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Meditations On First Philosophy

and correction. This re$ision renders the 1rench edition specially $al*a!le. 7here it see s desira!le an alternati$e readin" fro the 1rench is "i$en in s8*are !rac0ets. 9Eli&a!eth '. (aldane

T4 T(E ,4'T 7I'E 2:D I++#'TRI4#' T(E Ren Descartes 1641


Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1996. This file is of the 1911 edition of The Philosophical Works of Descartes (Ca !rid"e #ni$ersity Press%, translated !y Eli&a!eth '. (aldane.

DE2: 2:D D4CT4R' 41 T(E '2CRED 12C#+T; 41 T(E4+4<; I: P2RI'.


The oti$e )hich ind*ces e to present to yo* this Treatise is so e.cellent, and, )hen yo* !eco e ac8*ainted )ith its desi"n, I a con$inced that yo* )ill also ha$e so e.cellent a oti$e for ta0in" it *nder yo*r protection, that I feel that I cannot do !etter, in order to render it in so e sort accepta!le to yo*, than in a fe) )ords to state )hat I ha$e set yself to do. I ha$e al)ays considered that the t)o 8*estions respectin" <od and the 'o*l )ere the chief of those that o*"ht to !e de onstrated !y philosophical rather than theolo"ical ar"* ent. 1or altho*"h it is 8*ite eno*"h for *s faithf*l ones to accept !y eans of faith the fact that the h* an so*l does not perish )ith the !ody, and that <od e.ists, it certainly does not see possi!le e$er to pers*ade infidels of any reli"ion, indeed, )e ay al ost say, of any oral $irt*e, *nless, to !e"in )ith, )e pro$e these t)o facts !y eans of the nat*ral reason. 2nd inas *ch as often in this life "reater re)ards are offered for $ice than for $irt*e, fe) people )o*ld prefer the ri"ht to the *sef*l, )ere they restrained neither !y the fear of <od nor the e.pectation of another life= and altho*"h it is a!sol*tely tr*e that )e *st !elie$e that there is a <od, !eca*se )e are so ta*"ht in the (oly 'cript*res, and, on the other hand, that )e *st !elie$e the (oly 'cript*res !eca*se they co e fro <od (the reason of this is, that, faith !ein" a "ift of <od, (e )ho "i$es the "race to ca*se *s to !elie$e other thin"s can li0e)ise "i$e it to ca*se *s to !elie$e that (e e.ists%, )e ne$ertheless co*ld not place this ar"* ent !efore infidels, )ho i"ht acc*se *s of reasonin" in a circle. 2nd, in tr*th, I ha$e noticed that yo*, alon" )ith all the theolo"ians, did not only affir that the e.istence of <od ay !e pro$ed !y the nat*ral reason, !*t also that it ay !e inferred fro the (oly 'cript*res, that 0no)led"e a!o*t (i is *ch clearer than that )hich )e ha$e of any created thin"s, and, as a atter of fact, is so easy to ac8*ire, that those

Prefatory Note To The Meditations. The first edition of the Meditations )as p*!lished in +atin !y ,ichael 'oly of Paris -at the 'i"n of the Phoeni./ in 1641 cum Privilegio et Approbatione Doctorum. The Royal -pri$ile"e/ )as indeed "i$en, !*t the -appro!ation/ see s to ha$e !een of a ost indefinite 0ind. The reason of the !oo0 !ein" p*!lished in 1rance and not in (olland, )here Descartes )as li$in" in a char in" co*ntry ho*se at Ende"eest near +eiden, )as apparently his fear that the D*tch inisters i"ht in so e )ay lay hold of it. (is friend, Pere ,ersenne, too0 char"e of its p*!lication in Paris and )rote to hi a!o*t any diffic*lties that occ*rred in the co*rse of its pro"ress thro*"h the press. The second edition )as ho)e$er p*!lished at 2 sterda in 1643 !y +o*is El&e$ir, and this edition )as acco panied !y the no) co pleted -4!5ections and Replies./1 The edition fro )hich the present translation is ade is the second 5*st entioned, and is that adopted !y ,,. 2da and Tannery as the ore correct, for reasons that they state in detail in the preface to their edition. The )or0 )as translated into 1rench !y the D*c de +*ynes in 1643 and Descartes considered the translation so e.cellent that he had it p*!lished so e years later. Clerselier, to co plete atters, had the -4!5ections/ also p*!lished in 1rench )ith the -Replies,/ and this, li0e the other, )as s*!5ect to Descartes6 re$ision
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P*!lished separately.

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)ho ha$e it not are c*lpa!le in their i"norance. This indeed appears fro the 7isdo of 'olo on, chapter .iii., )here it is said - How be it they are not to be e cused! for if their understanding was so great that they could discern the world and the creatures" why did they not rather find out the #ord thereof$% and in Ro ans, chapter i., it is said that they are -without e cuse/= and a"ain in the sa e place, !y these )ords -that which may be known of &od is manifest in them,/ it see s as thro*"h )e )ere sho)n that all that )hich can !e 0no)n of <od ay !e ade anifest !y eans )hich are not deri$ed fro any)here !*t fro o*rsel$es, and fro the si ple consideration of the nat*re of o*r inds. (ence I tho*"ht it not !eside y p*rpose to in8*ire ho) this is so, and ho) <od ay !e ore easily and certainly 0no)n than the thin"s of the )orld. 2nd as re"ards the so*l, altho*"h any ha$e considered that it is not easy to 0no) its nat*re, and so e ha$e e$en dared to say that h* an reasons ha$e con$inced *s that it )o*ld perish )ith the !ody, and that faith alone co*ld !elie$e the contrary, ne$ertheless, inas *ch as the +ateran Co*ncil held *nder +eo > (in the ei"hth session% conde ns these tenets, and as +eo e.pressly ordains Christian philosophers to ref*te their ar"* ents and to e ploy all their po)ers in a0in" 0no)n the tr*th, I ha$e $ent*red in this treatise to *nderta0e the sa e tas0. ,ore than that, I a a)are that the principal reason )hich ca*ses any i pio*s persons not to desire to !elie$e that there is a <od, and that the h* an so*l is distinct fro the !ody, is that they declare that hitherto no one has !een a!le to de onstrate these t)o facts= and altho*"h I a not of their opinion !*t, on the contrary, hold that the "reater part of the reasons )hich ha$e !een !ro*"ht for)ard concernin" these t)o 8*estions !y so any "reat en are, )hen they are ri"htly *nderstood, e8*al to so any de onstrations, and that it is al ost i possi!le to in$ent ne) ones, it is yet in y opinion the case that nothin" ore *sef*l can !e acco plished in philosophy than once for all to see0 )ith care for the !est of these reasons, and to set the forth in so clear and e.act a anner, that it )ill henceforth !e e$ident to e$ery!ody that they are $erita!le de onstrations. 2nd, finally, inas *ch as it )as desired that I sho*ld *nderta0e this tas0 !y any )ho )ere a)are that I had c*lti$ated a certain ,ethod for the resol*tion of diffic*lties of e$ery 0ind in the 'ciences9a ethod )hich it is tr*e is not no$el, since there is nothin" ore ancient than the tr*th, !*t of )hich they )ere a)are that I had ade *se s*ccessf*lly eno*"h in other atters of diffic*lty9I ha$e tho*"ht that it )as y d*ty also to

