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Descartes’ Aim in The Meditations

Suppose you are involved in developing a radical new approach to doing physics, and you’ve just seen one of your friends condemned by the Church (which is in charge of everything).
According to Sorell 2001, Descartes faced a trilemma:

How to avoid being banned?

1. Revise your physics

2. Disguise the consequences of your physics

3. Base your physics on principles that religious authorities could not object to.

Sorell (2001, p.36)

Eventually, in the Meditations and the Principles of Philosophy, he adopted the third of these approaches’ (Sorell 2001, p. 36)

Letter to Mersenne (28 January 1641)

‘these six meditations contain all the foundations of my physics. But please do not tell people, for that might make it harder for supporters of Aristotle to approve them. I hope that readers will gradually get used to my principles, and recognize their truth, before they notice that they destroy the principles of Aristotle.’

(Descartes was a little unclear about his aim. This matters because we should evaluate his arguments against his aims. Same applies to you: always state your aim at the start of your essays. Now Descartes has an excuse: doing so might have caused his execution (and his works were put on the Index, etc). You don’t have any such excuse, at least not as far as I’m concerned.)
What is this physics? What are the principles of Aristotle? [links to essential_nature unit]