Descartes Study Questions: Third Meditation

  1. What are Descartes’ preliminary considerations for the view that everything he very clearly and distinctly perceives is true?

  2. Why is it important for Descartes to determine whether God exists and whether he is a deceiver?

  3. Explain Descartes’ distinction between ideas (on the one hand) and judgments (on the other). Why is judgment the only area in which he must take care not to be mistaken? What kind of error does judgment most frequently lead to?

  4. What does it mean to be “taught by nature”? What does it mean to be “shown by the light of nature”?

  5. Descartes attempts to demonstrate that it was not a well-founded judgment that his ideas that he believes to be caused by things existing outside of him are actually caused by things existing outside of him. What is this demonstration

second part

  1. What is the relationship between the objective reality of an idea and the formal reality of its cause? After considering this relationship, what does Descartes “ultimately” conclude?

  2. What considerations does Descartes present to support the conclusion that God necessarily exists?

  3. What is Descartes’ proof for the view that God cannot be a deceiver?

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