Philosophy

INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY

Writing Assignment Guidelines

Format: I will only accept hardcopies.

Hard Deadline: August 2, 2018

This is not a research assignment. All the material for the successful completion of the assignment has

been covered in class. There are also notes available on the material available on Moodle.

Please do not plagiarize.

Topic: Explain in detail Descartes argument in the first Three Meditations. You paper should explain

Descartes goal in the Meditations, the dream argument, the demon hypothesis, the self as certain

foundation, the causal proof for the existence of God and so forth.

The assignment falls into four sections:

I. Introduction

What is Descartes primary goal in the Meditations?

What method does he utilize to achieve his goal? How specifically does the method work?

 

II. Doubt

What is the dream argument?

What is Descartes’ purpose in presenting it?

Why is the dream argument not enough? What is the demon hypothesis?

 

III. Certainty

Why does Descartes believe that he cannot be mistaken about everything?

What is the certain foundation?

To what does ‘I’ refer?

What is the essential property of the ‘I’?

What does it mean to say that ‘I exist’ is both clear and distinct?

What is the ‘wax example’ and what point is Descartes attempting to do with that argument?

 

 

 

 

 

2

IV. God

How does Descartes go about showing that something exists that is external to him and greater

than him?

What is the idea of God?

What are the main elements of the causal proof?

What are the ramifications of the proof for the demon hypothesis, and the status of

mathematical truth?

 

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