Descartes meditations epub

  1. Meditations on First Philosophy (3rd Ed) Descartes.pdf -
  2. Meditations on First Philosophy
  3. Meditations on first philosophy, (eBook, ) []
  4. Online Library of Liberty

Free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook. By Rene Descartes. Meditations on First Philosophy (subtitled In which the existence of God and the immortality of the soul are. A discourse on method ; Meditations on the first philosophy ; Principles of philosophy. byDescartes, René, ; Veitch, John, Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. Selections from the Principles of Philosophy by René Descartes. No cover available.

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Descartes Meditations Epub

Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. Meditationes de prima philosophia by René Descartes. No cover. Réné Descartes, The Method, Meditations and Philosophy of Descartes [] ePub, KB, ePub standard file for your iPad or any e-reader compatible with. Meditations On First Philosophy. René Descartes. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, This file is of the edition of The Philosophical Works of.

Copyright , by M. From the original picture by Francis Hals, in the Gallery of the Louvre. These are: Whatever significance we attach to the alleged flaw in the argument in proof of God's existence drawn by Descartes from our mind's necessary conception of a perfect being, which conception in turn necessarily implies the existence of its object, the fact remains that in this ultimate unity of the soul's apperception whereby the many are brought into relation to a single all-embracing, all-regulating Whole lies the possibility of a science of the universe, and that in uniting the subjective certainty of consciousness with the clear precision of mathematical reasoning Descartes gave a new and vital impetus to human learning in both its physical and metaphysical endeavors. His parents were well to do, of the official class, and his father was the owner of considerable estates. His mother Edition: It was then, in his seventeenth year, that we read of his becoming dissatisfied with the hollow and formal learning of the Church schools and demanding a free and deeper range for his mental faculties. One study, favored of the Jesuits, mathematics, so deeply interested him that on leaving the college and going to Paris to taste the pleasures of a life in the world, he became in a year's time wearied of its dissipations and suddenly withdrew himself into almost cloistral retirement, in a little house at St. Germain, to give himself up to the fascinations of Arithmetic and Geometry. The disturbed political life of the capital led him to leave France, and in his twenty-first year he went to the Netherlands and enlisted in the army of Prince Maurice of Orange. After two years' service in Holland during an interval of peace, he enlisted again as a private in the Bavarian service in the war between Austria and the Protestant princes. In this war he was present at the battle of Prague, and in the following year he served in the Hungarian campaign. Quitting the service in the year , he journeyed through the eastern and northern countries returning through Belgium to Paris in Disposing of some inherited property in a way to yield him a comfortable income he now starts on a tour in Italy and Switzerland. Paying his vows at Loretto and visiting Rome and Venice, he returns again to France in , where he resumes his mathematical studies with his congenial companions, the famous mathematician Mydorge and his former schoolmate the priest Mersenne.

It is to suppose also, erroneously, a purely abstract beginning; for if I am able to say, I am conscious that all thinking is existing , the guarantee even of this major or universal is the particular affirmation of my being conscious of its truth in a given time; if I am not able to say this, then I cannot assert that all or any thinking is existing, or indeed assert anything at all.

In other words, I can connect no truth with my being conscious. I cannot know at all. But what precisely is the character of the immediate implication? What is implied? There are four possible meanings of the phrase.

My being or existence is the effect or product of my being conscious. My being conscious creates or produces my being.

Here my consciousness is first in order of existence. My being conscious implies that I am and was, before and in order to be conscious. My being conscious is the means of my knowing what my existence is, or what it means. Here my consciousness is identical with my existence. My consciousness and my being are convertible phrases.

My being conscious informs me that I exist, or through my being conscious I know for the first time that I exist. Here my being conscious is first in order of knowledge. With regard to the first of these interpretations, it is Edition: Implication is not production or creation. But, further, it does not interpret the sum in consistency with the cogito.

If I am first of all supposed to be conscious, I am supposed to be and to exercise a function or to be modified in a particular form. This interpretation may be taken as a forecast of the absolute ego of Fichte, out of which come the ego and the non-ego of consciousness.

