Meditation three of descartes essay

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Meditation three of descartes essay

Science as Observation and Experiment a. He asks the reader to carefully observe an eyeball, say that of an ox, from which a portion of the rear has been removed with sufficient care to leave the eyeball fluid untouched.

The portion removed is covered with a thin piece of paper. Descartes then describes how one can view the image formed on the back of the eyeball of objects at varying distances from the front of the eyeball, how the size of the image varies with distance, becomes fuzzier when the eyeball is squeezed, and so on.

These were observations that had not before been recorded: The method was to, in the first place, explore it by empirical observation.

Meditation three of descartes essay

Look, but look carefully and systematically. To observe, however, is not to explain, and the new science seeks also to explain.

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Descartes has prepared the way for this. The former was already well known, but the sine law for refraction was newly discovered. Huygens was later to complain that Descartes had not referred to Snell, who is now generally credited with the discovery of this law.

Descartes carefully shows how the lens of the eyeball, in conformity with the law of refraction, focuses light arriving from the object to form the image on the retina.

The more particular biological facts of sight can be explained by the more general laws of geometrical optics. The sine law of refraction is Meditation three of descartes essay general form of a set of laws: The actual angle for any pair of substances will have to be determined by experiment.

Notice the structure of these inferences. There is a general law to the effect that for any situation of certain generic sort, there are specific laws that have some generic form.

This is a law about laws. These two Principles provide a framework within which the scientist searching after truth works as he or she attempts to locate the law of the relevant generic sort that is there, according to theory, to be discovered. There will be a number of specific possibilities, each of the relevant generic sort.

The un-eliminated hypothesis will be the specific law one is aiming to discover. In particular, such experiments will determine the constant of refraction that the sine law asserts to be there for specific pairs of transparent substances. Experiment will confirm the un-eliminated specific hypothesis, and this will in turn confirm the more generic theory that predicted the existence of a law of that relevant form.

The direction of the light rays as they pass from one substance to another will be determined not just by the constant of refraction, but also by the curvature of the surface that is the interface boundary.

Descartes shows how the shape of a lens contributes to the formation of images. This again is a generic description of the laws applying to many specific situations.

Descartes applies this knowledge to account for the various effects that can be produced on the image on the retina, for example, by squeezing the eyeball to distort the lens of the eye in various ways. Descartes is using the knowledge of patterns not only to explain things newly noticed in observation, but also to apply it in ways useful to the further scientific exploration of the world telescopes and to make ordinary life better corrective lenses.

The laws about laws that are the laws of reflection and refraction are themselves laws of physics, laws of matter in motion.

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This kinship is not only one of shape but one of the generic form of the laws that describe the motions of these two sorts of entity. He assumes that the particles of light move in straight lines.

In the case of reflection he assumes that the light, that is, these light particles, strike an impenetrable surface and bounce off. In the case of the refraction he assumes the particles pass from a medium of one density to and through one with another density.

The deductions Descartes offers are, in particular in the case of refraction, of questionable validity, but that is not to the present point; our interest is in the Cartesian method or methods and not how he actually applies them.

Descartes is clearly open to speculation because the model he uses for light is one that lacked empirical confirmation. He offered little evidence for his model of light. But it has two uses. One is as a heuristic device, to be used to discover laws, such as that of refraction, which can themselves be confirmed in experience.

The experimental confirmation of these specific laws will also confirm the laws of the generic theory that has been discovered by means of the heuristic model.Descartes meditation 3 essay. 4 stars based on reviews board of education significance essay essay differences between beowulf movie poem differences work based dissertation three page descriptive essay about my mother response essay to sonnet 3 jpeg xr webp comparison essay.

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PHILOSOPHY 2A Metaphysics and Classics in Philosophy Study Guide to Descartes' Meditations Part III. and essay topics for the Meditationsin particular.

Study Guide to Descartes' Meditations: Part III

This Study Guide is in three parts, to make access easier: Part I is an Introduction and In the Fifth Meditation Descartes returns again to the topics of matter, and God. Meditations on First Philosophy in which the existence of God and the immortality of the soul are demonstrated (Latin: Meditationes de Prima Philosophia, in qua Dei existentia et animæ immortalitas demonstratur) is a philosophical treatise by René Descartes first published in Latin in Descartes' First Meditation Rene Descartes decision to shatter the molds of traditional thinking is still talked about today.

He is regarded as an influential abstract thinker; and some of his main ideas are still talked about by philosophers all over the world.

Meditation three of descartes essay

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René Descartes - Wikipedia