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Rene Descartes First Meditation Analysis

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The seventeenth-century French philosopher René Descartes is considered by many to be the founding father of modern philosophy. The seventeenth-century marked a turning point in history, Europeans began to explore the world by sea in search of new trade routes and moved away from the traditional Catholic Church to focus on scientific discoveries. One of Descartes most famous pieces of work was the Meditations on the First Philosophy, published in 1641. The Meditation on the First philosophy, which comprises of six meditations, is essentially summarizing a collection of thoughts Descartes had previously written about in his earlier text, the Discourse on Method. In the first meditation, Descartes notices that over the course of his life, he…show more content…
During the time period this was written, the idea of “faith” and trusting in something/someone you cannot see was something the Catholic Church held to the highest standard. However, Descartes suggests to doubt all types of knowledge unless it is self-verifying and unquestionable. . After speculating the things, he was confident he knew about himself and society, he concluded with, “I am, I exist”. After he recognized that he holds some sort of presence, he continues to argue, “But I do not yet understand sufficiently what I am”. As an example, Descartes presents the Wax Argument, which provides a solid foundation for his following meditations. Descartes examines a piece of wax, by writing in detail about its properties. It looks, feels, and smells like wax. We could conclude that it certainly is wax. Descartes then holds the piece of wax next to a flame and the wax begins to melt. He examines the wax again after it melted and writes in detail that it looks, smells, and feels different than it did before it was melted. However, we can say that it is the same wax as before. Even though sensory properties of the piece of wax changed, an object is still an object after undergoing external change. We see this change in nature as well, like a caterpillar
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