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of the hypothesis that all is a dream.
Arnauld and Mersenne in their criticism of Descartes were the first to point out the resemblance of the . to statements of St. Augustin. Descartes himself had not previously been aware of these. The truth is, he belonged to the school of the non-reading philosophers. He cared very little for what had been thought or said before him. The passage from Augustin which has been referred to as closest to the statement of Descartes is from the , 1. xi., c. 26. It closes as follows: On this passage Descartes himself very properly remarks, that while the principle may be identical with his own, the consequences which he deduces from it, and its position as the ground of a philosophical system, make the characteristic difference between Augustin and himself. The specialty of Descartes is that he reached this principle of self-consciousness as the last limit of doubt and made it then the starting-point of his system. There is all the difference in his case, between the man who by chance stumbles on a fact, and leaves it isolated as he found it, and the man who reaches it by method—and, with a full consciousness of its importance, develops it through the ramifications of a philosophical system. To him the fact when found is a significant truth as the limit of restless thought; it is not less significant and impulsive as a new point of departure in the line of higher truth.
the ideas which I received through the senses were much more lively, more clear, and even, in their own way,
more distinct than any of those which I could of myself frame in meditation, or than those I found impressed on my
memory, it appeared as though they could not have proceeded from my mind, so that they must necessarily have
been produced in me by some other things” (352).
After hastily concluding that corporeal objects could not have arisen from his own mind, Descartes goes on to
prove a distinction between these objects and the mind that perceives them, a far more persuasive portion of his
From this, Descartes proposed two arguments, the dream and ..
Though some such involuntariness argument has convinced many philosophers, the inference from 1 to 2 does not hold up to methodic doubt, as the meditator explains:
The opening line of the Sixth Meditation makes clear Descartes' principal objective, in this final chapter of his work: “It remains for me to examine whether material things exist” (AT 7:71). Establishing their existence is not a straightforward matter of perceiving them, because “bodies are not strictly perceived by the senses” (see above). Descartes' strategy has two main parts: first, he argues for the externality of the causes of sensation; second, he argues for the materiality of these external causes. From these two steps it follows that there exists an external material world. Let's consider each phase of the argument.
Dreaming, Philosophy of | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The very next paragraph (the fourth) draws the contrast, emphasizing the impressive certainty of clear and distinct perception. As earlier noted (), the certainty of interest to Descartes is psychological in character, though not merely psychological. Not only does occurrent clear and distinct perception resist doubt, it provides a kind of cognitive illumination. Both of these epistemic virtues—its doubt-resistance, and its luminance—are noted in the fourth paragraph:
The opening four paragraphs of the Third Meditation are pivotal. Descartes uses them to codify the phenomenal marks of our epistemically best perceptions, while clarifying also that even this impressive epistemic ground falls short of the goal of indefeasible Knowledge. This sobering realization is what leads to Descartes' infamous efforts to refute the Evil Genius Doubt, by proving a non-deceiving God.
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14/01/2018 · René Descartes
But what, then, am I? A thinking thing, it has been said. But what is a thinking thing? It is a thing thatdoubts, understands, [conceives], affirms, denies, wills, refuses; that imagines also, and perceives. Assuredly it is not little, if all these properties belong to my nature. But why should they not belong to it? Am I not that very being who now doubts of almost everything; who, for all that, understands and conceives certain things; who affirms one alone as true, and denies the others; who desires to know more of them, and does not wish to be deceived; who imagines many things, sometimes even despite his will; and is likewise percipient of many, as if through the medium of the senses. Is there nothing of all this as true as that I am, even although I should be always dreaming, and although he who gave me being employed all his ingenuity to deceive me? Is there also any one of these attributes that can be properly distinguished from my thought, or that can be said to be separate from myself? For it is of itself so evident that it is I who doubt, I who understand, and I who desire, that it is here unnecessary to add anything by way of rendering it more clear. And I am as certainly the same being who imagines; for although it maybe (as I before supposed) that nothing I imagine is true, still the power of imagination does not cease really to exist in me and to form part of my thought. In fine, I am the same being who perceives, that is, who apprehends certain objects as by the organs of sense, since, in truth, I see light, hear a noise, and feel heat. But it will be said that these presentations are false, and that I am dreaming. Let it be so. At all events it is certain that I seem to see light, hear a noise, and feel heat; this cannot be false, and this is what in me is properly called perceiving , which is nothing else than thinking. From this I begin to know what I am with somewhat greater clearness and distinctness than heretofore.