a0e trial of it in the present atter. :o) all that I co*ld acco plish in the atter is contained in this Treatise. :ot that I ha$e here dra)n to"ether all the different reasons )hich i"ht !e !ro*"ht for)ard to ser$e as proofs of this s*!5ect? for that ne$er see ed to !e necessary e.ceptin" )hen there )as no one sin"le proof that )as certain. @*t I ha$e treated the first and principal ones in s*ch a anner that I can $ent*re to !rin" the for)ard as $ery e$ident and $ery certain de onstrations. 2nd ore than that, I )ill say that these proofs are s*ch that I do not thin0 that there is any )ay open to the h* an ind !y )hich it can e$er s*cceed in disco$erin" !etter. 1or the i portance of the s*!5ect, and the "lory of <od to )hich all this relates, constrain e to spea0 here so e)hat ore freely of yself than is y ha!it. :e$ertheless, )hate$er certainty and e$idence I find in y reasons, I cannot pers*ade yself that all the )orld is capa!le of *nderstandin" the . 'till, 5*st as in <eo etry there are any de onstrations that ha$e !een left to *s !y 2rchi edes, !y 2polloni*s, !y Papp*s, and others, )hich are accepted !y e$eryone as perfectly certain and e$ident (!eca*se they clearly contain nothin" )hich, considered !y itself, is not $ery easy to *nderstand, and as all thro*"h that )hich follo)s has an e.act connection )ith, and dependence on that )hich precedes%, ne$ertheless, !eca*se they are so e)hat len"thy, and de and a ind )holly de$oted tot heir consideration, they are only ta0en in and *nderstood !y a $ery li ited n* !er of persons. 'i ilarly, altho*"h I 5*d"e that those of )hich I here a0e *se are e8*al to, or e$en s*rpass in certainty and e$idence, the de onstrations of <eo etry, I yet apprehend that they cannot !e ade8*ately *nderstood !y any, !oth !eca*se they are also a little len"thy and dependent the one on the other, and principally !eca*se they de and a ind )holly free of pre5*dices, and one )hich can !e easily detached fro the affairs of the senses. 2nd, tr*th to say, there are not so any in the )orld )ho are fitted for etaphysical spec*lations as there are for those of <eo etry. 2nd ore than that= there is still this difference, that in <eo etry, since each one is pers*aded that nothin" *st !e ad$anced of )hich there is not a certain de onstration, those )ho are not entirely adepts ore fre8*ently err in appro$in" )hat is false, in order to "i$e the i pression that they *nderstand it, than in ref*tin" the tr*e. @*t the case is different in philosophy )here e$eryone !elie$es that all is pro!le atical, and fe) "i$e the sel$es to the search after tr*th= and the "reater n* !er, in their desire to ac8*ire a rep*tation for !oldness of

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tho*"ht, arro"antly co !at the ost i portant of tr*ths2. That is )hy, )hate$er force there ay !e in y reasonin"s, seein" they !elon" to philosophy, I cannot hope that they )ill ha$e *ch effect on the inds of en, *nless yo* e.tend to the yo*r protection. @*t the esti ation in )hich yo*r Co pany is *ni$ersally held is so "reat, and the na e of '4R@4::E carries )ith it so *ch a*thority, that, ne.t to the 'acred Co*ncils, ne$er has s*ch deference !een paid to the 5*d" ent of any @ody, not only in )hat concerns the faith, !*t also in )hat re"ards h* an philosophy as )ell? e$eryone indeed !elie$es that it is not possi!le to disco$er else)here ore perspicacity and solidity, or ore inte"rity and )isdo in prono*ncin" 5*d" ent. 1or this reason I ha$e no do*!t that if yo* dei"n to ta0e the tro*!le in the first place of correctin" this )or0 (for !ein" conscio*s not only of y infir ity, !*t also of y i"norance, I sho*ld not dare to state that it )as free fro errors%, and then, after addin" to it these thin"s that are lac0in" to it, co pletin" those )hich are i perfect, and yo*rsel$es ta0in" the tro*!le to "i$e a ore a ple e.planation of those thin"s )hich ha$e need of it, or at least a0in" e a)are of the defects so that I ay apply yself to re edy the =3 )hen this is done and )hen finally the reasonin"s !y )hich I pro$e that there is a <od, and that the h* an so*l differs fro the !ody, shall !e carried to that point of perspic*ity to )hich I a s*re they can !e carried in order that they ay !e estee ed as perfectly e.act de onstrations, if yo* dei"n to a*thori&e yo*r appro!ation and to render p*!lic testi ony to their tr*th and certainty, I do not do*!t, I say, that hencefor)ard all the errors and false opinions )hich ha$e e$er e.isted re"ardin" these t)o 8*estions )ill soon !e effaced fro the inds of en. 1or the tr*th itself )ill easily ca*se all en of ind and learnin" to s*!scri!e to yo*r 5*d" ent= and yo*r a*thority )ill ca*se the atheists, )ho are *s*ally ore arro"ant than learned or 5*dicio*s, to rid the sel$es of their spirit of contradiction or lead the possi!ly the sel$es to defend the reasonin"s )hich they find !ein" recei$ed as de onstrations !y all persons of consideration, lest they appear not to *nderstand the . 2nd, finally, all others )ill easily yield to s*ch a ass of e$idence, and there )ill !e none )ho dares to do*!t the e.istence of <od and the real and tr*e distinction !et)een the h* an so*l and the !ody. It is for yo* no) in yo*r sin"*lar )isdo to 5*d"e of the i portance of the esta!lish ent of s*ch !eliefs Ayo* )ho see the

disorders prod*ced !y the do*!t of the B4 . @*t it )o*ld not !eco e e to say ore in consideration of the ca*se of <od and reli"ion to those )ho ha$e al)ays !een the ost )orthy s*pports of the Catholic Ch*rch.

Preface to the Reader. I ha$e already sli"htly to*ched on these t)o 8*estions of <od and the h* an so*l in the Disco*rse on the ,ethod of ri"htly cond*ctin" the Reason and see0in" tr*th in the 'ciences, p*!lished in 1rench in the year 16CD. :ot that I had the desi"n of treatin" these )ith any thoro*"hness, !*t only so to spea0 in passin", and in order to ascertain !y the 5*d" ent of the readers ho) I sho*ld treat the later on. 1or these 8*estions ha$e al)ays appeared to e to !e of s*ch i portance that I 5*d"ed it s*ita!le to spea0 of the ore than once= and the road )hich I follo) in the e.planation of the is so little trodden, and so far re o$ed fro the ordinary path, that I did not 5*d"e it to !e e.pedient to set it forth at len"th in 1rench and in a Disco*rse )hich i"ht !e read !y e$eryone, in case the fee!ler inds sho*ld !elie$e that it )as per itted to the to atte pt to follo) the sa e path. @*t, ha$in" in this Disco*rse on ,ethod !e""ed all those )ho ha$e fo*nd in y )ritin"s so e)hat deser$in" of cens*re to do e the fa$o*r of ac8*aintin" e )ith the "ro*nds of it, nothin" )orthy of re ar0 has !een o!5ected to in the !eyond t)o atters? to these t)o I )ish here to reply in a fe) )ords !efore *nderta0in" their ore detailed disc*ssion. The first o!5ection is that it does not follo) fro the fact that the h* an ind reflectin" on itself does not percei$e itself to !e other than a thin" that thin0s, that its nat*re or its essence consists only in its !ein" a thin" that thin0s, in the sense that this )ord only e.cl*des all other thin"s )hich i"ht also !e s*pposed to pertain to the nat*re of the so*l. To this o!5ection I reply that it )as not y intention in that place to e.cl*de these in accordance )ith the order that loo0s to the tr*th of the atter (as to )hich I )as not then dealin"%, !*t only in accordance )ith the order of y tho*"ht AperceptionB= th*s y eanin" )as that so far as I )as a)are, I 0ne) nothin" clearly as !elon"in" to y essence, e.ceptin" that I )as a thin" that thin0s, or a thin" that has in itself the
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2 3

The 1rench $ersion is follo)ed here. The 1rench $ersion is follo)ed here.

