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Name:  John Holladay
Title:  Professor of Humanities  /  Room C212.
Office Hours for Winter 1999:   Monday/Wednesday/Friday  10-11   Tuesday / Thursday 11-Noon


152 Western Philosophy Study Questions



Meditations I and II

1. Why does Descartes choose to doubt all natural sciences?

2. Why does Descartes question the perfect God in this universal doubt?

3. What does Descartes have left to base knowledge upon?

4. What is the significance of the analogy Descartes draws between Archimedes and himself?

5. How does Descartes prove that he exists? He does it in two ways.

        List all the steps in each proof.

6. Since Descartes knows that he thinks, what else is he sure of?

        What is he still not sure of?

7. On what grounds would Descartes accept the existence of a material body?

8.      Explain the wax example.



Meditations III and VI

I. What Is the truth dependent upon for Descartes?

2. Why must he prove the existence of a good God?

3. What does Descartes mean by an idea? What are the three kinds of ideas? (Not in your reading—see class notes.)

4. What are the three sources of ideas? From which source does our idea of God come? (Not in your reading—see class notes.)

5. Explain the importance of the relationship between an effect and its cause. What must be the ultimate cause of our ideas? Why?

6. Give a detailed summary of Descartes' proof of God's existence. There are two proofs.

7. In what ways are mind and body different?

8. How do we know we are not being deceived when we perceive bodies? How can we account for the fact that we are sometimes deceived?


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