There is no appearance of this having been the meaning of Descartes himself. And, indeed, it is not vindicable on any ground either of experience or reason. With regard to the second interpretation, nothing could be further from the meaning of Descartes. I am conscious; therefore, I must be before I am conscious, or I must conceive myself to be before I am conscious.

The inference in this case would be to my existence from my present or actual consciousness, as its ground and pre-rcquisite, as either before the consciousness in time, or to be necessarily conceived by me as grounding the consciousness.

There are passages which seem to countenance this interpretation — e. This rather points to the view that the I am of the formula is simply another aspect of the I am conscious — not really independently preceding it in time or in thought, but found inseparable from it in reality, though distinguishable in thought.

That my existence preceded my consciousness, Descartes would be the last to maintain; that I was before I was conscious, he would have scouted as an absurdity. That another Ego — viz, Deity — might have been, even was, he makes a matter of inference from my being, revealed to me even by my being.

But existence in the abstract, or existence per se as preceding me in any real sense, either as a power of creation or self-determination — whether in time and thought, or in thought only—he would have probably looked on as the simple vagary of speculation. He was opposed to the absolute ego as a beginning— the starting-point of Fichte—which as above consciousness Edition: He was opposed equally to abstract or quality-less existence as a starting-point, which is that of the Logic of Hegel, whatever attempts may be made to substitute for it a more concrete basis — viz, consciousness.

But for the intuitional knowledge of myself revealed in a definite act, it is obviously the doctrine of Descartes, and of truth, that I could not even propose to myself the question as to whether there is either knowledge or being; and any universal in knowledge is as yet to me simply meaningless.

With regard to the third interpretation, it seems to me not to be adequate to the meaning of Descartes, or the requirements of the case. It either does not say so much as Descartes means, or it says more than it professes to say.

If it be intended to say my consciousness means my existence in the proper sense of these words,— i. We have but compared two expressions, and said that the one is convertible with the other. But we may do this whether the expressions denote objects of experience or not. This is a mere comparison of notions; and Descartes certainly intended not to find a simple relation of convertibility between two notions but to reach certainty as to a matter of experience or fact — viz, the reality of my existence.

This interpretation, therefore, does not say so much as Descartes intends. But further, if instead of a statement of identity or convertibility between two notions it says that the one notion — viz, my being conscious—is found or realized as a fact, this is to go beyond the mere conception of relationship between it and another notion or element, and to allege the reality of my being conscious in the first instance, and secondly, its convertibility with my being.

But in that case the formula of Descartes does not simply say my consciousness means my being. This interpretation might be stated in the form of a hypothetical proposition. If I am conscious, I am existing.

But Descartes certainly went further than this. He made a direct categorical assertion of my existence. The decision of the question as to what my existence is may be involved in the assertion that it is, but this is secondary, and, it may be, immediately inferential, but still inferential.

We are thus shut up to the fourth interpretation which, with certain qualifications, is, it seems to me, the true one. My being conscious is the means of revealing myself as existing. In the order of knowledge, my being conscious is first; it is the beginning of knowledge, in time and logically. But it is not a single-sided fact: No sooner is the my being conscious realized than the my being is realized. In so far at least as I am conscious, I am. This is an immediate implication.

But it should be observed that this does not imply either the absolute identity of my existence with my momentary consciousness, or the convertibility of my existence with that consciousness. All, therefore, that can be said, or need be inferred, is that my existence, or the me I know myself to be, is revealed in the consciousness of a definite moment; but I am not entitled to say from that alone that the being of me is restricted to that moment, or identified absolutely with the content of that moment.

Nay, I may find that the identity and continuity of the momentary ego are actually implied in the fact that this experience of its existence is not possible except as part of a series of moments or successive states. In this case, there would be added to the mere existence of the ego its identity or continued existence through variety or succession in time.