7hen it is tho*"ht desira!le to insert additional readin"s fro $ersion this )ill !e indicated !y the *se of s8*are !rac0ets.

the 1rench

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fac*lty of thin0in". @*t I shall sho) hereafter ho) fro the fact that I 0no) no other thin" )hich pertains to y essence, it follo)s that there is no other thin" )hich really does !elon" to it. The second o!5ection is that it does not follo) fro the fact that I ha$e in yself the idea of so ethin" ore perfect than I a , that this idea is ore perfect than I, and *ch less that )hat is represented !y this idea e.ists. @*t I reply that in this ter idea there is here so ethin" e8*i$ocal, for it ay either !e ta0en aterially, as an act of y *nderstandin", and in this sense it cannot !e said that it is ore perfect than I= or it ay !e ta0en o!5ecti$ely, as the thin" )hich is represented !y this act, )hich, altho*"h )e do not s*ppose it to e.ist o*tside of y *nderstandin", ay, none the less, !e ore perfect than I, !eca*se of its essence. 2nd in follo)in" o*t this Treatise I shall sho) ore f*lly ho), fro the sole fact that I ha$e in yself the idea of a thin" ore perfect than yself, it follo)s that this thin" tr*ly e.ists. In addition to these t)o o!5ections I ha$e also seen t)o fairly len"thy )or0s on this s*!5ect, )hich, ho)e$er, did not so *ch i p*"n y reasonin"s as y concl*sions, and this !y ar"* ents dra)n fro the ordinary atheistic so*rces. @*t, !eca*se s*ch ar"* ents cannot a0e any i pression on the inds of those )ho really *nderstand y reasonin"s, and as the 5*d" ents of any are so fee!le and irrational that they $ery often allo) the sel$es to !e pers*aded !y the opinions )hich they ha$e first for ed, ho)e$er false and far re o$ed fro reason they ay !e, rather than !y a tr*e and solid !*t s*!se8*ently recei$ed ref*tation of these opinions, I do not desire to reply here to their criticis s in case of !ein" first of all o!li"ed to state the . I shall only say in "eneral that all that is said !y the atheist a"ainst the e.istence of <od, al)ays depends either on the fact that )e ascri!e to <od affections )hich are h* an, or that )e attri!*te so *ch stren"th and )isdo to o*r inds that )e e$en ha$e the pres* ption to desire to deter ine and *nderstand that )hich <od can and o*"ht to do. In this )ay all that they alle"e )ill ca*se *s no diffic*lty, pro$ided only )e re e !er that )e *st consider o*r inds as thin"s )hich are finite and li ited, and <od as a @ein" )ho is inco prehensi!le and infinite. :o) that I ha$e once for all reco"ni&ed and ac0no)led"ed the opinions of en, I at once !e"in to treat of <od and the (* an so*l, and at the sa e ti e to treat of the )hole of the 1irst Philosophy, )itho*t ho)e$er e.pectin" any praise fro the $*l"ar and )itho*t the hope that y !oo0 )ill ha$e any readers. 4n the contrary, I sho*ld ne$er ad$ise anyone to read it e.ceptin" those )ho desire to editate

serio*sly )ith e, and )ho can detach their inds fro affairs of sense, and deli$er the sel$es entirely fro e$ery sort of pre5*dice. I 0no) too )ell that s*ch en e.ist in a $ery s all n* !er. @*t for those )ho, )itho*t carin" to co prehend the order and connections of y reasonin"s, for their criticis s on detached portions ar!itrarily selected, as is the c*sto )ith any, these, I say, )ill not o!tain *ch profit fro readin" this Treatise. 2nd altho*"h they perhaps in se$eral parts find occasion of ca$illin", they can for all their pains a0e no o!5ection )hich is *r"ent or deser$in" of reply. 2nd inas *ch as I a0e no pro ise to others to satisfy the at once, and as I do not pres* e so *ch on y o)n po)ers as to !elie$e yself capa!le of foreseein" all that can ca*se diffic*lty to anyone, I shall first of all set forth in these ,editations the $ery considerations !y )hich I pers*ade yself that I ha$e reached a certain and e$ident 0no)led"e of the tr*th, in order to see if, !y the sa e reasons )hich pers*aded e, I can also pers*ade others. 2nd, after that, I shall reply to the o!5ections )hich ha$e !een ade to e !y persons of "eni*s and learnin" to )ho I ha$e sent y ,editations for e.a ination, !efore s*! ittin" the to the press. 1or they ha$e ade so any o!5ections and these so different, that I $ent*re to pro ise that it )ill !e diffic*lt for anyone to !rin" to ind criticis s of any conse8*ence )hich ha$e not !een already to*ched *pon. This is )hy I !e" those )ho read these ,editations to for no 5*d" ent *pon the *nless they ha$e "i$en the sel$es the tro*!le to read all the o!5ections as )ell as the replies )hich I ha$e ade to the .5

Synopsis of the Six Following Meditations. In the first ,editation I set forth the reasons for )hich )e ay, "enerally spea0in", do*!t a!o*t all thin"s and especially a!o*t aterial thin"s, at least so lon" as )e ha$e no other fo*ndations for the sciences than those )hich )e ha$e hitherto possessed. @*t altho*"h the *tility of a Do*!t )hich is so "eneral does not at first appear, it is at the sa e ti e $ery "reat, inas *ch as it deli$ers *s fro e$ery 0ind of pre5*dice, and sets o*t for *s a $ery si ple )ay !y )hich the ind ay detach
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@et)een the Praefatio ad #ectorem and the 'ynopsis, the Paris Edition (1st Edition% interpolates an (nde )hich is not fo*nd in the 2 sterda Edition (3nd Edition%. 'ince Descartes did not reprod*ce it, he )as do*!tless not its a*thor. ,ersenne pro!a!ly co posed it hi self, ad5*stin" it to the pa"in" of the first Edition. (:ote in 2da and Tannery6s Edition.%

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itself fro the senses= and finally it a0es it i possi!le for *s e$er to do*!t those thin"s )hich )e ha$e once disco$ered to !e tr*e. In the second ,editation, ind, )hich a0in" *se of the li!erty )hich pertains to it, ta0es for "ranted that all those thin"s of )hose e.istence it has the least do*!t, are nonEe.istent, reco"ni&es that it is ho)e$er a!sol*tely i possi!le that it does not itself e.ist. This point is li0e)ise of the "reatest o ent, inas *ch as !y this eans a distinction is easily dra)n !et)een the thin"s )hich pertain to ind9 that is to say to the intellect*al nat*re9and those )hich pertain to !ody. @*t !eca*se it ay !e that so e e.pect fro e in this place a state ent of the reasons esta!lishin" the i ortality of the so*l, I feel that I sho*ld here a0e 0no)n to the that ha$in" ai ed at )ritin" nothin" in all this Treatise of )hich I do not possess $ery e.act de onstrations, I a o!li"ed to follo) a si ilar order to that ade *se of !y the "eo eters, )hich is to !e"in !y p*ttin" for)ard as pre ises all those thin"s *pon )hich the proposition that )e see0 depends, !efore co in" to any concl*sion re"ardin" it. :o) the first and principal atter )hich is re8*isite for thoro*"hly *nderstandin" the i ortality of the so*l is to for the clearest possi!le conception of it, and one )hich )ill !e entirely distinct fro all the conceptions )hich )e ay ha$e of !ody= and in this ,editation this has !een done. In addition to this it is re8*isite that )e ay !e ass*red that all the thin"s )hich )e concei$e clearly and distinctly are tr*e in the $ery )ay in )hich )e thin0 the = and this co*ld not !e pro$ed pre$io*sly to the 1o*rth ,ediation. 1*rther )e *st ha$e a distinct conception of corporeal nat*re, )hich is "i$en partly in this 'econd, and partly in the 1ifth and 'i.th ,editations. 2nd finally )e sho*ld concl*de fro all this, that those thin"s )hich )e concei$e clearly and distinctly as !ein" di$erse s*!stances, as )e re"ard ind and !ody to !e, are really s*!stances essentially distinct one fro the other= and this is the concl*sion of the 'i.th ,editation. This is f*rther confir ed in this sa e ,editation !y the fact that )e cannot concei$e of !ody e.ceptin" in so far as it is di$isi!le, )hile the ind cannot !e concei$ed of e.ceptin" as indi$isi!le. 1or )e are not a!le to concei$e of the half of a ind as )e can do of the s allest of all !odies= so that )e see that not only are their nat*res different !*t e$en in so e respects contrary to one another. I ha$e not ho)e$er dealt f*rther )ith this atter in this treatise, !oth !eca*se )hat I ha$e said is s*fficient to sho) clearly eno*"h that the e.tinction of the ind does not follo) fro the corr*ption of the !ody, and also to "i$e en the hope of another life

