Meditations On First Philosophy Book Summary (PDF) by René Descartes

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Ready to learn the most important takeaways from Meditations On First Philosophy in less than two minutes? Keep reading!

Why This Book Matters:

Written by the father of modern philosophy Rene Descartes in 1640, Meditations on First Philosophy is Descartes’s masterpiece and the origin of his famous quote: “I think; therefore, I am.” Descartes presents his ideas on the things we know, how we know them, and puts forth his arguments on the existence of God.

The Big Takeaways:

  1. If we are thinking, we are existing.
    1. If Descartes puts a strong emphasis on thought. He argues that thinking is the first proof of our existence.
  2. Mind and body are two entities independent of one another.
    1. Descartes argues that the mind does not need a body to exist.
  3. Senses are the greatest deceivers.
    1. Descartes argues that the mind is the greatest deceiver of all. Being skeptical of every bit of information we receive is the only way to avoid being deceived.
  4. Our natural ability to think is proof of the greatest thinker of all.
    1. Descartes puts forth fantastic evidence to prove God’s existence by basing his example on our born-ability to think.
  5. There are three levels of origin and existence for everything we encounter.
    1. Every single thing we see and interact with is multi-dimensional.

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