Descartes Letter To Aristotle Analysis

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Attempting to appeal to Elisabeth’s objections without conceding his meditations, Descartes manifests replies with the goal to uphold his original arguments. After Elisabeth’s first letter to Descartes in which she questions the ability of the soul to act upon the body, he elaborates on why he had excluded this explanation from the Meditations on First Philosophy. In the letter he claims the knowledge of the soul depends on, “...that it thinks, and the other is that, being united to the body, it can act on and be acted upon by it” (Correspondence, 63). Admitting that he had willing neglected the latter to prove the distinction between the soul and body, Descartes continues on to say that including it would have harmed his argument. He then …show more content…

Describing this particular notion, Descartes attempts to prove to Elisabeth that individuals must innately understand the relationship of body and soul to build any other understanding. He argues that many people misinterpret the notion of the union of body and soul as being a body that must be acted upon by another body, but he claims this to be a mistake. Later Descartes attempts to involve the perception of heaviness which, “has the power to move a body in which it is toward the center of the earth” (Correspondence 66), but he later revokes such claim in the second letter. He initially tried to persuade Elisabeth that heaviness is a concept in which a body seemingly is acted upon by nothing to prove the soul can move the body, but she knows that human ignorance of the topic invalidates it. Instead, Descartes neglects to further emphasize this point and argues that Elisabeth should attempt to conceive of the body and soul as a single

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