An argument against descartes in his existence and state of being
But his replies to Caterus' objections to the ontological argument are best read as an extended effort to dispel prejudice and confusion, so as to enable his reader to intuit God's existence for himself.
Rather, another body takes the place of the first such that a new part of extension now constitutes that place or space.
Descartes mind body dualism essay
But Descartes' complete view is subtler and more sophisticated than these remarks first suggest. Does this make sense? Although they do not depend on his will, he might have a faculty producing them, like the faculty that produces dreams. This method employs intuition or, what is the same for Descartes, clear and distinct perception. If one only makes judgments about what is clearly and distinctly understood and abstains from making judgments about things that are not, then error would be avoided altogether. The rest of the treatise is meant to be read as if each Meditation takes place a day after the one prior. So Descartes agrees with Kant that there is no conceptual difference between conceiving a given substance as actually existing and conceiving it as merely possible. Yet contact must occur between two or more surfaces, and, since having a surface is a mode of extension, minds cannot have surfaces.
A substance is more of a thing than a mode; if there are real qualities or incomplete substances, they are things to a greater extent than modes, but to a lesser extent than complete substances; and, finally, if there is an infinite and independent substance, it is more of a thing than a finite and dependent substance.
These ideas can be examined and set aside at will but their internal content cannot be manipulated. Here it should be noted that a difference in just any non-essential property would have only shown that mind and body are not exactly the same.
I look upon this paper with eyes wide awake; It is not a matter of assigning predicates to subjects but of determining whether the idea of a supremely perfect being can be clearly and distinctly perceived while excluding necessary existence from it through a purely intellectual operation.
Descartes underscores the simplicity of his demonstration by comparing it to the way we ordinarily establish very basic truths in arithmetic and geometry, such as that the number two is even or that the sum of the angles of a triangle is equal to the sum of two right angles. Now, when Descartes says that a substance be it finite or infinite is merely rationally distinct from its existence, he always means an actually existing substance. Now it is manifest by the natural light that there must be at least as much reality in the efficient and total cause as in the effect of that cause. Therefore, the mind can exist without the body and vice versa. This is because an empty space, according to Descartes, would just be a non-extended space, which is impossible. But how can two substances with completely different natures causally interact? While such considerations might suffice to induce the requisite clear and distinct perception in the meditator, Descartes is aiming a deeper point, namely that there is a conceptual link between necessary existence and each of the other divine perfections. However, this line of reasoning is a result of misunderstanding the criterion for a real distinction. Since God would be the author of this false clear and distinct idea, he would be the source of the error and would, therefore, be a deceiver, which must be false.
Descartes was deeply dissatisfied with such uncertain knowledge. Accordingly I say that shape and other similar modes are strictly speaking modally distinct from the substance whose modes they are; but there is a lesser distinction between the other attributes ….
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