after death, as also !eca*se the pre ises fro )hich the i ortality of the so*l ay !e ded*ced depend on an el*cidation of a co plete syste of Physics. This )o*ld ean to esta!lish in the first place that all s*!stances "enerally9that is to say all thin"s )hich cannot e.ist )itho*t !ein" created !y <od9are in their nat*re incorr*pti!le, and that they can ne$er cease to e.ist *nless <od, in denyin" to the his conc*rrence, red*ce the to no*"ht= and secondly that !ody, re"arded "enerally, is a s*!stance, )hich is the reason )hy it also cannot perish, !*t that the h* an !ody, inas *ch as it differs fro other !odies, is co posed only of a certain confi"*ration of e !ers and of other si ilar accidents, )hile the h* an ind is not si ilarly co posed of any accidents, !*t is a p*re s*!stance. 1or altho*"h all the accidents of ind !e chan"ed, altho*"h, for instance, it thin0 certain thin"s, )ill others, percei$e others, etc., despite all this it does not e er"e fro these chan"es another ind? the h* an !ody on the other hand !eco es a different thin" fro the sole fact that the fi"*re or for of any of its portions is fo*nd to !e chan"ed. 1ro this it follo)s that the h* an !ody ay indeed easily eno*"h perish, !*t the ind Aor so*l of an (I a0e no distinction !et)een the %B is o)in" to its nat*re i ortal. In the third ,editation it see s to e that I ha$e e.plained at s*fficient len"th the principal ar"* ent of )hich I a0e *se in order to pro$e the e.istence of <od. @*t none the less, !eca*se I did not )ish in that place to a0e *se of any co parisons deri$ed fro corporeal thin"s, so as to )ithdra) as *ch as I co*ld the inds of readers fro the senses, there ay perhaps ha$e re ained any o!sc*rities )hich, ho)e$er, )ill, I hope, !e entirely re o$ed !y the Replies )hich I ha$e ade to the 4!5ections )hich ha$e !een set !efore e. 2 on"st others there is, for e.a ple, this one, -(o) the idea in *s of a !ein" s*pre ely perfect possesses so *ch o!5ecti$e reality Athat is to say participates !y representation in so any de"rees of !ein" and perfectionB that it necessarily proceeds fro a ca*se )hich is a!sol*tely perfect./ This is ill*strated in these Replies !y the co parison of a $ery perfect achine, the idea of )hich is fo*nd in the ind of so e )or0 an. 1or as the o!5ecti$e contri$ance of this idea *st ha$e so e ca*se, i.e. either the science of the )or0 an or that of so e other fro )ho he has recei$ed the idea, it is si ilarly i possi!le that the idea of <od )hich is in *s sho*ld not ha$e <od hi self as its ca*se. In the fo*rth ,editation it is sho)n that all these thin"s )hich )e $ery clearly and distinctly percei$e are tr*e, and at the sa e ti e it is e.plained in )hat the nat*re of error or falsity consists. This *st of

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necessity !e 0no)n !oth for the confir ation of the precedin" tr*ths and for the !etter co prehension of those that follo). (@*t it *st ean)hile !e re ar0ed that I do not in any )ay there treat of sinEEthat is to say, of the error )hich is co itted in the p*rs*it of "ood and e$il, !*t only of that )hich arises in the decidin" !et)een the tr*e and the false. 2nd I do not intend to spea0 of atters pertainin" to the 1aith or the cond*ct of life, !*t only of those )hich concern spec*lati$e tr*ths, and )hich ay !e 0no)n !y the sole aid of the li"ht of nat*re.% In the fifth ,editation corporeal nat*re "enerally is e.plained, and in addition to this the e.istence of <od is de onstrated !y a ne) proof in )hich there ay possi!ly !e certain diffic*lties also, !*t the sol*tion of these )ill !e seen in the Replies to the 4!5ections. 2nd f*rther I sho) in )hat sense it is tr*e to say that the certainty of "eo etrical de onstrations is itself dependent on the 0no)led"e of <od. 1inally in the 'i.th I distin"*ish the action of the *nderstandin"6 fro that of the i a"ination=D the ar0s !y )hich this distinction is ade are descri!ed. I here sho) that the ind of an is really distinct fro the !ody, and at the sa e ti e that the t)o are so closely 5oined to"ether that they for , so to spea0, a sin"le thin". 2ll the errors )hich proceed fro the senses are then s*r$eyed, )hile the eans of a$oidin" the are de onstrated, and finally all the reasons fro )hich )e ay ded*ce the e.istence of aterial thin"s are set forth. :ot that I 5*d"e the to !e $ery *sef*l in esta!lishin" that )hich they pro$e, to )it, that there is in tr*th a )orld, that en possess !odies, and other s*ch thin"s )hich ne$er ha$e !een do*!ted !y anyone of sense= !*t !eca*se in considerin" these closely )e co e to see that they are neither so stron" nor so e$ident as those ar"* ents )hich lead *s to the 0no)led"e of o*r ind and of <od= so that these last *st !e the ost certain and ost e$ident facts )hich can fall )ithin the co"ni&ance of the h* an ind. 2nd this is the )hole atter that I ha$e tried to pro$e in these ,editations, for )hich reason I here o it to spea0 of any other 8*estions )hich I dealt incidentally in this disc*ssion.

,EDIT2TI4:' 4: T(E 1IR'T P(I+4'4P(; I: 7(IC( T(E E>I'TE:CE 41 <4D 2:D T(E DI'TI:CTI4: @ET7EE: ,I:D 2:D @4D; 2RE DE,4:'TR2TED.8
Meditation I. Of the things which may be brought within the sphere of the doubtful. It is no) so e years since I detected ho) any )ere the false !eliefs that I had fro y earliest yo*th ad itted as tr*e, and ho) do*!tf*l )as e$erythin" I had since constr*cted on this !asis= and fro that ti e I )as con$inced that I *st once for all serio*sly *nderta0e to rid yself of all the opinions )hich I had for erly accepted, and co ence to !*ild ane) fro the fo*ndation, if I )anted to esta!lish any fir and per anent str*ct*re in the sciences. @*t as this enterprise appeared to !e a $ery "reat one, I )aited *ntil I had attained an a"e so at*re that I co*ld not hope that at any later date I sho*ld !e !etter fitted to e.ec*te y desi"n. This reason ca*sed e to delay so lon" that I sho*ld feel that I )as doin" )ron" )ere I to occ*py in deli!eration the ti e that yet re ains to e for action. ToEday, then, since $ery opport*nely for the plan I ha$e in $ie) I ha$e deli$ered y ind fro e$ery care Aand a happily a"itated !y no passionsB and since I ha$e proc*red for yself an ass*red leis*re in a peacea!le retire ent, I shall at last serio*sly and freely address yself to the "eneral *phea$al of all y for er opinions. :o) for this o!5ect it is not necessary that I sho*ld sho) that all of these are false9I shall perhaps ne$er arri$e at this end. @*t inas *ch as reason already pers*ades e that I o*"ht no less caref*lly to )ithhold y assent fro atters )hich are not entirely certain and ind*!ita!le than fro those )hich appear to e anifestly to !e false, if I a a!le to find in each one so e reason to do*!t, this )ill s*ffice to 5*stify y re5ectin" the )hole. 2nd for that end it )ill not !e re8*isite that I sho*ld e.a ine each in partic*lar, )hich )o*ld !e an endless *nderta0in"= for o)in" to the fact that the destr*ction of the fo*ndations
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intellectio. imaginatio.

In place of this lon" title at the head of the pa"e the first Edition had i ediately after the 'ynopsis, and on the sa e pa"e D, si ply -1irst ,editation./ (2da 6s Edition.%

