Descartes Meditation 2 Analysis

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In Meditation 2, Descartes goes through the steps he takes that allow him to reach the conclusion “I am, I exist”. In the preceding meditation he ends with skepticism of all things. This is due to the manipulation of a malicious demon that creates uncertainty of everything. In the second meditation he finds an exception and attempts to prove it through the use of doubt, or lack thereof. His steps are as follows. First, Descartes tries finding certainty, or ruling out the uncertain, based on if he can find doubt in them. He figured it was more difficult to be certain of things than vice versa. It would be easier to narrow down what this demon could not take from him, his thoughts. His system was to, “subtract anything capable of being weakened, even minimally, by the arguments now introduced so that what is left at the end maybe exactly and only what is certain and unshakeable” (Meditations on First Philosophy, 17). Then, one must think of things inseparable from one’s self. This excludes senses, because it is too complex to distinguish dreams from reality, and…show more content…
What imagination allows us to grasp at is irrelevant to knowledge of ourselves that we possess, and therefore we should carefully divert from such things (Meditations, 19). This step of diverting from imagination enforces the necessity of awareness. Awareness of things, even sensory perceptions, is simply from thinking. Descartes gives the example using a piece of wax and how it is still considered wax even after being melted. It is what remained in the end that defined its existence not the characteristics or features associated with it. It was the body, even in various forms, solid or melted, that can be perceived by our awareness. This perception is not from the senses or imagination, but of mental scrutiny where our knowledge is most accessible. Mental scrutiny comes from judgment in our

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