descartes principles of philosophy pdf

Thus when, for example, we saw a certain colour, we thought wesaw something occupying a place out of us, and which was entirelysimilar to that idea of colour we were then conscious of; and fromthe habit of judging in this way, we seemed to see this so clearlyand distinctly that we esteemed it (i.e., the externality of thecolour) certain and indubitable. But seeing that woulddemand a great expenditure, to which the resources of a privateindividual like myself would not be adequate, unless aided by thepublic, and as I have no ground to expect this aid, I believe that Iought for the future to content myself with studying for my owninstruction, and posterity will excuse me if I fail hereafter tolabour for them. But it is certain we will never admit falsity for truth, so long aswe judge only of that which we clearly and distinctly perceive;because, as God is no deceiver, the faculty of knowledge which hehas given us cannot be fallacious, nor, for the same reason, thefaculty of will, when we do not extend it beyond the objects weclearly know. The third is,that the truths which they contain, being highly clear and certain,will take away all ground of dispute, and thus dispose men's mindsto gentleness and concord; whereas the contrary is the effect of thecontroversies of the schools, which, as they insensibly render thosewho are exercised in them more wrangling and opinionative, areperhaps the prime cause of the heresies and dissensions that nowharass the world. This will appear sufficiently certain and manifest to those who havebeen accustomed to contemplate the idea of God, and to turn theirthoughts to his infinite perfections; for, although we may notcomprehend them, because it is of the nature of the infinite not tobe comprehended by what is finite, we nevertheless conceive themmore clearly and distinctly than material objects, for this reason,that, being simple, and unobscured by limits,[Footnote: AfterLIMITS, "what of them we do conceive is much less confused. And since in truth weperceive no object such as it is by sense alone [but only by ourreason exercised upon sensible objects], as will hereafter beclearly shown, it thus happens that the majority during lifeperceive nothing unless in a confused way. Of your most Serene Highness, The most devoted servant. But although those who have onlyan inferior understanding may be as perfectly wise as their naturepermits, and may render themselves highly acceptable to God by theirvirtue, provided they preserve always a firm and constant resolutionto do all that they shall judge to be right, and to omit nothingthat may lead them to the knowledge of the duties of which they areignorant; nevertheless, those who preserve a constant resolution ofperforming the right, and are especially careful in instructingthemselves, and who possess also a highly perspicacious intellect,arrive doubtless at a higher degree of wisdom than others; and I seethat these three particulars are found in great perfection in yourHighness. download 1 file . For it is not only manifest by the natural lightthat nothing cannot be the cause of anything whatever, and that themore perfect cannot arise from the less perfect, so as to be therebyproduced as by its efficient and total cause, but also that it isimpossible we can have the idea or representation of anythingwhatever, unless there be somewhere, either in us or out of us, anoriginal which comprises, in reality, all the perfections that arethus represented to us; but, as we do not in any way find inourselves those absolute perfections of which we have the idea, wemust conclude that they exist in some nature different from ours,that is, in God, or at least that they were once in him; and it mostmanifestly follows [from their infinity] that they are still there. For example, because any substance which ceases to endureceases also to exist, duration is not distinct from substance exceptin thought (RATIONE); and in general all the modes of thinking whichwe consider as in objects differ only in thought, as well from theobjects of which they are thought as from each other in a commonobject. Principles of Philosophy is a book by Rene Descartes. That, although we may not comprehend the nature of God, thereis yet nothing which we know so clearly as his perfections. Descartes is following a tradition (started by Aristotle) which uses ‘first philosophy’ as a label for metaphysics.

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