there are many other things in them; and I tell you, between ourselves, that these
six Meditations contain all the foundations of my physics. But that must not be
spread abroad, i
I take the 'insensibly' to mean that the principles will be accepted as self-evident and natural before they are recognized as a refutation of Aristotle. So, not subconsciously but more like 'unassociated' until fully appreciated. — Paine
I infer that God exists and that every moment of my existence depends on him.
... until I became aware of [God] I couldn’t perfectly know anything.
It seems significant his claim is not simply that God sustains us but must do so from moment to moment. — Fooloso4
Perhaps I have always existed as I do now. In that case, wouldn’t it follow that there need be no cause for my existence? No, it does not follow. For a life-span can be divided into countless parts, each completely independent of the others, so that from my existing at one time it doesn’t follow that I exist at later times, unless some cause keeps me in existence – one might say that it creates me afresh at each moment.
(emphasis added)Whereas every body is by its nature divisible, the mind can’t be divided. For when I consider the mind, or consider myself insofar as I am merely a thinking thing, I can’t detect any parts within myself.
... the nature of man as a combination of mind and body ...
Furthermore, my mind is me, for the following reason·. I know that I exist and that nothing else belongs to my nature or essence except that I am a thinking thing.
I see how the ideas of causes of motion can serve as a metaphor. Descartes is addressing why things appear to continue to exist from one moment to the nextI think we would translate "God" in this case as inertia. — frank
For because the entire span of one’s life can be divided into countless parts, each one wholly independent of the rest, it does not follow from the fact that I existed a short time ago that I must exist now, unless some cause, as it were, creates me all over again at this moment, that is to say, which preserves me. For it is obvious to one who pays close attention to the nature of time that plainly the same force and action are needed to preserve anything at each individual moment that it lasts as would be required to create that same thing anew, were it not yet in existence. Thus conservation differs from creation solely by virtue of a distinction of reason; this too is one of those things that are manifest by the light of nature. — ibid. page 33
This equation between creation and persistence is what I am trying to wrap my head around. Is this to say that, unlike Aristotle's understanding of properties that can be predicated to a specific subject (which persists for some finite period), substance is a set of conditions which a 'distinction of reason' can view in a different light? — Paine
This equation between creation and persistence is what I am trying to wrap my head around. — Paine
Aristotle formulates the latter, the kind of being that belongs to a thing not by happenstance but inevitably, as the “what it kept on being in the course of being at all” for a human being, or a duck, or a rosebush. The phrase to en einai is Aristotle’s answer to the Socratic question, ti esti? ... Stated generally, Aristotle’s claim is that a this, which is in the world on its own, self-sufficiently, has a what-it-always-was-to-be, and is just its what-it-always-was-to-be.
·(Part ll, Article 36)It seems clear to me that the general cause is no other than God himself. In the beginning he created matter, along with its motion and rest; and now, merely by regularly letting things run their course, he preserves the same amount of motion and rest in the material universe as he put there in the beginning.
(Article 37)The first of these laws is that each simple and undivided thing when left to itself always remains in the same state, never changing except from external causes.
(Article 25)A piece of matter or body moves if it goes from being in immediate contact with some bodies that are regarded as being at rest to being in immediate contact with other bodies.
it does not follow from the fact that I existed a short time ago that I must exist now, unless some cause, as it were, creates me all over again at this moment, that is to say, which preserves me. — ibid. page 33
t seems to me that this is a critical omission. It is not enough to simply rely on the Scholastic notion of of contingent beings. If we are to accept that at each moment the existence of anything and everything is threatened by extinction, there must be some external cause that threatens their existence. — Fooloso4
For it is obvious to one who pays close attention to the nature of time that plainly the same force and action are needed to preserve anything at each individual moment that it lasts as would be required to create that same thing anew — ibid. page 33
It is evident that even of the things that seem to be substances, most are capacities, whether the parts of animals (for none of them exists when it has been separated, and whenever they are separated they all exist only as matter) or earth, fire, and air (for none of them is one, but instead they are like a heap, until they are concocted and some one thing comes to be from them). — Aristotle. Metaphysics, 1040b5, translated by CDC Reeve
Descartes' life can be divided but his mind cannot. It would seem that the mind is not dependent on God from moment to moment for the mind is not divided into parts. — Fooloso4
(emphasis mine}For when I consider the mind or consider myself insofar as I am merely a thinking thing, I can’t detect any parts within myself.
I rightly conclude that my essence consists entirely in my being a thinking thing. And although perhaps (or rather, as I shall soon say, assuredly) I have a body that is very closely joined to me, nevertheless, because on the one hand I have a clear and distinct idea of myself, insofar as I am merely a thinking thing and not an extended thing, and because on the other hand I have a distinct idea of a body, insofar as it is merely an extended thing and not a thinking thing, it is certain that I am really distinct from my body, and can exist without it. — ibid. Sixth Meditation, page 51
... I have been using ‘nature’ ... to speak of what can be found in the things themselves
For the term ‘nature’, understood in the most general way, refers to God himself or to the ordered system of created things established by him. And my own nature is simply the totality of things bestowed on me by God.
I know that I exist and that nothing else belongs to my nature or essence except that I am a thinking thing
... the nature of man as a combination of mind and body ...
I am really distinct from my body, and can exist without it. — ibid. Sixth Meditation, page 51
For it is obvious to one who pays close attention to the nature of time that plainly the same force and action are needed to preserve anything at each individual moment that it lasts as would be required to create that same thing anew, were it not yet in existence. — ibid. page 33
A badly made clock conforms to the laws of its nature in telling the wrong time.
... a clock that works badly is ‘departing from its nature’
If I had derived my existence from myself, I would not now doubt or want or lack anything at all; for I would have given myself all the perfections of which I have any idea. So I would be God.
Perhaps I have always existed as I do now. In that case, wouldn’t it follow that there need be no cause for my existence?
Our freedom is that, when we are presented with the possibilities in a context, “we have no sense that we are pushed one way or the other by any external force.” So our will may very well be impinged, and our freedom is not about unfettered internal agency; as Descartes puts it, “I can be free without being inclined both ways.” The will is not having every option open (being “indifferent” he says), but having a will, an inclination, passion, desire, wish; Descartes focuses on acting on principle or knowledge, but the picture is that we are partial (made whole in the act Emerson says), personal, not simply intellectual, rational. — Antony Nickles
You have such mastery of the text — Manuel
you mention two uses of the word "nature" — Manuel
The example of the clock is illustrative, for he thinks that bodies, including human bodies, are similar to clocks ... On this he turned out to be quite wrong — Manuel
Nah. I make it up as I go along. Seriously. Of course it is based on what is found in the text, but the connections are things I am working out as I write. — Fooloso4
But not completely wrong. The details of his biomechanics might be wrong, but much has been gained by seeing the body as a mechanical system. — Fooloso4
we are inclined to do or say such and such in a specific situation X, but we are not compelled to do so. — Manuel
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