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Conficting Concerns

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Written by:

Michael M


Date added:

January 30, 2016







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5 / 1363


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Before the wax is "by the fire," Descartes describes it as having "the taste of honey" and is "hard, cold and can be handled without difficulty." But, once the beeswax has been under the scorching heat of the blaze, "the residual taste is eliminated, the smell goes away, the colour changes, the shape is lost, the size increases; (and) you can hardly touch it" (Descartes, 20)...
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Through such a procedure, Descartes shows us "extension," the process by which the scope, size, and/or range of a particular object is increased or prolonged, of what we would consider to be ordinary, but is it as ordinary as it seems? Because we bear witness of the transition of the wax from a solid object to a runny liquid, how is it that we know that the melted beeswax is in fact the same beeswax we began with? Descartes' answer is this: "But what is this wax which is perceived by the mind alone? ...
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