Analysis Of Rene Descartes 's ' The Second Meditation '

980 Words4 Pages
During the Second Meditation, Rene Descartes begins to reevaluate everything he once thought to be true, due to our unreliable senses. He supports this statement by arguing that our senses often deceive us, that there is a separation between the mind and body and that reasoning should be the method of discovery. We typically use our senses to describe what an object is made up of. For example, if we are investigating a table, with our senses, we can tell by our vision that the table is there. We can touch the table with our hands to get an idea of what the table feels like. Descartes evaluates this logic more, only he does not use a table, he uses a piece of wax. From there, he identifies exactly what wax is with each sense. He comes to a conclusion that the wax is cold and hard, it smells like flowers, it looks yellow, it makes a rapping sound and tastes of honey. After melting the wax and rechecking all of its physical characteristics, Descartes realizes that everything about the wax has changed. The wax was now hot and wet, it has a faint smell, and it is a clear color and makes a splashing sound. Although the characteristics of the wax changed after it was melted, there was no doubt that this was still the very same piece of wax as before it was melted, despite the chemical change. This led Descartes to believe that our senses can deceive us. There are circumstances, like the wax, where what we think we know to be true is actually false. The purpose of this experiment
Open Document