Principles of Philosophy
Study Questions and Suggested Essay Topics
Explain how Descartes arrives at the notion of clear and distinct perceptions as the foundation for knowledge, in Part I of the Principles.
How does Descartes argue for God's existence?
How does Descartes argue for the real distinction between mind and body?
Suggested Essay Topics
What is Descartes' theory of planetary motion, and how does it utilize the principles of physics he established in Part II?
According to Descartes, how do we come to err?
Why does Descartes claim that extension is the essence of body? How does he argue for this claim? hy is this claim important to him?
How does Descartes argue for the distinction between primary qualities and secondary qualities?
Explain Descartes' theory of motion. What is unique about his theory? What work does this theory do in Part III of the Principles?
What is the difference between space and body according to Descartes? How does he argue for this claim? Why is it important to him?
What is the role of the senses according to Descartes? Does he think they are well-suited to this role?
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