Thus understood, the cogito ergo sum. It is a real basis, the basis of ultimate fact; it provides for the reality of my conscious life as something more than a disconnected series of consciousnesses or a play of words; it opens up to me infinite possibilities of knowledge; the reality of man and God can now be grasped by me in the form of the permanency of self-consciousness. It has been objected to the formula of Descartes, that it does not say what the sum or existo means; and further, that existence per se is a vague, even meaningless expression, and that to become a notion at all, existence must be cognized in, or translated into, some particular attribute, to which the term existence adds no further meaning than the attribute already possesses.

This twofold objection seems to me to be unfounded. When it is said I am , it is not meant that I am indefinitely anything, but that I am this or that, at a given time. In consciously asserting that I am, I am consciously energizing in this or that mode.

I am knowing, or I am feeling and knowing, or I am knowing and willing. This is a positive form of being. I am not called upon to vindicate the reality of existence as an abstract notion or notion per se , or even in its full extension. I merely affirm that in being conscious, I am revealed or appear as an existence or being,— a perfectly definite reality, but not all reality,—all possible or imaginable reality, though participating in a being which is or may be wider than my being.

Nor are the attempts that have been made to find the express form of existence, which Descartes is held necessarily to mean, more successful than the general criticism. But Descartes's answer to this would be very much what he said in reply to Gassendi, who, following precisely the same line of thought, suggested ambulo ergo sum. Unless the living or the walking be a fact of my consciousness, it is nothing to me, and is no part of my existence or being. Life is wider than consciousness,— at least if it is to be in any form identical with my being, it must be conscious life, just as it must be conscious walking.

But the second suggested interpretation is still worse. Nothing could be Edition: I am not something , that is, a wholly indefinite. I am as I think myself to be, as I am conscious in this or that definite mode, as I feel, apprehend, desire, or will. Being thus definitely conscious, I am not a mere indeterminate something.

Meditations on First Philosophy (3rd Ed) Descartes.pdf -

I am something simply because in the first place I know myself to be definitely this thing — myself. And as I know myself to be cognizant, I know myself to be definitely the knower, or, if you will, the subject. But the only object necessary to my knowledge in this case is a subject-object, or one of my own passing states. I require nothing further in the form of a not-self, in order to limit and render clear my self-knowledge. A mere sensation or state of feeling apprehended by me as mine is enough to constitute me a definite something.

Besides the alleged vagueness or emptiness of the term sum in the formula, there is a twofold objection,— one that it is not a real inference; the other that it is not a real proposition. It seems odd that it can be supposed possible for the same person to object to it on both of these grounds.

It may be criticised as a syllogism, and it may be criticised as a proposition; but surely it cannot be held to admit of both these characters. If it can be proved to be not a real proposition to begin with, it is superfluous to seek to prove it an unreal inference.

Meditations on First Philosophy

First, it is interpreted thus: But the statement would neither be tautological nor useless: And this meets the objection to the formula as a proposition. It is said to be not a real proposition, seeing that the predicate adds nothing to the subject.

This, in the first place, is not the test of a real Edition: A proposition may be simply analytic, and yet truly a proposition. All that is necessary to constitute a proposition is that it should imply inclusion or exclusion, attribution or non-attribution.

When I explicate four into the equivalent of i i i i , I have not added to the meaning of the subject, but I have identified a whole and its parts by a true prepositional form. I have analyzed no doubt merely, but truly and necessarily, and the result appears in a valid proposition.

But I do more, for I assert definitude of being in the thinking or consciousness,— and this, though inseparable from it in reality, is at least distinguishable in thought. It excludes, in fact, Hume on the one hand and Fichte on the other. The proposition is therefore merely verbal or analytic. By some test or other—by some form of experience. And what is this but falling back upon the principle of the cogito ergo sum as the ultimate in knowledge?

This would give the formula importance and validity. Surely there is a misconception here of what Descartes aimed at, or ought to have aimed at. This must guarantee itself to me in some way; that is the question which must be settled first; that is the question regarding the condition of the knowledge alike of feeling and Edition: It was nothing to the aim of Descartes what was associated in experience; he sought the ultimate form, or fact, if you choose, in experience itself, and his principle must be met, not by saying that it only gives certain real inferences through subsequent association and experience, but by a direct challenge of the guarantee of the principle itself—a challenge which indeed is incompatible with its being the basis of any real inference.

