Descartes' Second and Sixth and Meditations Essay

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Throughout Descartes second and sixth meditations there seems to be a tension rising between the fact of whether or not the mind and body are distinct. By analyzing both meditations it appears that Descartes’ perspectives are contradictory of each other and need to be further evaluated in order to reveal his true meaning. By saying, in the second meditation, that we perceive things by means of our intellect alone, and in the sixth meditation, that we do not perceive pain by means of the intellect alone but rather by an intermingling of our intellect and our senses, Descartes brings forth the questionable tension. By examining each meditation, I was able to determine what I believe that Descartes truly meant and was able to critically …show more content…
Even though the shape, taste and feel of the wax is different from what our senses originally perceived it as, it seems as though we would say it was still the same piece of wax. Within his second meditation, Descartes asks, “But does the same wax remain? It must be admitted that it does; no one denies it, no one thinks otherwise.” This observation brings forth the question of what it is about the wax that makes it distinct from other objects, because it is obviously not our sensory perceptions that make us recognize its distinctiveness. With the intention of trying to determine how it is that we recognize the wax despite its change in appearance, we first must reflect that despite what the wax truly is, it is not solely perceived by senses, instead it is only by those sensory perceptions that the wax is presented to us. If we take away the qualities recognized first by our senses, we are now left with something that Descartes explains as being “extended, flexible, and changeable” . These tendencies seem to divulge the fact that it is not the ability of our imagination that permits us to differentiate between the waxes different physical attributes. Even though it is possible to make changes to the wax via our imagination that depict these attributes, it seems impossible to consider all of the potential changes, so therefore it seems unlikely that it is our imagination that solely identifies the wax. It seems more

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