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Q: Philosophy (mostly Descartes) ( No Answer,   2 Comments )
Subject: Philosophy (mostly Descartes)
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: aj9989-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 09 Mar 2006 19:46 PST
Expires: 13 Mar 2006 19:01 PST
Question ID: 705602
I'm studying philosophy, mostly Descartes and I'm having a difficult
time with it.  What I'm looking for are answers to all four of my
questions in more or less layman's terms.  If you need clarification
on the premesis and the conclusion for the below, I'd be happy to try
and help, but I really need someone to just explain and critically
evaluate the below in laymans terms.

Explain Descartes' Ontological Argument (I believe it's Descartes'
fifth meditation, where he discusses a supremely perfect being).

Explain Descartes' argument for the conclusion that Descartes is not
his body.  Moreso, why is it that his second premesis does or doesn't

Construing Leibniz as a Counterpart Theorist, evaluate his account of
what sort of fact it is that Adman might not have sinned.

At the beginning of Descartes' 3rd Mediation, Descates implies that he
does not know that he is sitting by the fire writing.  This has
something to do with the sorts of bizarre skeptical scenarios broched
in the first two meditations (dreaming, and the like).  What does the
latter have to do with the former, evaluating Descartes' tacit
assumptions (the epistemic closure).

$10 tip for a 4 or 5 star answer

Request for Question Clarification by scriptor-ga on 09 Mar 2006 19:48 PST
The four questions do sound very much like homework or exam
assignments. Am I correct to assume that this is indeed their nature?


Clarification of Question by aj9989-ga on 09 Mar 2006 19:58 PST
Scriptor, thank you for your response.  It's actually a part of
research on philosophy that I've been working on for the last 2-3
months (since January).  I've focused on earlier philosophers thus far
in Confucius, Plato, Aristotle, etc. and I'm trying to move in a more
modern direction.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Philosophy (mostly Descartes)
From: amber00-ga on 10 Mar 2006 14:22 PST
I hope that you aren't one of my students. 
Descartes' doubt that he is sitting by the fire reading is to be found
in the first Meditation, not the third.
In the first Meditation Descartes announces that he proposes to doubt 
and reject anything that is not absolutely certain. This is because he
knows that some of his opinions are false. There are three waves of
doubt. 1. His senses sometimes deceive him. 2. He might  be dreaming
that he is reading now by the fire.  even so, the truths of
mathematics would still be true. 3. There might not be an omnipotent
God but instead a malicious evil demon who confuses all his thoughts.
In the second Meditation, Descartes decides that even if there is an
evil demon who confuses my thoughts there must then be a 'me' to
deceive. Hence 'I think, therefore I exist.
In the third Meditation Descartes proves the existence of God, so can
reject the evil demon hypothesis. All thoughts that are so clear and
distinct that they cannot be doubted are true.
In Meditation IV, descartes explains that errors are caused by rushing
to judgements before one perceives concepts clearly and distinctly.
Maths is clear and distinct, therefore true.
The fifth Meditation contains the Ontological argument for the
existence of God. God is entirely perfect. Therefore He exists,
because if he didn't then he wouldn't be perfect.
Finally, in the sixth Meditation, Decartes proves that material things
exist, that he is essentially a mind connected to a body (the dualist
theory) and that he can tell the difference between waking and
dreaming. waking periods are connected whereas dreams are not.
Subject: Re: Philosophy (mostly Descartes)
From: aj9989-ga on 11 Mar 2006 20:58 PST
amber00-ga, thank you for the clarification on the meditations.  I
have some basic understandings of how the meditations are formed by
Descartes but I'm really looking for someone who can clarify it even
further for me.  For instance, why is it that the epistemic closure is
controversial?  From what I understand of Descartes' argument for the
skeptic, it seems to make sense.  Naturally, I dont like the
conclusion, but I can't challenge the premeses that lead to the
conclusion, except I keep getting references that the epistemic
closure is where most people have a problem with the argument.  Why?

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