Photo of bust at Versailles, posted by Wally Gobetz https://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/1532378233

Meditations III and IV

In the first Meditation, we are trying as hard as we can to prevent ourselves from falling back on the comfortable acceptance of our long-held, customary beliefs; e.g., the belief that bodies exist, they cause our perceptions, and our perceptions resemble their causes (as Aristotelians and ‘common sense’ would have it); our belief that we…

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/83/Descartes3.jpg

Meditations I and II

Reading Questions for 1/21 For Thursday, 1/21, read the first two Meditations with the following questions in mind: What, according to Meditation I, can be called into doubt? How does the Meditator call into question beliefs about particular existing things that were acquired through the senses? How does the Meditator call into question beliefs about…

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Descartes and Geometrical Demonstration

Reproduction of a proof from Euclid’s Elements (Public Domain: via Wikipedia Commons)   Those long chains of utterly simple and easy reasonings that geometers commonly use to arrive at their most difficult demonstrations had given me occasion to imagine that all the things that can fall within human knowledge follow from one another in the…