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of necessity !rin"s )ith it the do)nfall of the rest of the edifice, I shall only in the first place attac0 those principles *pon )hich all y for er opinions rested. 2ll that *p to the present ti e I ha$e accepted as ost tr*e and certain I ha$e learned either fro the senses or thro*"h the senses= !*t it is so eti es pro$ed to e that these senses are decepti$e, and it is )iser not to tr*st entirely to anythin" !y )hich )e ha$e once !een decei$ed. @*t it ay !e that altho*"h the senses so eti es decei$e *s concernin" thin"s )hich are hardly percepti!le, or $ery far a)ay, there are yet any others to !e et )ith as to )hich )e cannot reasona!ly ha$e any do*!t, altho*"h )e reco"ni&e the !y their eans. 1or e.a ple, there is the fact that I a here, seated !y the fire, attired in a dressin" "o)n, ha$in" this paper in y hands and other si ilar atters. 2nd ho) co*ld I deny that these hands and this !ody are ine, )ere it not perhaps that I co pare yself to certain persons, de$oid of sense, )hose cere!ella are so tro*!led and clo*ded !y the $iolent $apo*rs of !lac0 !ile, that they constantly ass*re *s that they thin0 they are 0in"s )hen they are really 8*ite poor, or that they are clothed in p*rple )hen they are really )itho*t co$erin", or )ho i a"ine that they ha$e an earthen)are head or are nothin" !*t p* p0ins or are ade of "lass. @*t they are ad, and I sho*ld not !e any the less insane )ere I to follo) e.a ples so e.tra$a"ant. 2t the sa e ti e I *st re e !er that I a a an, and that conse8*ently I a in the ha!it of sleepin", and in y drea s representin" to yself the sa e thin"s or so eti es e$en less pro!a!le thin"s, than do those )ho are insane in their )a0in" o ents. (o) often has it happened to e that in the ni"ht I drea t that I fo*nd yself in this partic*lar place, that I )as dressed and seated near the fire, )hilst in reality I )as lyin" *ndressed in !edF 2t this o ent it does indeed see to e that it is )ith eyes a)a0e that I a loo0in" at this paper= that this head )hich I o$e is not asleep, that it is deli!erately and of set p*rpose that I e.tend y hand and percei$e it= )hat happens in sleep does not appear so clear nor so distinct as does all this. @*t in thin0in" o$er this I re ind yself that on any occasions I ha$e in sleep !een decei$ed !y si ilar ill*sions, and in d)ellin" caref*lly on this reflection I see so anifestly that there are no certain indications !y )hich )e ay clearly distin"*ish )a0ef*lness fro sleep that I a lost in astonish ent. 2nd y astonish ent is s*ch that it is al ost capa!le of pers*adin" e that I no) drea . :o) let *s ass* e that )e are asleep and that all these partic*lars,

e.". that )e open o*r eyes, sha0e o*r head, e.tend o*r hands, and so on, are !*t false del*sions= and let *s reflect that possi!ly neither o*r hands nor o*r )hole !ody are s*ch as they appear to *s to !e. 2t the sa e ti e )e *st at least confess that the thin"s )hich are represented to *s in sleep are li0e painted representations )hich can only ha$e !een for ed as the co*nterparts of so ethin" real and tr*e, and that in this )ay those "eneral thin"s at least, i.e. eyes, a head, hands, and a )hole !ody, are not i a"inary thin"s, !*t thin"s really e.istent. 1or, as a atter of fact, painters, e$en )hen they st*dy )ith the "reatest s0ill to represent sirens and satyrs !y for s the ost stran"e and e.traordinary, cannot "i$e the nat*res )hich are entirely ne), !*t erely a0e a certain edley of the e !ers of different ani als= or if their i a"ination is e.tra$a"ant eno*"h to in$ent so ethin" so no$el that nothin" si ilar has e$er !efore !een seen, and that then their )or0 represents a thin" p*rely fictitio*s and a!sol*tely false, it is certain all the sa e that the colo*rs of )hich this is co posed are necessarily real. 2nd for the sa e reason, altho*"h these "eneral thin"s, to )it, Aa !odyB, eyes, a head, hands, and s*ch li0e, ay !e i a"inary, )e are !o*nd at the sa e ti e to confess that there are at least so e other o!5ects yet ore si ple and ore *ni$ersal, )hich are real and tr*e= and of these 5*st in the sa e )ay as )ith certain real colo*rs, all these i a"es of thin"s )hich d)ell in o*r tho*"hts, )hether tr*e and real or false and fantastic, are for ed. To s*ch a class of thin"s pertains corporeal nat*re in "eneral, and its e.tension, the fi"*re of e.tended thin"s, their 8*antity or a"nit*de and n* !er, as also the place in )hich they are, the ti e )hich eas*res their d*ration, and so on. That is possi!ly )hy o*r reasonin" is not *n5*st )hen )e concl*de fro this that Physics, 2strono y, ,edicine and all other sciences )hich ha$e as their end the consideration of co posite thin"s, are $ery d*!io*s and *ncertain= !*t that 2rith etic, <eo etry and other sciences of that 0ind )hich only treat of thin"s that are $ery si ple and $ery "eneral, )itho*t ta0in" "reat tro*!le to ascertain )hether they are act*ally e.istent or not, contain so e eas*re of certainty and an ele ent of the ind*!ita!le. 1or )hether I a a)a0e or asleep, t)o and three to"ether al)ays for fi$e, and the s8*are can ne$er ha$e ore than fo*r sides, and it does not see possi!le that tr*ths so clear and apparent can !e s*spected of any falsity Aor *ncertaintyB. :e$ertheless I ha$e lon" had fi.ed in y ind the !elief that an allEpo)erf*l <od e.isted !y )ho I ha$e !een created s*ch as I a . @*t ho) do I 0no) that (e has not !ro*"ht it to pass that there is no

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earth, no hea$en, no e.tended !ody, no a"nit*de, no place, and that ne$ertheless AI possess the perceptions of all these thin"s and thatB they see to e to e.ist 5*st e.actly as I no) see the G 2nd, !esides, as I so eti es i a"ine that others decei$e the sel$es in the thin"s )hich they thin0 they 0no) !est, ho) do I 0no) that I a not decei$ed e$ery ti e that I add t)o and three, or co*nt the sides of a s8*are, or 5*d"e of thin"s yet si pler, if anythin" si pler can !e i a"inedG @*t possi!ly <od has not desired that I sho*ld !e th*s decei$ed, for (e is said to !e s*pre ely "ood. If, ho)e$er, it is contrary to (is "oodness to ha$e ade e s*ch that I constantly decei$e yself, it )o*ld also appear to !e contrary to (is "oodness to per it e to !e so eti es decei$ed, and ne$ertheless I cannot do*!t that (e does per it this. There ay indeed !e those )ho )o*ld prefer to deny the e.istence of a <od so po)erf*l, rather than !elie$e that all other thin"s are *ncertain. @*t let *s not oppose the for the present, and "rant that all that is here said of a <od is a fa!le= ne$ertheless in )hate$er )ay they s*ppose that I ha$e arri$ed at the state of !ein" that I ha$e reached9 )hether they attri!*te it to fate or to accident, or a0e o*t that it is !y a contin*al s*ccession of antecedents, or !y so e other ethod9since to err and decei$e oneself is a defect, it is clear that the "reater )ill !e the pro!a!ility of y !ein" so i perfect as to decei$e yself e$er, as is the 2*thor to )ho they assi"n y ori"in the less po)erf*l. To these reasons I ha$e certainly nothin" to reply, !*t at the end I feel constrained to confess that there is nothin" in all that I for erly !elie$ed to !e tr*e, of )hich I cannot in so e eas*re do*!t, and that not erely thro*"h )ant of tho*"ht or thro*"h le$ity, !*t for reasons )hich are $ery po)erf*l and at*rely considered= so that henceforth I o*"ht not the less caref*lly to refrain fro "i$in" credence to these opinions than to that )hich is anifestly false, if I desire to arri$e at any certainty Ain the sciencesB. @*t it is not s*fficient to ha$e ade these re ar0s, )e *st also !e caref*l to 0eep the in ind. 1or these ancient and co only held opinions still re$ert fre8*ently to y ind, lon" and fa iliar c*sto ha$in" "i$en the the ri"ht to occ*py y ind a"ainst y inclination and rendered the al ost asters of y !elief= nor )ill I e$er lose the ha!it of deferrin" to the or of placin" y confidence in the , so lon" as I consider the as they really are, i.e. opinions in so e eas*re do*!tf*l, as I ha$e 5*st sho)n, and at the sa e ti e hi"hly pro!a!le, so that there is *ch ore reason to !elie$e in than to deny the . That is )hy I consider that I shall not !e actin" a iss, if, ta0in" of set p*rpose a contrary !elief, I allo) yself to !e decei$ed, and for a certain ti e

