The Discussion And The Conclusion Of Meditation II Essay

833 Words Oct 18th, 2014 4 Pages
The Discussion and the Conclusion: In Meditation II, Descartes introduces the “Wax Analogy” in order to demonstrate conclusively that things are known through the intellect rather than the senses and that the mind is better known than the body. Specifically, the argument is concerned with how we know rather than what we know. The argument concentrates on transformation— that is, a piece of wax melting into liquid wax. Descartes states that our senses allow us to know about a piece of wax: its colour, taste, smell, size, shape, and solidity. When the wax is placed near a fire, it melts; thus, its properties change as well. However, the same wax remains. Therefore, our awareness regarding the solid wax and the liquid wax being equivalent cannot originate from the senses since the wax’s sensible qualities have altered. What one can know about the wax is that it is flexible, mutable, and extended. Although, Descartes concludes that this is not known through the senses, and recognizes that it would be difficult to know this through the imagination as well: one cannot picture all of the infinite number of shapes included in mutability. Resultantly, the wax is known only through the intellect. This conclusion is revealed when Descartes states, “I must therefore admit that the nature of this piece of wax is in no way revealed by my imagination, but is perceived by the mind alone (Descartes 1998, p.84-5).” This clarifies that Descartes is speaking about the mind’s power…

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