2 The thinking substance or Cartesian dualism: what am I? 3 Conclusion on the second Meditations: § Related articles on Meditations by Descartes. The full text of Rene Descarte's work - Meditations on First Philosophy. Meditation II: Of The Nature Of The Human Mind; And That It Is More Easily Known. RENE DESCARTES. MEDITATIONS ON FIRST PHILOSOPHY thought, arrogantly combat the most important of truths2. That is why, whatever force there may be.


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Thinking is another attribute of the soul; and here I discover what properly belongs to myself.

  • Descartes: Meditation II { Philosophy Index }
  • Meditations on First Philosophy - Wikipedia
  • Descartes: Meditations 2
  • Descartes: Meditations II
  • Meditation II: Of The Nature Of The Human Mind; And That It Is More Easily Known Than The Body

Meditation 2 descartes alone is inseparable from me. As often as I think; for perhaps it would even happen, if I should wholly cease to think, that I should at the same time altogether cease to be.

Meditations on First Philosophy

I now admit nothing that is not necessarily true. I am therefore, precisely speaking, only meditation 2 descartes thinking thing, that is, a mind mens sive animusunderstanding, or reason, terms whose signification was before unknown to me.

I am, however, a real thing, and really existent; but what thing?

The answer was, a thinking thing. The question now arises, am I aught besides?

I will stimulate my imagination with a view to discover whether I am not still something more than a thinking being. Now it is plain I am not the assemblage of members called the human body; I am not a thin and penetrating air diffused through all these members, or wind, or flame, or vapor, or breath, or any of all the things I can imagine; for I supposed that all these were not, and, without changing the supposition, I find that I still feel assured of my existence.

But it meditation 2 descartes true, perhaps, that those very things which I meditation 2 descartes to be non-existent, because they are unknown to me, are not in truth different from myself whom I know.

Meditations on First Philosophy - Wikipedia

This is a point I cannot determine, and do not now enter into any dispute regarding it. I can only judge of things that are known to me: I am conscious that I exist, and I who know that I exist inquire into what I am.

It is, however, perfectly certain that the knowledge of my existence, thus precisely taken, is not dependent on things, the existence of which is as yet unknown to me: Moreover, the phrase itself, I frame an image efffingoreminds me of my error; for I meditation 2 descartes in truth frame one if I were to imagine myself meditation 2 descartes be anything, since to imagine is nothing more than to contemplate the figure or image of a corporeal thing; but I already know that I exist, and that it is possible at the same time that all those images, and in general all that relates to the nature of body, meditation 2 descartes merely dreams or chimeras.

From this I discover that it is not more reasonable to say, I will excite my imagination that I may know more distinctly what I am, than to express myself as follows: I am now awake, and perceive something real; but because my perception is not sufficiently clear, I will of express purpose go to sleep that my dreams may represent to me the object of my perception with more truth and clearness.


And, therefore, I know that nothing of all that I can embrace in imagination belongs to the knowledge which I have of myself, and that there is need to recall with meditation 2 descartes utmost care the mind from this mode of thinking, that meditation 2 descartes may be able to know its own nature with perfect distinctness.

But what, then, am I? A thinking thing, it has been said. But what is a thinking thing?

Cultural Reader: Descartes / Meditation 2 - Short Summary

It is a thing that doubts, understands, conceives, affirms, denies, wills, refuses; that imagines meditation 2 descartes, and perceives.

When I want to think of a chiliagonI 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, meditation 2 descartes is not required to conceiving or meditation 2 descartes ad intelligendum ; and this special exertion of mind clearly shows the difference between imagination and pure intellection imaginatio et intellectio pura.

At this point, he has only shown that their existence could conveniently explain this mental process.

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