The wax was not the sweetness of the honey, the scent of the flowers, the whiteness, the shape, or the sound, but was rather a body that recently presented itself to me in those ways but now appears differently. But what exactly is this thing that I am now imagining? Well, if we take away whatever doesn't belong to the wax (that is, everything that the wax could be without), what is left is merely something extended, flexible and changeable. What do "flexible" mean here? I can imaginatively picture this piece of wax changing from round to square, from square to triangular, and so on. But that isn't what changeability is. In knowing that the wax is changeable, I understand that it can go through endlessly many changes of that kind, far more than I can depict in my imagination; so it isn't imagination that gives me grasp of the was as flexible and changeable. Also, what does 'extended' mean? Is the wax's extension also unknown? It increases if the wax melts, and increases again if it boils; the wax can be extended in many more ways ( that is with many more shapes) than I will ever bring before my imagination. I am forced to conclude that nature of this piece of wax isn't revealed by my imagination, but is perceived by the mind alone.

Questions on extract six

a) Bring out the theme and the logical articulations of this passage.
b) Explain the following concepts and expressions as used in the passage.
i) Flexible
ii) Changeable
iii) Imagination
c) What is the knowable part of the material object?
d) What is Descartes' view on the source of error?
e) Is the Cartesian doubt equivalent to Scepticism?
f) What is the impact of the central theme to our contemporary society?


But now that I am supposing there is a supremely powerful and malicious deceiver who has set out to trick me in every way he can - now what shall I say that I am? Can I claim to have any of the features that I used to think belong to a body? When I think about them really carefully, I find that they are all open to doubt: I shan't waste time by showing this about each of them separately. Now, what about the features that attributed to the soul? Nutrition or movement? Since now I am Pretending that I don't have a body, these are mere fictions. Sense-perception? One needs a body in order to perceive; and, besides, when dreaming I have seemed to perceive through the senses many things that I later realized I had not perceived in that way. Thinking? 

At last I have discovered it - though! This is the one thing that can't be separated from me. I am, I exist - that is certain. but for how long? For as long as I am thinking. But perhaps no longer than that; for it might be that if I stopped thinking I would stop existing; and I have to treat that possibility as though it were actual, because my present policy is to reject everything that isn't necessary true. strictly speaking, then, I am simply a thing that thinks - a mind, or intelligence, or intellect, or reason, these being words whose meaning I have only just come to know. still, I am a real existing thing. What kind of a thing? I have answered that: a thinking thing.

Questions to extract seven

a) Bring out the theme and the logical articulations of this passage.
b) Explain the following concepts and expressions as used in the passage
i) "a supremely powerful and malicious deceiver"

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