Descartes ' Meditations On First Philosophy

1536 Words May 4th, 2015 7 Pages
“What therefore did I formerly think I was? A man, of course. But what is a man?” (Descartes 340). This question that Descartes addresses in Meditations on First Philosophy is important because it outlines his core philosophical view in his work. His philosophy primarily focuses on dualism, which is the concept that there is another world that exists with ideal forms and is separate from the world of perception. The part of dualism that Descartes focuses his work on is the distinction between the soul and the body. His perception of what makes up a person is that the soul and the body are two separate entities. More specifically, he believes that the body only exists as a consequence of the soul. These ideologies are applicable to the advancement and understanding of life today because although people naturally evolve through time, the essence of an individual remains the same; every person is born with a soul that thinks and a physical body with a head, neck, trunk, arms, hands, legs and feet. Therefore, through Descartes’ reasoning in his work, he was able to address the question of dualism and clearly illustrate that there exists a difference between the soul and the body. His ideas still remain relevant because he did not rely on principles of his time to draw conclusions, allowing scientists to utilize his work as a foundation for research to help better understand the world. Before examining Descartes’s efforts to allow society to understand the distinction between…
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