Descartes Sixth Meditation

1388 words - 6 pages

Intro Sample...


In his sixth meditation must return to the doubts he raised in his first meditation. In this last section of his sixth meditation he deals mainly with the mind-body problem; and he tries to prove whether material things exist with certainly. In this meditation he develops his Dualist argument; by making a distinction between mind and body; although he also reveals their rather significant relationship.
Primarily he considers existence of the external world and whether our experience hold knowledge of this world or whether this knowledge is merely an illusion. He makes it quite clear how misleading some of external sensations can be. We are never sufficiently aware of subjectivity of our own thought and senses. The only thing we... View More »

Body Sample...


The primarily qualities are to Descartes the more trustworthy mental perceptions and reality. The secondary qualities represent the not so trustworthy physical reality. He explores this relationship as he considers connection of the state of the body and physical sensations. I believe at this point Descartes makes some contradictory statements, as it seems he is not completely sure of the relationship between the two and their significance. This problem might be explained as medicine was not yet so advanced in Descartes time and therefore many facts about the very close relationship of bodily state and physical sensation were not known yet. Another thing that contributes to this is that Descartes was a strong Dualist and subsequently believed mind and body to be very separate entities.
An addition Descartes questions the origin of dreams. He argues that sleeping and being awake can be very easily segregated; as when one sleeps (dreams), one does not perceive anything one could experience in the state of being awake. He believes that when we dream it is an entirely different faculty is at work. Nothing one dreams originates in what one experiences when awake. He proves this by saying that dreams are never linked by memory to other actions and happenings of life itself. Obviously today medicine can prove quite the contrary, but at Descartes time this theory was quite acceptable.
Descartes does regard the brain to being of critical importance concerning perception and sensation. He accepts that the brain receives, interprets and replies all nervous information. This ...

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