To the cogito ergo sum of Descartes it was readily and early objected, that if it identified my being and my consciousness, then I must either always be conscious, or, if consciousness ceases, I must cease to be. Descartes chose the former alternative, and maintained a continuity of consciousness through waking and sleeping. As a thinking substance, the soul is always conscious.

Through feebleness of cerebral impression, it does not always remember. What wonder is it, he asks, that we do not always remember the thoughts of our sleep or lethargy, when we often do not remember the thoughts of our waking hours? Traces on the brain are needed, to which the soul may turn, and it is not wonderful that they are awanting in the brain of a child or in sleep. Whether consciousness be absolutely continuous or not — whether suspension of consciousness in time be merely apparent, — is a mixed psychological and physiological question.

But it is hardly necessary to consider it in this connection; and Descartes probably went too far in his affirmative statement, and certainly in allowing it as the only counter-alternative. For consciousness must not be interpreted in the narrow sense of the conscious act merely, or of all conscious acts put together. That would be an abstract and artificial interpretation of consciousness.

That is but one side of it; and we must take into account the other element through which this conscious act is possible, and which is distinguishable but inseparable from it. When we seek to analyze my being , or my being conscious , we must keep in mind the coequal reality or necessary implication of self and the conscious act, and keep hold of all that is embodied in the assertion of the self by itself. This we shall find to be existence in time in this Edition: The variation and succession of the modes of consciousness do not affect this identical reality, and no more need the suspension do, even though the suspension of the mode were proved to be absolute, and not simply such a reduction of degree as merely to be below memory.

In our experience we find that after at least an apparent absolute suspension of consciousness, the I, or self, on the recovery of consciousness, asserts itself to be identical with the I, or self, of the consciousness that preceded the suspension. There is more than a logical or generic identity. It is here that psychology and physiology touch. The bodily organism, living and sentient, is the condition and instrument of consciousness.

The temporary manifestation of consciousness is dependent on physical conditions. Consciousness may be said to animate the body; and the body may be said to permit the manifestation of consciousness.

But there is the deeper element of the Ego or self which is the ground of the whole manifestations, however conditioned Through a non-fulfilment of the physical requirements, these manifestations may be absolutely suspended, or at least they may sink so low in degree, as to appear to be so; they may subside to such an extent as not to be the matter of subsequent memory; but the Ego may still survive, potentially if not actually existent; capable of again manifesting similar acts of consciousness, continuous and powerful enough to assert its existence and individuality, in varying even conflicting conscious states, and to triumph over the suspension of consciousness itself.

The deductive solution which has been given of this question does not meet the point at issue. It is said that though I am not always conscious of any special act Edition: This self, therefore, exists only as it thinks, and it thinks always.

To say that the Ego does not exist except in consciousness, and to say that it exists always, is to say either that consciousness always exists, or to say that when consciousness does not exist, the Ego yet exists, which is a simple contradiction, or to say that consciousness being nonexistent, the Ego neither exists nor does not exist, which is equally incompatible with its existing always. In fact, the two statements are irreconcilable.

If the Ego does not exist except in consciousness, it can only exist when consciousness exists; and unless the continued existence of consciousness is guaranteed to us somehow, the Ego cannot be said to exist always.

If the statement is meant as a definition of an Ego, the conclusion from it is tolerably evident: Still, it does not follow that there is always a conscious Ego, or that an Ego always exists. The existence of the Ego in time at all is still purely hypothetical, much more its continuous existence. Such a definition no more guarantees the reality of the Ego, than the definition of a triangle calls it into actual existence.

But what is the warrant of this definition? Is it a description of the actual Ego of my consciousness? Or is it a formula simply imposed upon actual consciousness? It cannot be accepted as the former, for the reason that it is a mere begging of the question raised by reflection regarding the character of the actual Ego of consciousness. The question is — Is it true or not, as a matter of fact, that the Ego which I am and know now or at a given time survives a suspension of consciousness?

