Wax On, Wax Off (Was The Wax Really There In The First

1151 WordsMar 9, 20175 Pages
Wax On, Wax Off (Was the Wax Really There in the First Place???) Descartes was one who would not resign to a perplexing theory or take a flawed proof as an answer. The meditations he had in his time are still talked about today. Descartes meditations lead to a plethora of thought provoking questions that are still discussed today. One meditation especially showcases these thought provoking questions due to Descartes impeccable use of an illustration, the mediation of the ball of wax. The ball of wax meditation is undoubtedly a groundbreaking meditation but it is not the first. Before the ball of wax meditation can be discussed the first meditation must be taken into consideration. In Descartes’ first meditation he does something that had…show more content…
To start with he examines the ball of wax and lists what he knows about it through his senses. That being its taste, smell, color, shape and so on. The normal things that are observed using the senses. Then Descartes changes the setting to one near a fire totally changing the wax. What once had one sets of physical characteristics taken in through the senses now has another. After seeing that the ball of wax had changed so much he wants to list what he can say for certainty is true. Descartes says that he knows the wax is “extended, flexible, and changeable thing” (Descartes p.161). He realizes that the information he gained did not come through his senses. His senses had led him astray leaving him to believe that this information either came from his imagination or his mind. However, Descartes also decides that he could not have imagined that the wax would had these characteristics or imagine the innumerous forms the wax could take. That just leaves one possible solution according to Descartes. He assumes that he knows these characteristics from intellect alone. His senses and imagination left him confused but by applying knowledge his thoughts were cleared up. By his use of knowledge, he was able to determine the what the wax really was. An object might be described by the senses but that description is not what an object is. That description is merely some characteristics in the objects current state but they do not define the object. The essence of an object,
Open Document