Introduction to Philosophy
Second Paper Assignment
On pp. 30 (20), Descartes uses the example of a lump of wax. Analyze this passage, addressing the following issues:
1. Briefly describe the example as Descartes presents it.
2. Descartes concludes that his “grasp” of the wax is not sensory (visual, tactile, olfactory, etc.), but rather it is “the result of purely mental inspection.” Explain why he believes this to be the case.
3. What does the example of the wax tell Descartes about the nature of the mind? About the reliability of the senses?
4. Relate the example of the lump of wax to other passages you have read in the Meditations. How does the example of the wax support or differ from other arguments Descartes makes?
Papers should be at least three full pages of text, and at most six pages.
Please use 12 pt. font, 1” margins. NO HEADINGS.
Please use a title page with the title of your paper, your name, the professor’s name, the name of the class, and the due date of the assignment.
Descartes’ Meditations may be cited by simply putting the page number(s) in parentheses at the end of the sentence. The page numbers should be the marginal number first, followed by the regular, modern page number. For example, the wax example is found on marginal page 30, regular page 20, so a citation would look like this: (30, 20) Secondary texts should be cited with full bibliographical information in footnotes, and a bibliography should be provided.