Descartes ' Meditations On First Philosophy

922 Words Jul 25th, 2015 4 Pages
In Rene Descartes’ excerpt, Meditations on First Philosophy, he proclaims, “It is beyond question that I shall reach the truth if I think hard enough about the things that I perfectly understand, keeping them separate from all the other matters in which my thoughts are more confused and obscure” (§104). When Descartes made this statement in his fourth meditation, what was he conjecturing by the term “perfect?” According to the standard interpretation, perfect encompasses all required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be. Nevertheless, perfect has different competing interpretations. Perfect could be expressed as complete, flawless, or accurate. Hence, illuminating different denotations of Descartes’ meaning of perfect could stimulate numerous interpretations of the passage.
The first interpretation of perfect could be expressed as complete, or having all the necessary or appropriate parts; lacking nothing; whole or unabridged. For instance, Descartes states, “Thus I see plainly that the certainty and truth of all knowledge depends strictly on my awareness of the true God. So much so that until I became aware of him I couldn’t perfectly know anything” (§121). Descartes expresses his dependency on and eagerness for God’s true knowledge. Further, he explains that until he is cognizant of the true God, he will never be “perfectly”, or in another interpretation, completely, knowledgeable about his beliefs. To accentuate the term…
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