In the Second Meditation, Descartes’ meditator achieves certainty about his existence as a thinking thing. This provides the indubitable foundation from which he proves the existence of God and the material world. However, in the Third Meditation, Descartes writes “…my perception of the infinite, that is God, is in some way prior to my perception of the finite, that is myself” (AT 45; CSM II 31). The claim seems incongruous, since the meditator discovers something about his own existence and nature first. This thesis will identify four alternative meanings of the term ‘priority’ and defend the one that best reflects Descartes’ intentions. Each of the definitions affects Descartes’ first cosmological argument specifically and the Third Meditation generally. Priority provides an interpretive key to the Third Meditation, clarifying the structure of the cosmological argument, strengthening the argument against traditional objections, and providing insight into Descartes’ theory of innate ideas.
|Commitee:||Haghighi, Shahrokh, Klein, Alexander|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 56/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Religion, Philosophy, Philosophy|
|Keywords:||Descartes, Meditations, Priority|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be