pretend that all these opinions are entirely false and i a"inary, *ntil at last, ha$in" th*s !alanced y for er pre5*dices )ith y latter Aso that they cannot di$ert y opinions ore to one side than to the otherB, y 5*d" ent )ill no lon"er !e do inated !y !ad *sa"e or t*rned a)ay fro the ri"ht 0no)led"e of the tr*th. 1or I a ass*red that there can !e neither peril nor error in this co*rse, and that I cannot at present yield too *ch to distr*st, since I a not considerin" the 8*estion of action, !*t only of 0no)led"e. I shall then s*ppose, not that <od )ho is s*pre ely "ood and the fo*ntain of tr*th, !*t so e e$il "eni*s not less po)erf*l than deceitf*l, has e ployed his )hole ener"ies in decei$in" e= I shall consider that the hea$ens, the earth, colo*rs, fi"*res, so*nd, and all other e.ternal thin"s are no*"ht !*t the ill*sions and drea s of )hich this "eni*s has a$ailed hi self in order to lay traps for y cred*lity= I shall consider yself as ha$in" no hands, no eyes, no flesh, no !lood, nor any senses, yet falsely !elie$in" yself to possess all these thin"s= I shall re ain o!stinately attached to this idea, and if !y this eans it is not in y po)er to arri$e at the 0no)led"e of any tr*th, I ay at least do )hat is in y po)er Ai.e. s*spend y 5*d" entB, and )ith fir p*rpose a$oid "i$in" credence to any false thin", or !ein" i posed *pon !y this arch decei$er, ho)e$er po)erf*l and decepti$e he ay !e. @*t this tas0 is a la!orio*s one, and insensi!ly a certain lassit*de leads e into the co*rse of y ordinary life. 2nd 5*st as a capti$e )ho in sleep en5oys an i a"inary li!erty, )hen he !e"ins to s*spect that his li!erty is !*t a drea , fears to a)a0en, and conspires )ith these a"reea!le ill*sions that the deception ay !e prolon"ed, so insensi!ly of y o)n accord I fall !ac0 into y for er opinions, and I dread a)a0enin" fro this sl* !er, lest the la!orio*s )a0ef*lness )hich )o*ld follo) the tran8*illity of this repose sho*ld ha$e to !e spent not in dayli"ht, !*t in the e.cessi$e dar0ness of the diffic*lties )hich ha$e 5*st !een disc*ssed.

Meditation II Of the Nature of the Human Mind; and that it is more easily known than the Body. The ,editation of yesterday filled y ind )ith so any do*!ts that it is no lon"er in y po)er to for"et the . 2nd yet I do not see in )hat anner I can resol$e the = and, 5*st as if I had all of a s*dden fallen into $ery deep )ater, I a so disconcerted that I can neither a0e 8

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certain of settin" y feet on the !otto , nor can I s)i and so s*pport yself on the s*rface. I shall ne$ertheless a0e an effort and follo) ane) the sa e path as that on )hich I yesterday entered, i.e. I shall proceed !y settin" aside all that in )hich the least do*!t co*ld !e s*pposed to e.ist, 5*st as if I had disco$ered that it )as a!sol*tely false= and I shall e$er follo) in this road *ntil I ha$e et )ith so ethin" )hich is certain, or at least, if I can do nothin" else, *ntil I ha$e learned for certain that there is nothin" in the )orld that is certain. 2rchi edes, in order that he i"ht dra) the terrestrial "lo!e o*t of its place, and transport it else)here, de anded only that one point sho*ld !e fi.ed and i o$ea!le= in the sa e )ay I shall ha$e the ri"ht to concei$e hi"h hopes if I a happy eno*"h to disco$er one thin" only )hich is certain and ind*!ita!le. I s*ppose, then, that all the thin"s that I see are false= I pers*ade yself that nothin" has e$er e.isted of all that y fallacio*s e ory represents to e. I consider that I possess no senses= I i a"ine that !ody, fi"*re, e.tension, o$e ent and place are !*t the fictions of y ind. 7hat, then, can !e estee ed as tr*eG Perhaps nothin" at all, *nless that there is nothin" in the )orld that is certain. @*t ho) can I 0no) there is not so ethin" different fro those thin"s that I ha$e 5*st considered, of )hich one cannot ha$e the sli"htest do*!tG Is there not so e <od, or so e other !ein" !y )hate$er na e )e call it, )ho p*ts these reflections into y indG That is not necessary, for is it not possi!le that I a capa!le of prod*cin" the yselfG I yself, a I not at least so ethin"G @*t I ha$e already denied that I had senses and !ody. ;et I hesitate, for )hat follo)s fro thatG 2 I so dependent on !ody and senses that I cannot e.ist )itho*t theseG @*t I )as pers*aded that there )as nothin" in all the )orld, that there )as no hea$en, no earth, that there )ere no inds, nor any !odies? )as I not then li0e)ise pers*aded that I did not e.istG :ot at all= of a s*rety I yself did e.ist since I pers*aded yself of so ethin" Aor erely !eca*se I tho*"ht of so ethin"B. @*t there is so e decei$er or other, $ery po)erf*l and $ery c*nnin", )ho e$er e ploys his in"en*ity in decei$in" e. Then )itho*t do*!t I e.ist also if he decei$es e, and let hi decei$e e as *ch as he )ill, he can ne$er ca*se e to !e nothin" so lon" as I thin0 that I a so ethin". 'o that after ha$in" reflected )ell and caref*lly e.a ined all thin"s, )e *st co e to the definite concl*sion that this proposition? I a , I e.ist, is necessarily tr*e each ti e that I prono*nce it, or that I entally concei$e it. @*t I do not yet 0no) clearly eno*"h )hat I a , I )ho a certain

that I a = and hence I *st !e caref*l to see that I do not i pr*dently ta0e so e other o!5ect in place of yself, and th*s that I do not "o astray in respect of this 0no)led"e that I hold to !e the ost certain and ost e$ident of all that I ha$e for erly learned. That is )hy I shall no) consider ane) )hat I !elie$ed yself to !e !efore I e !ar0ed *pon these last reflections= and of y for er opinions I shall )ithdra) all that i"ht e$en in a s all de"ree !e in$alidated !y the reasons )hich I ha$e 5*st !ro*"ht for)ard, in order that there ay !e nothin" at all left !eyond )hat is a!sol*tely certain and ind*!ita!le. 7hat then did I for erly !elie$e yself to !eG #ndo*!tedly I !elie$ed yself to !e a an. @*t )hat is a anG 'hall I say a reasona!le ani alG Certainly not= for then I sho*ld ha$e to in8*ire )hat an ani al is, and )hat is reasona!le= and th*s fro a sin"le 8*estion I sho*ld insensi!ly fall into an infinit*de of others ore diffic*lt= and I sho*ld not )ish to )aste the little ti e and leis*re re ainin" to e in tryin" to *nra$el s*!tleties li0e these. @*t I shall rather stop here to consider the tho*"hts )hich of the sel$es sprin" *p in y ind, and )hich )ere not inspired !y anythin" !eyond y o)n nat*re alone )hen I applied yself to the consideration of y !ein". In the first place, then, I considered yself as ha$in" a face, hands, ar s, and all that syste of e !ers co posed on !ones and flesh as seen in a corpse )hich I desi"nated !y the na e of !ody. In addition to this I considered that I )as no*rished, that I )al0ed, that I felt, and that I tho*"ht, and I referred all these actions to the so*l? !*t I did not stop to consider )hat the so*l )as, or if I did stop, I i a"ined that it )as so ethin" e.tre ely rare and s*!tle li0e a )ind, a fla e, or an ether, )hich )as spread thro*"ho*t y "rosser parts. 2s to !ody I had no anner of do*!t a!o*t its nat*re, !*t tho*"ht I had a $ery clear 0no)led"e of it= and if I had desired to e.plain it accordin" to the notions that I had then for ed of it, I sho*ld ha$e descri!ed it th*s? @y the !ody I *nderstand all that )hich can !e defined !y a certain fi"*re? so ethin" )hich can !e confined in a certain place, and )hich can fill a "i$en space in s*ch a )ay that e$ery other !ody )ill !e e.cl*ded fro it= )hich can !e percei$ed either !y to*ch, or !y si"ht, or !y hearin", or !y taste, or !y s ell? )hich can !e o$ed in any )ays not, in tr*th, !y itself, !*t !y so ethin" )hich is forei"n to it, !y )hich it is to*ched Aand fro )hich it recei$es i pressionsB? for to ha$e the po)er of selfE o$e ent, as also of feelin" or of thin0in", I did not consider to appertain to the nat*re of !ody? on the contrary, I )as rather astonished to find that fac*lties si ilar to the e.isted in so e !odies. @*t )hat a I, no) that I s*ppose that there is a certain "eni*s

