Need help with philosophy questions about God's existence and Descartes

timer Asked: Dec 20th, 2015
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Question description

Answer all four (4) of the following question in one paragraph 

1. Is God’s existence self-evident according to Thomas? How so/how not?

2. What is material causality? How is it different from formal causality?

3. What are the different kinds of love according to Socrates? What do they lead to?

4. How is Augustine like Alcibiades? How is he different from Alcibiades?

II. Text Analysis

“[I did not originally intend to publish my Meditations]. But as soon as I had acquired some general notions regarding physics, and, beginning to test them in various particular difficulties, I noticed where they could lead and how much they differ from the principles that have been in use up to the present; [and so] I believed I could no longer keep them hidden away without sinning against the law that obliges us to procure, as much as is in our power, the common good of all men. For these notions made me see that it is possible to arrive at knowledge that would be very useful in life and that, in place of that speculative philosophy taught in the schools, it is possible to find a practical philosophy by means of which, knowing the force and actions of fire, water, air, the stars […] we might be able to […] render ourselves, as it were, masters and possessors of nature. This is desirable not only for the invention of an infinity of devices that would enable one to enjoy trouble free the fruits of the earth and all the goods found there, but also principally for the maintenance of health, which unquestionably is the first good and the foundation of all the goods in this life.”

1.  What is Descartes saying in this passage? (a) What is the purpose of his method? (b) What is the highest good of this life according to this citation?

2. Has Descartes’ dream come true? Have we been able to invent “an infinity of devices that would enable one to enjoy trouble free the fruits of the earth?” How so/how not?

3. Should we be, as Descartes wishes, “masters and possessors of nature?”

Tutor Answer

Boston College

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