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DESCARTES MEDITATIONS FROM Descartes Philosophy of Rene Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy Monarch Notes 1 Jan 1963 Introduction The Meditations were written in Latin and first published in Paris in 1641 Descartes dedicated this book to the Dean and Faculty of Theology at the University of Paris He believed that the approbation of those theologians would constitute a public testimony of approval and support of the truth in the content of his work The Meditations are the most important of all of Descartes works They contain his full metaphysical and epistemological position He considers the problems of the sources and nature of knowledge the validity of truth the nature and destiny of man the existence of God and the creation of the universe This work is detailed far more than the Discourse Synopsis In the first meditation Descartes explains the reasons for his methodological doubts The second meditation describes the nature of the human mind The third meditation presents Descartes chief argument for the existence of God The fourth meditation shows the nature of error and points out the requirements for conforming truths The fifth meditation illustrates the essence of corporeal nature and presents another demonstration of the existence of God The sixth and final meditation differentiates the soul from the body Preface In a preface to the reader Descartes replies to some of the philosophical criticisms of his earlier book the Discourse He continues in the preface to describe his effort to meditate seriously upon the important questions of God and the human soul His readers are advised to detach their minds from sense pursuits When they are enabled to remove all prejudices from their characters it becomes possible to realize the maximum benefit of these meditations Meditation I Summary Descartes declares that it was vital for him to wait until he was a mature man prior to undertaking the great task
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