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)hich is e.tre ely po)erf*l, and, if I ay say so, alicio*s, )ho e ploys all his po)ers in decei$in" eG Can I affir that I possess the least of all those thin"s )hich I ha$e 5*st said pertain to the nat*re of !odyG I pa*se to consider, I re$ol$e all these thin"s in y ind, and I find none of )hich I can say that it pertains to e. It )o*ld !e tedio*s to stop to en* erate the . +et *s pass to the attri!*tes of so*l and see if there is any one )hich is in eG 7hat of n*trition or )al0in" Athe first entionedBG @*t if it is so that I ha$e no !ody it is also tr*e that I can neither )al0 nor ta0e no*rish ent. 2nother attri!*te is sensation. @*t one cannot feel )itho*t !ody, and !esides I ha$e tho*"ht I percei$ed any thin"s d*rin" sleep that I reco"ni&ed in y )a0in" o ents as not ha$in" !een e.perienced at all. 7hat of thin0in"G I find here that tho*"ht is an attri!*te that !elon"s to e= it alone cannot !e separated fro e. I a , I e.ist, that is certain. @*t ho) oftenG H*st )hen I thin0= for it i"ht possi!ly !e the case if I ceased entirely to thin0, that I sho*ld li0e)ise cease alto"ether to e.ist. I do not no) ad it anythin" )hich is not necessarily tr*e? to spea0 acc*rately I a not ore than a thin" )hich thin0s, that is to say a ind or a so*l, or an *nderstandin", or a reason, )hich are ter s )hose si"nificance )as for erly *n0no)n to e. I a , ho)e$er, a real thin" and really e.ist= !*t )hat thin"G I ha$e ans)ered? a thin" )hich thin0s. 2nd )hat oreG I shall e.ercise y i a"ination Ain order to see if I a not so ethin" oreB. I a not a collection of e !ers )hich )e call the h* an !ody? I a not a s*!tle air distri!*ted thro*"h these e !ers, I a not a )ind, a fire, a $apo*r, a !reath, nor anythin" at all )hich I can i a"ine or concei$e= !eca*se I ha$e ass* ed that all these )ere nothin". 7itho*t chan"in" that s*pposition I find that I only lea$e yself certain of the fact that I a so e)hat. @*t perhaps it is tr*e that these sa e thin"s )hich I s*pposed )ere nonEe.istent !eca*se they are *n0no)n to e, are really not different fro the self )hich I 0no). I a not s*re a!o*t this, I shall not disp*te a!o*t it no)= I can only "i$e 5*d" ent on thin"s that are 0no)n to e. I 0no) that I e.ist, and I in8*ire )hat I a , I )ho I 0no) to e.ist. @*t it is $ery certain that the 0no)led"e of y e.istence ta0en in its precise si"nificance does not depend on thin"s )hose e.istence is not yet 0no)n to e= conse8*ently it does not depend on those )hich I can fei"n in i a"ination. 2nd indeed the $ery ter feign in i a"ination9 pro$es to e y error, for I really do this if I i a"e yself a so ethin", since to i a"ine is nothin" else than to conte plate the fi"*re or i a"e of a
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corporeal thin". @*t I already 0no) for certain that I a , and that it ay !e that all these i a"es, and, spea0in" "enerally, all thin"s that relate to the nat*re of !ody are nothin" !*t drea s Aand chi erasB. 1or this reason I see clearly that I ha$e as little reason to say, -I shall sti *late y i a"ination in order to 0no) ore distinctly )hat I a ,/ than if I )ere to say, -I a no) a)a0e, and I percei$e so e)hat that is real and tr*e? !*t !eca*se I do not yet percei$e it distinctly eno*"h, I shall "o to sleep of e.press p*rpose, so that y drea s ay represent the perception )ith "reatest tr*th and e$idence./ 2nd, th*s, I 0no) for certain that nothin" of all that I can *nderstand !y eans of y i a"ination !elon"s to this 0no)led"e )hich I ha$e of yself, and that it is necessary to recall the ind fro this ode of tho*"ht )ith the *t ost dili"ence in order that it ay !e a!le to 0no) its o)n nat*re )ith perfect distinctness. @*t )hat then a IG 2 thin" )hich thin0s. 7hat is a thin" )hich thin0sG It is a thin" )hich do*!ts, *nderstands, Aconcei$esB, affir s, denies, )ills, ref*ses, )hich also i a"ines and feels. Certainly it is no s all atter if all these thin"s pertain to y nat*re. @*t )hy sho*ld they not so pertainG 2 I not that !ein" )ho no) do*!ts nearly e$erythin", )ho ne$ertheless *nderstands certain thin"s, )ho affir s that one only is tr*e, )ho denies all the others, )ho desires to 0no) ore, is a$erse fro !ein" decei$ed, )ho i a"ines any thin"s, so eti es indeed despite his )ill, and )ho percei$es any li0e)ise, as !y the inter$ention of the !odily or"ansG Is there nothin" in all this )hich is as tr*e as it is certain that I e.ist, e$en tho*"h I sho*ld al)ays sleep and tho*"h he )ho has "i$en e !ein" e ployed all his in"en*ity in decei$in" eG Is there li0e)ise any one of these attri!*tes )hich can !e distin"*ished fro y tho*"ht, or )hich i"ht !e said to !e separated fro yselfG 1or it is so e$ident of itself that it is I )ho do*!ts, )ho *nderstands, and )ho desires, that there is no reason here to add anythin" to e.plain it. 2nd I ha$e certainly the po)er of i a"inin" li0e)ise= for altho*"h it ay happen (as I for erly s*pposed% that none of the thin"s )hich I i a"ine are tr*e, ne$ertheless this po)er of i a"inin" does not cease to !e really in *se, and it for s part of y tho*"ht. 1inally, I a the sa e )ho feels, that is to say, )ho percei$es certain thin"s, as !y the or"ans of sense, since in tr*th I see li"ht, I hear noise, I feel heat. @*t it )ill !e said that these pheno ena are false and that I a drea in". +et it !e so= still it is at least 8*ite certain that it see s to e that I see li"ht, that I hear noise and that I feel heat. That cannot !e false= properly spea0in" it is 10

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)hat is in e called feelin"=10 and *sed in this precise sense that is no other thin" than thin0in". 1ro this ti e I !e"in to 0no) )hat I a )ith a little ore clearness and distinction than !efore= !*t ne$ertheless it still see s to e, and I cannot pre$ent yself fro thin0in", that corporeal thin"s, )hose i a"es are fra ed !y tho*"ht, )hich are tested !y the senses, are *ch ore distinctly 0no)n than that o!sc*re part of e )hich does not co e *nder the i a"ination. 2ltho*"h really it is $ery stran"e to say that I 0no) and *nderstand ore distinctly these thin"s )hose e.istence see s to e d*!io*s, )hich are *n0no)n to e, and )hich do not !elon" to e, than others of the tr*th of )hich I a con$inced, )hich are 0no)n to e and )hich pertain to y real nat*re, in a )ord, than yself. @*t I see clearly ho) the case stands? y ind lo$es to )ander, and cannot yet s*ffer itself to !e retained )ithin the 5*st li its of tr*th. Iery "ood, let *s once ore "i$e it the freest rein, so that, )hen after)ards )e sei&e the proper occasion for p*llin" *p, it ay the ore easily !e re"*lated and controlled. +et *s !e"in !y considerin" the co onest atters, those )hich )e !elie$e to !e the ost distinctly co prehended, to )it, the !odies )hich )e to*ch and see= not indeed !odies in "eneral, for these "eneral ideas are *s*ally a little ore conf*sed, !*t let *s consider one !ody in partic*lar. +et *s ta0e, for e.a ple, this piece of )a.? it has !een ta0en 8*ite freshly fro the hi$e, and it has not yet lost the s)eetness of the honey )hich it contains= it still retains so e)hat of the odo*r of the flo)ers fro )hich it has !een c*lled= its colo*r, its fi"*re, its si&e are apparent= it is hard, cold, easily handled, and if yo* stri0e it )ith the fin"er, it )ill e it a so*nd. 1inally all the thin"s )hich are re8*isite to ca*se *s distinctly to reco"ni&e a !ody, are et )ith in it. @*t notice that )hile I spea0 and approach the fire )hat re ained of the taste is e.haled, the s ell e$aporates, the colo*r alters, the fi"*re is destroyed, the si&e increases, it !eco es li8*id, it heats, scarcely can one handle it, and )hen one stri0es it, no so*nd is e itted. Does the sa e )a. re ain after this chan"eG 7e *st confess that it re ains= none )o*ld 5*d"e other)ise. 7hat then did I 0no) so distinctly in this piece of )a.G It co*ld certainly !e nothin" of all that the senses !ro*"ht to y notice, since all these thin"s )hich fall *nder taste, s ell, si"ht, to*ch, and hearin", are fo*nd to !e chan"ed, and yet the sa e )a. re ains. Perhaps it )as )hat I no) thin0, $i&. that this )a. )as not that s)eetness of honey, nor that a"reea!le scent of flo)ers, nor that
10 'entire.

