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Edward Langley Senior Thesis 2012

Edward Langley Senior Thesis 2012

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Published by Edward Langley
A Defense of the Proposition "That 'Sensation is of substance' is self-evident".
A Defense of the Proposition "That 'Sensation is of substance' is self-evident".

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Published by: Edward Langley on Mar 15, 2012
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08/03/2014

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Descartes raises a second objection in his Meditations.1

If one takes a piece of

beeswax and examines it, one notices many sensible qualities: its yellowish color, the

1

Meditation 3

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scent of honey, the noise it makes when struck, the slight sweetness, its temperature

and its shape. When it melts, however, all of these change: it becomes clear, odorless,

and tasteless; it does not sound when struck; it is hot and has no particular shape.

Yet, everyone thinks it to be the same substance and very few would deny this. Since

all the sensible qualities have changed, however, sense cannot be the basis for thinking

this. Moreover, for any sensible, there is a situation in which it changes while the

substance remains: one-legged men, three-legged dogs, grey hair, etc. Consequently,

it seems that substance cannot be sensed since none of the sensibles is a reliable

indicator of the substance.

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