Over the years, I’ve read portions of Mediations in my study of philosophy. I’ve always enjoyed his viewpoint presented in Mediations-mainly I think therefore I am. But for some reason I was hesitant on reading the actual source material. I wanted to continue with my learning for a bit until reading Mediations for myself that way I had a foundation to think about things. After reading the introduction, I find that was what Rene Descartes wanted in a way. He wrote his philosophical works in Latin instead of the more accessible French so it would be for learned readers only.
Mediations and other Metaphysical Writings was actually a joy to read. It wasn’t written in a way where his ideas were too hard to understand. It was easy to see how the idea that if I’m thinking, I must exist in that moment. But the idea that I was drawn towards more was the duality of mind-body. It’s something that is a little hard to understand but it makes sense for me but there are things that exist in only the minds, things that exist in the body and there are times when they work together.
One of the things I never expected to find in this work was how willing he was to defend and explain his ideas to his objectors or to really have dialogue with people about his ideas. It was nice to see how he was willing to revise his works or just rework them. The manifesto at the end where he takes on a misguided reader and try to steer him to his way of thinking.
The only thing that I didn’t fully get was how these mediations proved God. Everything was so purposeful and interesting yet he would negate some of his ideas or put special difference when it came to God. I just thought that was the weak by him. But at the same time, I do agree with many of his assumptions.
I am so glad I read Mediations when I did. Hopefully next week I can continue some of quick reading so I can devote solid amount of time to philosophy. Rene Descartes continues to thrill me.