Of the Nature of the Human Mind; and that it is more easily known that the Body, pages 8-12

What does Descartes demonstrate with the wax example? 

Descartes uses the wax example to describe his perspective of what is “met with outside of [himself]” Med. 1-12.  He demonstrates the senses he has to determine what the wax is; sight for imagining the figure, touch for texture, sound of the way it is being tapped on, taste of the sweetness from the flowers it came from, and smell from also the fragrance of flowers (from class).  This fits into Descartes’ main argument by how he applies it to everything else, including himself.  “So if I judge that the wax exists from the fact that I touch it, the same thing will follow, to wit, that I am; and if I judge that my imagination, or some other cause, whatever it is, persuades me that the wax exists, I shall still conclude the same.” Med 1-12

How does it fit into his main argument?

The wax example fits into Descartes’ main argument by how the mind is separate from the body, that the mind is the only real thing because it can think for itself.  A wax, on the other hand, cannot think and just does what it is supposed to do without any internal force.  We rely on our senses to perceive what is going on in the world, but Descartes claims that we cannot obtain any information without intellect with sensory details.

http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/meditations/section4.rhtml

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