Free rationalism Essays and Papers - 123HelpMe
I. There can, I think, be little doubt that this identification of finite self-consciousness and an infinite self-consciousness, or consciousness of Deity, is a totally different conception from that of Descartes. He no doubt holds, that alongside the finite self-consciousness there is an idea of the Infinite—an idea which is positive, which possesses more reality than the idea of the finite. This idea issuggested to us, or it arises into actual consciousness, through the conception of our own finitude, limitation, or imperfection. It is, in fact, the correlate of the intuition of self and its limitations; but it is not, in Descartes' view, an intuition of being, as our self-consciousness is; it is not, properly speaking, a consciousness of being at all; it is not, as it has been improperly regarded, the consciousness of God on the same level with the consciousness of self — it is simply an objective or representative idea in the consciousness of the finite being. The idea and the reality of God are so far from being identical, that the principle of Casuality is called in by Descartes to infer the Being from the Idea. There is no identification here of the finite self-consciousness as an intuition with the idea even, far less with that which is totally separate from the idea — the Being or consciousness of Deity. We could not properly, on the Cartesian doctrine, even speak of the consciousness of God, as we can of the consciousness of ourself; for, in the latter case, we are the reality — in the former we are not even face to face with it.
Atheology | Explaining the Atheist Revolution
This principle of determination is explicitly stated in the Logic of Hegel (I quote from the Logic of the , as far on as § 91, where, under Quality, he tells us that “the foundation of all determinateness is negation (as Spinoza says), .” Hegel has got by this time to Quality,— There and Then Being—as a stage in the deduction from Pure Being. It is necessary, therefore, to look back for a moment at the previous stages of the dialectical process, and to see how this principle is now stated for the first time. We have previously the pre-suppositionless stage of Pure Being, with its necessary implicate Naught or Non-Being, and the resumption of the two moments in Becoming. We have the whole pretension of the dialectic laid bare. We have the pre-suppositionless Pure Being; we have its necessary self-movement into its opposite, and the inter-connection of the moments summed up in Becoming; the pretension that those self-evolved determinations are the predicates of Being. Out of Becoming, as a fresh starting-point, we have the moment of Quality , determinate Being in Space, and Time,— Something . This may be regarded as the first step of the dialectic in the region of definite cognizable reality. I do not at present propose to discuss those positions fully. If I did, the first question I should ask would be whether there is here an absolute pre-suppositionless beginning. I should certainly challenge the statement that pure Being as a thought is pre-suppositionless. Such a thought or concept is only intelligible in my consciousness; and the process, at least, must take place there as the abstraction from, and therefore the correlative of the concrete being which I already know, from a source different from pure thought. Hegel's pure Being is just as much a shot outof a pistol as Schelling's intuition of the absolute, which he so characterizes. The truth is, that pure being as a simple abstraction from the conditions of apprehended Being supposes an abstractor—an Ego, or thinker, whose thought also is a correlative condition of its possibility, and who, therefore, is at the beginning as much as the pure Being is. Take the basis of the system as pure Being, or as a concrete Some-being of consciousness, how is either of these guaranteed to us? We have seen what is the guarantee of Descartes. It is intuition regulated by non-contradiction. But what is the guarantee of Hegel's basis? Mere , or being, is an abstraction from immediate consciousness. What guarantees this consciousness? What grasps this abstraction? Nothing whatever in his system. There is nothing to give the one; there is nothing to guarantee the other. He has thrown away the possibility of even holding the pure being as an abstraction: for it is an abstraction from subject and attribute — from self-consciousness and its act. The of pure Being is , not deduced; it is as little guaranteed. It is the merest meaningless abstraction. On the other hand, reinstate self-consciousness and its act of abstraction: this act is a process of consciousness, as much as the act of doubt is; and the basis now is not mere Being, or pure thought; it is the very definite one of a self-conscious thinker, who is the ground of the abstraction and of the whole process of development, instead of being a stage or moment merely in the development. This self-consciousness is not deduced at least; and no guarantee can be found for it save intuition and non-contradiction.
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