It seems at least to do so, and not to be merely an Ego which reappears after the suspension. To define the actual Ego as only a conscious Ego is to beg and foreclose the conclusion to be discussed. The definition thus assumes the character of a formula imposed, and arbitrarily imposed, upon our actual consciousness. Let it be further observed that this doctrine does not even guarantee the continuous identity of the Ego , Edition: It cannot tell me that the Ego of a given act of consciousness is the one identical me of a succeeding act of consciousness.

All that it truly implies is that in terms of the definition an Ego is correlative with a consciousness; but it does not guarantee to me that the Ego of this definite time is the Ego of the second definite time.

It might be construed as saying no to this, and implying that logical identity is really all. But it does not, in fact, touch the reality of time at all. This is an abstract definition of an Ego, and a hypothetical one. The Ego of our actual consciousness may possess an identity of a totally different sort from that contemplated in this definition; and therefore, as applied to consciousness in time, it either settles nothing, or it begs the point at issue.

In fact, it is impossible to dispense with the intuitions of self-existence and continuous self-existence in time, whatever formula we state. Our existence is greatly wider than conciousness, or than phenomenal reality; we are and we persist amid the varieties, suspensions, and depressions of consciousness — a mysterious power of selfhood and unity, which, while it does not transcend itself, transcends at least its own states of being.

Now , the question arises, What precisely is the guarantee of this position,— the cogito ergo sum? It may be said simply individual reflection, individual test, trial, or experiment, on the processes of knowledge — analytic reflection carried to its utmost limit.

But it may be urged this is wholly an individual experience, and it cannot ground a general rule or law for all human knowledge, far less for knowledge in general. It is true that this experiment of Descartes is an individual effort, and all true philosophy is such.

This is essential to speculation in any form. The individual thinker must realize each truth as his own and by his own effort. But it is possible for the individual proceeding by single effort to find, and to unite himself with, universal truth.

Thus only, indeed, can he so unite himself. It is the quickened intellect in Edition: Doctrine held in any other way, even when it is truth, is a sapless verbalism. Now, what is the law or ground of the conviction that my being conscious is impossible unless as I am? Simply the principles of identity and non-contradiction, evidencing themselves in a definite form and application — asserting their strength, but as yet to Descartes only in a hidden way — implicitly, not explicitly.

If I try to think my being conscious without also thinking my being, I cannot. And as these are thus in the moment of time identical, it would be a contradiction to suppose me being conscious without me being.

Thus is my momentary existence secured or preserved for thought. Whether I can go beyond this and predicate the identity of my being or of me as being all through successive moments, is of course not at once settled by this position.

But it is not foreclosed by it, and it is open to adduce the proper proof of the continuous identity, if this can be found. This, as seems to me, is what is implied as the guarantee of the first principle of Descartes. He has not himself, however, developed it in this way, for the reason chiefly that he did not recognize the principle of Non-Contradiction as regulating immediate inference.

There is a little noticed but significant passage in which he touches on this law, in. Referring to that which we ought to take for the first principle , he says: In the first sense it may be said that it is impossible for the same thing at once to be and not to be is a principle, and that it may serve generally, not properly to make known the existence of anything, but only to cause that when one knows it one confirms the truth of it by such a reasoning,— It is impossible that what is should not be; but i know that such a thing is; hence i know Edition: This is of little importance, and does not make us wiser.

In the other sense, the first principle is that our soul exists , because there is nothing the existence of which is more known to us. I add also that it is not a condition which we ought to require of the first principle, that of being such that all other propositions may be reduced to and proved by it; it is enough that it serve to discover several of them, and that there is no other upon which it depends, or which we can find before it.

For it may be that there is not any principle in the world to which alone all things can be reduced; and the way in which people reduce other propositions to this, — impossibile est idem simul esse et non esse , —is superfluous and of no use; whereas it is with very great utility that one commences to be assured of the existence of God , and afterward of that of all creatures, by the consideration of his own proper existence.

