Meditations on First Philosophy

MeditationsFirst MeditationMeditationFifth MeditationfirstMeditationes de prima philosophiaMeditations on First Phil2nd ''MeditationSixth Meditation
Meditations on First Philosophy in which the existence of God and the immortality of the soul are demonstrated (Meditationes de Prima Philosophia, in qua Dei existentia et animæ immortalitas demonstratur) is a philosophical treatise by René Descartes first published in Latin in 1641.wikipedia
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René Descartes

DescartesCartesianRene Descartes
Meditations on First Philosophy in which the existence of God and the immortality of the soul are demonstrated (Meditationes de Prima Philosophia, in qua Dei existentia et animæ immortalitas demonstratur) is a philosophical treatise by René Descartes first published in Latin in 1641.
Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy (1641) continues to be a standard text at most university philosophy departments.

Evil demon

evil geniusCartesian demonCartesian evil demon
He supposes that not God, but some evil demon has committed itself to deceiving him so that everything he thinks he knows is false.
In the first of his 1641 Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes imagines that an evil demon, of "utmost power and cunning has employed all his energies in order to deceive me."

Principles of Philosophy

Principia PhilosophiaePrincipes de la philosophiePrincipia
Descartes' metaphysical thought is also found in the Principles of Philosophy (1644), which the author intended to be a philosophy guidebook.
In essence it is a synthesis of the Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy It was written in Latin, published in 1644 and dedicated to Elisabeth of Bohemia, with whom Descartes had a long-standing friendship.

Discourse on the Method

Discourse on MethodDiscours de la méthodeDiscours de la Methode
The book consists of the presentation of Descartes' metaphysical system in its most detailed level and in the expanding of his philosophical system, first introduced in the fourth part of his Discourse on Method (1637).
A similar argument, without this precise wording, is found in Meditations on First Philosophy (1641), and a Latin version of the same statement Cogito, ergo sum is found in Principles of Philosophy (1644).

Certainty

certainimperfect knowledgeCertainly
The book is made up of six meditations, in which Descartes first discards all belief in things that are not absolutely certain, and then tries to establish what can be known for sure.
In his Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes first discards all belief in things which are not absolutely certain, and then tries to establish what can be known for sure.

Idea

brainchildideasconcept
b In his Meditations on First Philosophy he says, "Some of my thoughts are like images of things, and it is to these alone that the name 'idea' properly belongs."

Cartesian doubt

hyperbolic doubtmethodic doubtCartesian skepticism
In general, his method is that of forming skeptical hypotheses — methodic doubt.
(Knowledge in the Cartesian sense means to know something beyond not merely all reasonable, but all possible, doubt.) In his Meditations on First Philosophy (1641), Descartes resolved to systematically doubt that any of his beliefs were true, in order to build, from the ground up, a belief system consisting of only certainly true beliefs; his end goal—or a major one, at the least—was to find an undoubtable basis for the sciences.

Duke of Luynes

Duc de LuynesDukes of LuynesLuynes
The French translation (by the Duke of Luynes with Descartes' supervision) was published in 1647 as Méditations Métaphysiques.

Rational animal

rational beingsanimal rationabilethought bearer animal
He rejects the typical method, which looks for a definition (e.g., Rational Animal), because the words used in the definition would then need to be defined.
In Meditation II of Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes arrives at his famous "I think, I exist" claim.

Omnipotence

omnipotentall-powerfulalmighty
Omnipotent God could make even our conception of mathematics false.
He issues this idea in his Meditations on First Philosophy.

Ontological argument

ontological proofontologicalOntological argument for the existence of God
Along the way, he advances another logical proof of God's existence.
Descartes wrote in the Fifth Meditation:

Dream

dreamsdreamlikedreaming
With a confirmed existence of God, all doubt that what one previously thought was real and not a dream can be removed.
It was formally introduced to Western philosophy by Descartes in the 17th century in his Meditations on First Philosophy.

Cartesian circle

Circle objectioncircularity
B. Circle objection 1: if we aren’t certain that judgments based on clear and distinct ideas are true before we prove God’s existence, then we can’t be certain that we are a thinking thing (2nd).
Descartes argues – for example, in the third of his Meditations on First Philosophy – that whatever one clearly and distinctly perceives is true: "I now seem to be able to lay it down as a general rule that whatever I perceive very clearly and distinctly is true."

Chiliagon

1000chiliagonal numberthousand sided geometrical figure
When I want to think of a chiliagon, I understand that it is a figure with a thousand sides as well as I understand that a triangle is a figure with three, but I can't imagine its sides or "look" at them as though they were present Thus I observe that a special effort of mind is necessary to the act of imagination, which is not required to conceiving or understanding (ad intelligendum); and this special exertion of mind clearly shows the difference between imagination and pure intellection (imaginatio et intellectio pura).
René Descartes uses the chiliagon as an example in his Sixth Meditation to demonstrate the difference between pure intellection and imagination.

Solipsism

solipsisticsolipsistsolipsists
After using these two arguments to dispel solipsism and skepticism, Descartes seems to have succeeded in defining reality as being in three parts: God (infinite), minds, and material things (both finite).
One notable application of the identity of indiscernibles was by René Descartes in his Meditations on First Philosophy.

Mind–body dualism

dualismCartesian dualismmind-body dualism
In his Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes embarked upon a quest in which he called all his previous beliefs into doubt, in order to find out what he could be certain of.

Thomas Hobbes

HobbesHobbesianHobbes, Thomas
In Paris, he rejoined the coterie around Mersenne and wrote a critique of the Meditations on First Philosophy of Descartes, which was printed as third among the sets of "Objections" appended, with "Replies" from Descartes, in 1641.

Marin Mersenne

MersenneMersenne, MarinFather Mersenne
He submitted to various eminent Parisian thinkers a manuscript copy of the Meditations on First Philosophy, and defended its orthodoxy against numerous clerical critics.

Epistemology

epistemologicalepistemictheory of knowledge
Objections to the epistemology:

Antoine Arnauld

ArnauldAntoineArnauld, Antoine
He was one of the first to adopt the philosophy of René Descartes, though with certain orthodox reservations relating to Meditations on First Philosophy; and between 1683 and 1685 he had a long battle with Nicolas Malebranche on the relation of theology to metaphysics.

Cartesian Meditations

Méditations cartésiennesCartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology
The name Cartesian Meditations refers to René Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy. Thus Husserl wrote:

Philosophy

philosophicalphilosopherhistory of philosophy
Meditations on First Philosophy in which the existence of God and the immortality of the soul are demonstrated (Meditationes de Prima Philosophia, in qua Dei existentia et animæ immortalitas demonstratur) is a philosophical treatise by René Descartes first published in Latin in 1641.

Metaphysics

metaphysicalmetaphysicianmetaphysic
The book consists of the presentation of Descartes' metaphysical system in its most detailed level and in the expanding of his philosophical system, first introduced in the fourth part of his Discourse on Method (1637).

University of Paris

SorbonneParisLa Sorbonne
To the most wise and illustrious the Dean and Doctors of the Sacred Faculty of Theology in Paris

Circular reasoning

circular argumentcircularcircular logic
Moreover, the believers could be accused of making a circular reasoning, when saying that we must believe in God because of the Scriptures, and in the authority of the Scriptures because they have been inspired by God.