the slightest amount of doubt he will dispose of it instantly just as if it were completely doubtful. He will continue doing this until he finds something that is certain or until he can absolutely be sure that there is no certainty. He then talks about how he’s searching for that one thing that is certain and indubitable the same way that Archimedes had one time searched for it. After establishing this he goes on to say that he will assume that everything he sees is fake and that all his memories are lies and basically everything physical is meant to deceive him. Descartes then starts to question if he exists since he has gotten rid of the idea of a body and the mind. He comes to the realization that if he had convinced himself of this then he must be real and he must exist because if he didnt exist he would of never have been able to convince himself. He also knows that he exist because there is a higher power trying to continuously deceive him meaning he has to exist which he ties to the point of he is because he thinks. Meaning that since he thinks he therefore must exist.

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Now that Descartes is aware that he exists, he now is now trying find a greater understanding of what/who he is. Which he must do very carefully since he does not want false meanings for the one thing that he knows to be certain in his life. He then tries to define what he is but cant fully come up with a definition because each definition leads to a different question. These thoughts lead him to not believing that he could give a real account on what he is because as he had stated he is continuously being tricked by a powerful deceiver. Meaning can he really come up with a definition if the deceiver is the one giving it to him. While trying to define what he is he realises that what he is, is no more than a thing that thinks. Since he only exists because he thinks. He questions if he would stop existing if one day he completely stopped thinking. Then he brings up an interesting point. He talks about the fact that he might be dismissing these topics and categorizing them as nothing because they might just be unknown to him and they too could have a meaning if he would understand them completely. Descartes then refers back to when he said he would use his imagination to help him find answers but then he realizes that whatever he is imagining must be false since imaginations are just pieces put together from everyday life just like a dream is.

One big part of the meditation is spent talking about a piece of wax. Descartes goes on to explain how the wax looks and all the features of the wax but once he began to put the wax closer to the fire the wax began to lose the features he believed it to hold and the wax developed new features but the wax was still wax. He brings up that he does not have the good enough imagination to fathom what the wax could ultimately end up being but that did not matter because he was not going to get the true meaning of the wax from its physical properties like he thought. He goes on to explain how the meaning of the things like the wax are not going to be found through how it seems to us through the senses or imagination but we will truly know what things are once we understand them. Definitions will not be made from imaginations or from the senses but they could only come about if they are heavily pondered upon and ultimately understood as a whole.

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Second Meditation review. (2020, Mar 23). Retrieved May 16, 2022 , from
https://studydriver.com/second-meditation-review/

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