Hi, i have an exam on Descartes Meditations. If you could just answer these questions with a couple sentences each and a paragraph for the ones that require more detail.
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- What is Descartes’s project? What is he hoping to accomplish?
- Why does Descartes begin by doubting sensory beliefs? Why not, say, beliefs based on memory?
- Descartes at first challenges sensory beliefs, but later seems to withdraw his doubt – why does he do this?
- What is the Dream Argument? Give the argument in numbered-step form. In class we challenged the first premise. What are some of the reasons why someone might think that the first premise is false? What are some reasons to think that those reasons aren’t any good?
- After giving the Dream Argument, Descartes says that certain kinds of beliefs can still be known even if we are dreaming? What are these kinds of beliefs? Why does he think that they can be known even if we are dreaming (I explained this using the terms a priori and a posteriori).
- What is the Evil Genius Hypothesis? Why does Descartes introduce it?
- Descartes claims to know something even if there were an Evil Genius trying to deceive him about everything. What does he supposedly know? Why does he supposedly know it? (Wee gave two version of Descartes’ argument). We gave a criticism of Descartes’s arguments in class – what is that criticism? Explain.
- What is the nature of this thing that Descartes claims he knows exists? Does it have a body? Does it have a past? Why or why not?