Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:39:02 — 90.7MB)
On Descartes's Meditations 1 and 2.
Descartes engages in the most influential navel gazing ever, and you are there! In this second and superior-to-the-first installment of our lil' philosophy discussion, we discuss what Descartes thinks he knows with certainty (hint: it is not you), the Matrix, and burning-at-the-stake.com. Mark and Wes agree to disagree about agreeing that they disagree. Seth had a long day and is very tired. Plus: Some listener feedback; whom is this here podcast aimed at? Why, you, of course!
To increase your enjoyment, download and read this online version of the text or buy a copy.
Here, also, is the Descartes chunk of Philosophy and the Matrix that Seth refers to.
End song: "Axiomatic" by New People from The Easy Thing (2009).
If you enjoy the episode, please consider supporting us through making a donation. A recurring $5 donation will get you access to episodes no longer available to the public, an online learning community, and more. Learn about PEL Citizenship.
Hi, I love your podcast, it’s a great way of keeping in touch with philosophy as it seems to keep sliping further and further from my daily life. Here’s a song, well atleast partly on this subject and it does mention a funny french dude. https://soundcloud.com/lauri-latva/thats-the-blues
and the songs in the ends are great!
Mark Linsenmayer says
Jordan Jones says
I wish you guys would have taken psilocybe cubensis to highlight what Decarte could not which is not a language excercise for the concept of dreaming while awake but an actual experience. There is so much more you could be adding to this conversation.
Maggie Arnold says
This is the best podcast ever and it makes me so happy. You’re so awesome I can’t even take it. My dream men 🙂
Michael Kress says
I’m a big fan of and really enjoyed this podcast.I even decided to watch The Matrix after listening to it. I’m currently reading Meditations and find it all very interesting, including 3-6. That would be cool if you did a podcast on those meditations as well. His thoughts on the existence of God and infinite regress
Michael Kress says
I’m a big fan of Descartes and really enjoyed this podcast. I even decided to watch The Matrix after listening to it. I’m currently reading Meditations and find it all very interesting, including 3-6. Perhaps you could do a podcast on those meditations as well. His thoughts on the existence of God and infinite regress are noteworthy. That would be cool to hear what you thought about that.
You guys are fucking awesome. Thanks for this.
Wes Alwan says
Thank you Lindsey!
Unlike Mark I think the process of thinking/assuming that everything is not real is important as in it helps us think about identity and certainty and unity of objects as you guys talked about. You can come to a conclusion that disagrees with the one that Descartes got but saying that this entire process is useless and is really futile is nonsensical as in you actually get places using this process.
This was a great episode.
I have a bit of a different view on Descartes’ Meditations. There is definitely an objective world out there, the one we learn through our senses and minds, through the experiences accumulated in generations. The world is always objective but there might be still a lot that we won’t know, and it would create a false confidence. Let’s imagine million years ago, a men see the lightning, it exist objectively, but back then people didn’t know what is it and even though they perceive the objective reality through own senses and therefore potentially disturbing it, they can’t explain what is it. They frightened and assigned the event to God. As the time passed, people learned that lighting occur during the storm and in the certain seasons, etc.
Now we know that lighting as it is, we can see the objective reality and perceive it correctly. We significantly proven it over the time, what lighting is. Now when we looking in space, we don’t really know much and therefore might not see the objective reality. It’s there but we subjectively can’t see it, because we simply didn’t accumulate enough experience and out mental frames missing required info.
A rock remains a rock, whatever we might call it, yes it is essentially a structure of atoms, etc but the physical characteristics doesn’t change. If we hit the rock it hurts, if the fly will hit the rock it will die and even if some sound wave would have a brain and can easily penetrate through rock, it would still recognize change in physical structure.
For me, the most practical take out of the meditation is the concept of a doubt. More in his previous work than meditation but the concept of doubting yourself is very powerful and would be beneficial to society. If you look at divided nation, would the Trump fierce supporters benefit of a slightest doubt that he might not actually saying the truth all the time or the Biden supporters that the are legitimate reasons why people voted Trump in the 1st place and continue voting? Instead of screaming the guts out, just give yourself the benefit of a doubt and you might see the world differently, more complex.
Janvi Chheda says
Yes this part was a little difficult to understand took me almost 3 hours to finish it but it was lovely