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Meditations on First Philosophy

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The Meditations are widely known as the starting point of modern Western philosophy, and rightly so. In this work, Descartes questions many of Aristotle's pieces and writings and he tries to answer many of the philosophical questions that are still in question today. For example, Descartes questions Aristotle's idea that all knowledge comes through your senses and that how you act is in someway related to what they are. Thus, he developed an entirely new spirit, material, ideas, and a whole lot else.

Descartes was a skeptic, and this was shown a great amount in his writing of the First Meditation. He wonders how he can be certain of anything in life, and he comes up with many reasons on why his senses cannot be fully trusted. One of the most important debates in philosophy is where knowledge is obtained. Many famous philosophers tried to answer this question, and here Descartes is doing the same thing. He is also trying to disprove the claims of fellow philosophers.

Descartes also describes the mind-body problem, which is how are the mind and body related to one another. Descartes develops a conception of the mind where there are senses and imagination. He argues that we are thinking things that we know, but are bodies must be figured out because they are more complicated then that. Descartes comes up with a very clear distinction between the mind and body. The Mind is used for thinking and the body is an extension of that, so the mind and body have very little in common with one another. Ever since this claim, philosophers have tried to find a link between the body and mind.

How can the mind obtain any knowledge from the outside world? If the mind is a separate thing, how can knowledge be gained and stored. The mind is a very complex thing that is not thought upon too much. Descartes states that senses are not meant for obtaining knowledge, but they do help us explore our world in a very practical way. Descartes constantly asserts that the clear and distinct perceptions of the intellect are the only sure means of securing knowledge,

Descartes was very successful in creating the mind-body debate and the debate on skepticism. These ideas formed by Descartes are now widely looked upon, and philosophers study them in their own way. However, these are not the only debates that Descartes has started. Descartes has come up with many more theories such as The Cartesian Circle, the Wax Argument, and Descartes' theories of ideas, of body, and of perception are all-important matters for philosophical discussion. His works on the existence of God, however, are not original, and they were not as successful as other philosophers takes on the existence of God. Descartes is a very fascinating subject of study and starter of great debates.

Works Cited:

Descartes, René, and John Cottingham. Meditations on First Philosophy: with Selections from the Objections

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