This shows, on the whole, that Descartes had not fully thought out his own position. He had most certainly well appreciated the true scope of the principle of noncontradiction, as incapable of yielding a single fact or new notion. In this he showed himself greatly in advance of many nineteenth-century philosophers. And he showed also his thorough apprehension of the fact that the true principle of a constructive philosophy lies not in mere identity, or in the preservation of the consistency of a thought with itself, but in its affording the ground of new truths.

His view is, that ere the principle of non-contradiction can come into exercise at all, something must be known.

And any one who really puts meaning into words cannot suppose for a moment anything else. All this should be fully and generously recognized as evidence of a thoroughly far-seeing philosophical vision. At the same time, he does not see the negative or preservative value of the principle — and the need of it as a guard for the fact of self-consciousness as being self-existence for the moment, which he finds in experience.

It is this principle alone which, supervening on the intuition, makes it definite or limited — a positive — shut out from the very possibility of being identified with any opposite or negative, although this may be implied in its very conception. The first truth of Descartes — being conscious, I am — is thus not properly described as, in the first instance, a universal in knowledge. It is a definite particular or individual fact, guaranteed by its necessity, by the impossibility of transcending definite limits, and in this necessity, or through the consciousness of it, is the universality connected with the fact revealed.

But for the conscious necessity, I could never either know the universality, or guarantee to myself this universality, for I have as yet but knowledge of one actual case, whatever extension my conception may assume in and through it; and but for the necessity, I could never assert the universality — being conscious, i am; being conscious, each is.

Descartes expressly anticipated this misapprehension, and strove to correct it. Nothing can be more explicit than his view that the necessity is first, and that this is, as it can only be, the guarantee of the universality. If a universal, it must be a mere abstract universal to begin with, in which case it can be applied neither to my existence nor to my existence at a given time. It must be a universal too, surreptitiously obtained, for it is a universal of thought and being which I have never known or consciously realized in any individual case.

And if I have not done this, I cannot know it to be applicable to any case, far less to all cases. It is thus an empty and illegitimate abstraction, which can tell me nothing, because it wholly transcends any consciousness.

This is as true and certain to us as is the general formula or law which it exemplifies. Nay, we can only in the instance find for ourselves or test the necessity of the formula itself. We do not thus add to the certainty of our conviction of the truth in the particular instance by stating the general formula; we only draw out, as it were, of the particular case, and then describe that most general form on which reflection shows us this already perfect conviction rests.

It is, therefore, idle to talk of evolving the particular truth from the universal formula; Edition: Nor is it of any greater relevancy to say that self-consciousness is deduced from consciousness in general or the idea of consciousness; for, on exactly the same principle, we know nothing of such a general consciousness unless as exemplified in this primary self-consciousness.

This is as early in thought and in time as the idea of consciousness in general, or of the Ego in general, or an infinite self-consciousness, whatever such an ambiguous phrase may, according to the requirements of an argument, be twisted to mean. The mind determines an object when it classifies the materials of sense and inward experience; and when, descending from higher genera, it evolves species and individuals, through knowledge of differences extraneous to the genera themselves.

When we refer any given object to a class, and thus fix or determine it for what it is, we suppose the possession by us of a prior knowledge — knowledge of a class constituted and represented by objects — and knowledge too, of this or that object of thought, which we now refer to the class. Besides, determination implies a consciousness of generality — in this case even universality — of law and limit of which he could not possibly be conscious, until he became aware of them in the very act of his experimental reflection.

Even the most general form of determination—that of regarding an object as such — can arise into consciousness only reflectively through the first Edition: It must be able to act, though it is assumed as entirely empty and incapable of filling itself with content.

We have thus a complexus of absurdity. In these, as sensations, there is no manifold; each is an indivisible attribute or unity. These may, no doubt, constitute a manifold through time and succession; but they can do so only on condition of being separately apprehended in time as objects or points.

