Free «An Analysis of Meditations on First Philosophy» Essay Sample


The uniqueness of Descartes’ meditations is that they demonstrate the key points of a metaphysical scheme in an outline conventionally considered as suited to loyal exercises. The disputes for the existence of God and the description of the mind as a thinking thing’ have been alleged as innovative. The philosopher presents his philosophy as a sequence of meditations, recounted in the first person and this is always considered as an extremely inventive attempt (Hill, 1).

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These Meditations have a very unique organization. Descartes does not sketch and then methodically develop a set of ceremonial maxims even though he is a coherent philosopher, who is pressured by mathematics in a great way. The Meditations intent is to offer experiences which would basically reorganize the manner in which the reader reflects but not simply to communicate a fresh thought. Therefore, inconsistently, Descartes' technique of communication is founded and personified in practice and experience even though his message is rationalism (Gillespie, 3).

The internalization of Descartes necessitates that all validating factors should take the form of ideas. This is because he maintains that ideas are the solitary entities of attentive consciousness or instant insight and are firmly speaking. Sovereign of this theory of thoughts, Descartes' systematic doubts guarantees a supposition with comparable force: for roughly the entirety of the Meditations, his intermediary assumes the postulation that all his deliberations and experiences are happening in a dream (Lex, 8).

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Lex further argues that the philosopher’s obligation to inborn ideas locates him in a rationalist practice tracing back to Plato. He asserts that acquaintance of the nature of realism is not obtained from the senses but from ideas of the mental power. This assertion alleges that what the mental power discloses is equated to a world of completely real beings enlightened by bright sunshine while what the senses disclose is compared to indistinct imagery on the wall of an inadequately lit cave. The simile appropriately portrays our epistemic dilemma on the doctrines of Descartes (23).

Descartes starts the first meditation by affirming the doubted character of his individual knowledge, and suggesting eliminating all unsure knowledge. In addition, Descartes recognizes that 'there are no any certain signals by manner of which being awake can be differentiated from being asleep. Consequently, he chooses to do away with all knowledge emanating from the senses due to the likelihood of such fault. Therefore, Descartes' technique is to rebuff all knowledge that has yet the least probability of being bogus, so as to separate that which is completely unquestionable (Gillespie, 4). However, Descartes' eventual plans are productive and his systematic originality is to employ destruction for constructive ends. In addition, Descartes' originality is to use cynical uncertainties to examine the firmness of candidates put forward for the bases of Knowledge (Lex, 41).

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Descartes ends the second meditation by stating that: “I know plainly that I can achieve an easier and more evident perception of my own mind than of anything else.” By this, he institutes insightful thought as the foundation of his first philosophy. Descartes' asserts that self-reflection cannot be hesitated, that it is dissimilar from matter and that it ought to be the foundation for philosophy (Gillespie, 17).

Descartes consents that diverse principles of validation are suitable to different backgrounds. This means that considering the context of the question, the principles of knowledge-worthy validation may differ. Conversely, Descartes seems reluctant to establish mere experiential proof as knowledge-worthy validation. However, the principle admits of background dependent after inclining the standard to what he finds plainly satisfactory difference (Lex, 17).


Descartes philosophy as established in the Meditations, assumes a social world in four major ways. Foremost, the content of Descartes' thinking invades well-known dialogues and cynicism. Secondly, Descartes' imminent materializes through the dialogical interface between these dialogues rather than through personal lucid inference. This means that the form of Descartes' thinking is social in reverberation of a social dialogue. Thirdly, Descartes' self-awareness which is almost the root of his argument is intensely social since his self-awareness, both of speaking to himself and of being mislead, demonstrates the interface of diverse viewpoints. Lastly, Descartes' capability and inclination to doubt himself are sourced from his social contacts with other individuals. The self-reflective feature of the mind which Descartes alleged as being indubitable stays obviously subtle. Self- reflection has a dialogical superiority that comes from social contact rather than from the brain or in behavior.

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