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Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy Essays

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In Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes does and experiment with wax to try to prove that things actually exist in this world. This essay is going to prove how we can tell that things actually exist and what can perceive the wax.
Rene Descartes starts off with a description of the wax so he can prove to us the changes that will happen throughout his experiment.
“Let us take, for instance, this piece of wax. It has been taken quite recently from the honeycomb; it has not yet lost all the honey flavor. It retains some of the scent of the flowers from which it was collected. Its color, shape, and size are manifest. It is hard and cold; it is easy to touch. If you rap on it with your knuckle it will emit a sound” (Descartes, 21)
Rene Descartes experiment is to melt the wax to try to prove existence. Rene Descartes also shares with us what is happening to the wax while it is close to fire.
“I am bringing it close to the fire. The
remaining traces of the honey flavor are disappearing. Its scent is van-
ishing; the color is changing; the original shape is disappearing. Its size is
increasing; it is becoming liquid and hot; you can hardly touch it. And
now, when you rap on it, it no longer emits any sound.” (Descartes, 21)
Rene Descartes explained to us in his book how wax changes its forms so quickly when it is close to fire. But yet when we are done melting the wax, we still call it wax even though its forms have completely changed.
The question Rene Descartes was asking himself three questions after his experiment. The first was, what was grasped by the changing of the wax? “So what was there in the wa...


... middle of paper ...


...y doing the grasping to perceive the wax.
“For since I now know that even bodies are not, properly speaking, per-
ceived by the senses or by the faculty of imagination, but by the intellect
alone, and that they are not perceived through their being touched or
seen, but only through their being understood, I manifestly know that nothing can be
perceived more easily and more evidently than my own mind.” (Descartes, 23)
The final decision is that the mind is what grasps and can perceive the wax.
Rene Descartes just proved to us two things throughout this essay. One being how we can tell that things actually exist and the other was how the mind can grasp and perceive the wax.



Works Cited

Descartes, René. Meditations on First Philosophy. Trans. Donald A. Cress. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 1993. Print.


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