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Descartes 10/8/2013

  • Rule 1- Rule of certainty- Need to be 100% certain

-Think like a mathematician

-Need a certain attitude/notation

-People willing to settle for probability

-Do natural science with the same attitude, all the beliefs stand in the way

-Not existential doubt

-Deliberate doubt, done for the sake of setting aside false/probably beliefs in order to have certain beliefs

-“I can stop looking for certainty here because I know that I can’t have it”

-Appears as if all beliefs about universe are probable, very questionable, were acquired before I had any control over it, through culture and through pores. Acquired most beliefs without being aware.

-No way to determine which are correct, but all have same fundamental tie- Can rely on senses

-If the belief (relying on the senses) is uncertain, then beliefs based on it cannot be true

-Has found a proof that justifies setting aside all his beliefs and how he acquired them

-Produced a proof, does not understand why he should accept it

-When rely on senses, doing more than saying they are reliable, realizes they are believed to be reliable when awake and paying attention

-Most beliefs seem like they would pass step 1

-Hard time separating real life experiences from experiences in vivid dreams

  • Rule 2- Dream Hypothesis- Not awake and alert, asleep and dreaming

-Grounds for challenging core beliefs

-pg. 79- need to really put before my mind that I need at accept nothing less than certainty

   -Getting over mental habits is hard, especially when trusting my senses

- Turn my will into opposite direction, and deceive myself into believing those beliefs are utterly false and imaginary

-Assume opposite of what I’d like to believe to see if there are any grounds for belief

-Asleep and dreaming- hypothesis

-Until can be proven otherwise, assume he is asleep and dreaming

-Discovers that it seems that some beliefs are not based on sense experience

-Thinks he has discovered essential properties of object that define it

-Clear, concise definition, will not change

-pg 78- class of ideas, number place, time etc. core group of ideas that are unlike the ideas that he gets from his senses

-Objects take up space

-Distinguish between when he is using ideas that seem to be based on sense experiences connected with sense based belief, and not based on sense based belief


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