Philosophy 202
Great Traditions of Western Thought
The Modern Period


 Study Questions for Meditations 5 and 6


For next time, I want you to focus on a question that Descartes has raised a number of times in the Meditations: If God is all-powerful and all-good, how is it that he can allow us to be deceived. You will recall that he raised this issue in the first Meditation only to put it to one side as he proceeded to reflect on his beliefs. But now, at the close of the Meditations, Descartes returns to it.

What is Descartes' account of the origin of human error? Why does God allow us to be deceived? Why does this not make him a deceiver, i.e., a less than perfect being?

In thinking about this question, be sure to go over his answer in Meditation Six very carefully.

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