Descartes' Third Meditation: Proof of God's Existence

1361 words 6 pages
Descartes' Third Meditation: Proof of God's Existence
In Rene Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes is seeking to find a system of stable, lasting and certain knowledge, which he can ultimately regard as the Truth. In his methodical quest to carry out his task, Descartes eventually arrives at the proverbial fork in the road: how to bridge the knowledge of self with that of the rest of the world. Descartes’ answer to this is to prove the existence of God. The purpose of this essay will be to state and explain Descartes' Third Meditation: Proof of God's Existence by identifying relevant concepts and terminology and their relationship to each other and examining each premise as well as the conclusion of the proof and finally
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God), either of which would be of formal (mind independent) reality. In saying this I eliminate the notion that the idea of the ceiling could be sustained by the holes and markings (accidents and modifications) because according to Descartes they are of a lower degree of reality, and what is of lower degree cannot of itself bring about something of a higher degree.
The second premise of Descartes Third Meditation Proof of God's Existence stems from introspection, that is, Descartes direct mental inspection his thoughts as a thinking thing. In this Descartes recounts what he knows to be true up to this point. He concludes that what little things he knows such as substance, duration , number, and extension, shape , place, and motion are no greater than himself and indeed may be in him eminently. He considers these things to be as finite as he is. But now, I introduce a further revelation of Descartes mind, that of his conception or idea of an infinite substance. In this he means a substance that is "independent, supremely intelligent and supremely powerful" (p. 60). Moreover, a substance which extends beyond the bounds of his minds and in whom lies the limitless concepts of both things that he can and cannot perceive.
At this point I should call attention to the significance of Descartes' thinking. One of the qualities Descartes assumes about himself is that his power of conception is far greater than the power of his imagination. Thus he conceive of a great many


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