Meditations on First Philosophy

There are six meditations which were discussed in the book “Meditations on First Philosophy: In Which the Existence of God and The Real Distinction of Mind and Body are Demonstrated” by Rene Descartes. It is a philosophical treatise first published in 1641.

Meditations on First Philosophy

First Meditation

“Your senses can deceive you.”

This is the main point in the first meditation. It shows how information got from our senses can sometimes mislead you.

By doubting everything around him, the Mediator can at least be sure not to be misled into falsehood by the demon.

Second Meditation

The focus of the second meditation is representation. There were 5 steps incorporated in this theory wherein it conveys detachment of the world from one’s mind. This led to the idea that the awareness of a human being to his environment implies his own existence.

Third Meditation

In the third meditation, the author’s focal point involves the three basic types of ideas: Volition (the ability for you to choose and decide mindfully), Feelings (occurrence of sentimental and emotional state) and Judgment (condition where an individual forms an opinion after contemplation).

Fourth Meditation

Knowing the truth is the quest which the author took in the fourth meditation. He also cited that the common sources of fault are will and understanding.

Understanding takes the definition of a state wherein an individual comprehends thoughts and actions around him. In his book, Descartes explained that such attribute is sometimes presented by God in partial.

Will, on the other hand, is a mental gift wherein an individual choose or decide towards an action or event. If understanding sometimes come partially as stated by the author, will can be presented wholly or none at all by the Supreme Being.

Fifth Meditation

The notion of material objects concerns the author on the fifth meditation. He also stated three arguments:

1.    God is the definition of a great perfect human being.
2.    Faultlessness is an essential part of subsistence.
3.    God exists.

Sixth Meditation

In the external environment of one’s self and God, there is a possibility that materials exists. It is like saying that such elements are present and real for the reason that God is capable of creating them.

During the last meditation, Descartes arrives at three realities. First, there is a God who is infinite. Secondly, there is a soul. Thirdly, there are material elements or things. The second and the third are obtainable, however with limits.

Descartes also identifies some irregularities in his meditation. He is still perplexed with why there is a sense in limbs which are surgically removed, or why there are senses in dreams.