The manifold of sense even cannot be a manifold of non-entities or unconscious elements. But the problem of analyzing object or thing is an impossible one from the first. Of what is Edition: If we are not conscious of each element as an object by itself, as distinguished from each other element which enters into the object, we cannot know what the elements are which make up any object of consciousness. We have not even consciousness or knowledge at all.

We cannot specify either the mutual relations or the mutual functions of the elements. If we are conscious of each element by itself and of its functions, we have an object of knowledge, prior to the constitution of the object of knowledge — the only object supposed possible.

The truth is that this theory of determination proceeds on the confusion of two kinds of judgments which are wholly distinct in character, the logical and psychological.

Meditations on first philosophy, (eBook, ) []

The logical judgment always supposes two ideas of objects known by us. It comes into play only after apprehension of qualities, and is simply an application of classification or attribution.

The subject of the judgment is thus determined as belonging to a class, or as possessing an attribute; but subject, class, and attribute are already in the mind or consciousness; only they are as yet neither joined nor disjoined.

This kind of judgment is a secondary and derivative process, and has nothing to do with the primitive acts of knowledge. The psychological or metaphysical judgment, if the name be retained, with which knowledge begins, and without which the logical judgment is impossible — does not suppose a previous knowledge of the terms to be united.

It is manifested in self-consciousness and in perception. In it knowledge and affirmation of the present and momentary reality are identical.

As I am conscious of feeling, so I am affirming the reality of my consciousness or existence. As I touch extension, so I affirm the reality Edition: In no other way can I reach the reality either of self or not-self.

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To suppose that I reach it by comparing the notions of self and existence, or of extension and existence — is to suppose an absolutely abstract or general knowledge of me and being , in the first instance, that I may know, in the second instance, whether I can join them together, and they therefore exist. But this supposes that I can have this abstract knowledge by itself, apart from individual realization.

It supposes also that I can have this before I know its embodiment in the concrete at all, and finally it fails to give me the knowledge I seek—for it only, at the utmost, could tell me that the ideas of me and existence are not incongruous or contradictory — whereas what I wish to know is whether I actually am. On such a doctrine my existing must mean merely an ideal compatibility.

In a word, determination of things by thought, as it is called, supposes a system of thought or consciousness. It supposes the thinker to be in possession of notions and principles, and to be consciously in possession of them.

Otherwise it is a blind and unconscious determination done for the thinker, and not by him, and the thinker does not know at all. But if the thinker is already in possession of such a knowledge, we have not explained the origin of knowledge or experience; we have only referred it to a pre-existing system of knowledge in consciousness.

If, therefore, we are to show how knowledge rises up for the first time, we must look to what is before even this system. But before the general or generalized — as an abstraction—we have only the concrete individual instance,—the act of consciousness in this or that case. Either, therefore, we beg a system of knowledge, or we do not know at all, or we know the individual as embodying the general or universal for the first time. The intuition of self and its modes no doubt involves a great many elements or notions, not obvious at first sight.

It involves unity, individuality, substance, relation; it involves identity, and difference or discrimination of subject and object, of self and state. These notions or elements analytical reflection will explicitly evolve from the fact, as its essential factors.

Some are disposed to call these presuppositions. I have no desire to quarrel Edition: They are presuppositions in the sense of logical concomitance, or correlation. The fact or reality embodies them; they are realized in the fact.

The fact is, if you choose, reason realized. But they are not presuppositions, in the sense of grounds of evolution of the fact in which we find them. They are in it, and elements of it; but the fact is as necessary to their realization and known existence as they are to it.

You cannot take these by themselves, abstract them, set them apart, and evolve this or that individuality out of them. Identifier-ark ark: Isbn Lccn Page-progression lr. Pages Ppi Related-external-id urn: Scandate Scanner scribe3. Scanningcenter provo.

Worldcat source edition See also WorldCat this item. There are no reviews yet. But all of us can surely see that there may be many things in our mind of which the mind is not aware. Arnauld , p. One notable example is Freud, who holds precisely that we can have thoughts of which we are not aware while we are having them.

References Arnauld, M. Fourth Set of Objections. Cottingham, R.

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