partic*lar )hiteness, nor that fi"*re, nor that so*nd, !*t si ply a !ody )hich a little )hile !efore appeared to e as percepti!le *nder these for s, and )hich is no) percepti!le *nder others. @*t )hat, precisely, is it that I i a"ine )hen I for s*ch conceptionsG +et *s attenti$ely consider this, and, a!stractin" fro all that does not !elon" to the )a., let *s see )hat re ains. Certainly nothin" re ains e.ceptin" a certain e.tended thin" )hich is fle.i!le and o$a!le. @*t )hat is the eanin" of fle.i!le and o$a!leG Is it not that I i a"ine that this piece of )a. !ein" ro*nd is capa!le of !eco in" s8*are and of passin" fro a s8*are to a trian"*lar fi"*reG :o, certainly it is not that, since I i a"ine it ad its of an infinit*de of si ilar chan"es, and I ne$ertheless do not 0no) ho) to co pass the infinit*de !y y i a"ination, and conse8*ently this conception )hich I ha$e of the )a. is not !ro*"ht a!o*t !y the fac*lty of i a"ination. 7hat no) is this e.tensionG Is it not also *n0no)nG 1or it !eco es "reater )hen the )a. is elted, "reater )hen it is !oiled, and "reater still )hen the heat increases= and I sho*ld not concei$e AclearlyB accordin" to tr*th )hat )a. is, if I did not thin0 that e$en this piece that )e are considerin" is capa!le of recei$in" ore $ariations in e.tension than I ha$e e$er i a"ined. 7e *st then "rant that I co*ld not e$en *nderstand thro*"h the i a"ination )hat this piece of )a. is, and that it is y ind11 alone )hich percei$es it. I say this piece of )a. in partic*lar, for as to )a. in "eneral it is yet clearer. @*t )hat is this piece of )a. )hich cannot !e *nderstood e.ceptin" !y the A*nderstandin" orB indG It is certainly the sa e that I see, to*ch, i a"ine, and finally it is the sa e )hich I ha$e al)ays !elie$ed it to !e fro the !e"innin". @*t )hat *st partic*larly !e o!ser$ed is that its perception is neither an act of $ision, nor of to*ch, nor of i a"ination, and has ne$er !een s*ch altho*"h it ay ha$e appeared for erly to !e so, !*t only an int*ition12 of the ind, )hich ay !e i perfect and conf*sed as it )as for erly, or clear and distinct as it is at present, accordin" as y attention is ore or less directed to the ele ents )hich are fo*nd in it, and of )hich it is co posed. ;et in the eanti e I a "reatly astonished )hen I consider Athe "reat fee!leness of indB and its proneness to fall Ainsensi!lyB into error= for altho*"h )itho*t "i$in" e.pression to y tho*"ht I consider all this in y o)n ind, )ords often i pede e and I a al ost decei$ed !y the ter s of ordinary lan"*a"e. 1or )e say that )e see the sa e )a., if it is present, and not that )e si ply 5*d"e that it is the
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sa e fro its ha$in" the sa e colo*r and fi"*re. 1ro this I sho*ld concl*de that I 0ne) the )a. !y eans of $ision and not si ply !y the int*ition of the ind= *nless !y chance I re e !er that, )hen loo0in" fro a )indo) and sayin" I see en )ho pass in the street, I really do not see the , !*t infer that )hat I see is en, 5*st as I say that I see )a.. 2nd yet )hat do I see fro the )indo) !*t hats and coats )hich ay co$er a*to atic achinesG ;et I 5*d"e these to !e en. 2nd si ilarly solely !y the fac*lty of 5*d" ent )hich rests in y ind, I co prehend that )hich I !elie$ed I sa) )ith y eyes. 2 an )ho a0es it his ai to raise his 0no)led"e a!o$e the co on sho*ld !e asha ed to deri$e the occasion for do*!tin" fro the for s of speech in$ented !y the $*l"ar= I prefer to pass on and consider )hether I had a ore e$ident and perfect conception of )hat the )a. )as )hen I first percei$ed it, and )hen I !elie$ed I 0ne) it !y eans of the e.ternal senses or at least !y the co on sense 13 as it is called, that is to say !y the i a"inati$e fac*lty, or )hether y present conception is clearer no) that I ha$e ost caref*lly e.a ined )hat it is, and in )hat )ay it can !e 0no)n. It )o*ld certainly !e a!s*rd to do*!t as to this. 1or )hat )as there in this first perception )hich )as distinctG 7hat )as there )hich i"ht not as )ell ha$e !een percei$ed !y any of the ani alsG @*t )hen I distin"*ish the )a. fro its e.ternal for s, and )hen, 5*st as if I had ta0en fro it its $est ents, I consider it 8*ite na0ed, it is certain that altho*"h so e error ay still !e fo*nd in y 5*d" ent, I can ne$ertheless not percei$e it th*s )itho*t a h* an ind. @*t finally )hat shall I say of this ind, that is, of yself, for *p to this point I do not ad it in yself anythin" !*t indG 7hat then, I )ho see to percei$e this piece of )a. so distinctly, do I not 0no) yself, not only )ith *ch ore tr*th and certainty, !*t also )ith *ch ore distinctness and clearnessG 1or if I 5*d"e that the )a. is or e.ists fro the fact that I see it, it certainly follo)s *ch ore clearly that I a or that I e.ist yself fro the fact that I see it. 1or it ay !e that )hat I see is not really )a., it ay also !e that I do not possess eyes )ith )hich to see anythin"= !*t it cannot !e that )hen I see, or (for I no lon"er ta0e acco*nt of the distinction% )hen I thin0 I see, that I yself )ho thin0 a no*"ht. 'o if I 5*d"e that the )a. e.ists fro the fact that I to*ch it, the sa e thin" )ill follo), to )it, that I a = and if I 5*d"e that y i a"ination, or so e other ca*se, )hate$er it is, pers*ades e that the )a. e.ists, I shall still concl*de the sa e. 2nd
13 sens*s co

)hat I ha$e here re ar0ed of )a. ay !e applied to all other thin"s )hich are e.ternal to e Aand )hich are et )ith o*tside of eB. 2nd f*rther, if the Anotion orB perception of )a. has see ed to e clearer and ore distinct, not only after the si"ht or the to*ch, !*t also after any other ca*ses ha$e rendered it 8*ite anifest to e, )ith ho) *ch ore Ae$idenceB and distinctness *st it !e said that I no) 0no) yself, since all the reasons )hich contri!*te to the 0no)led"e of )a., or any other !ody )hate$er, are yet !etter proofs of the nat*re of y indF 2nd there are so any other thin"s in the ind itself )hich ay contri!*te to the el*cidation of its nat*re, that those )hich depend on !ody s*ch as these 5*st entioned, hardly erit !ein" ta0en into acco*nt. @*t finally here I a , ha$in" insensi!ly re$erted to the point I desired, for, since it is no) anifest to e that e$en !odies are not properly spea0in" 0no)n !y the senses or !y the fac*lty of i a"ination, !*t !y the *nderstandin" only, and since they are not 0no)n fro the fact that they are seen or to*ched, !*t only !eca*se they are *nderstood, I see clearly that there is nothin" )hich is easier for e to 0no) than y ind. @*t !eca*se it is diffic*lt to rid oneself so pro ptly of an opinion to )hich one )as acc*sto ed for so lon", it )ill !e )ell that I sho*ld halt a little at this point, so that !y the len"th of y editation I ay ore deeply i print on y e ory this ne) 0no)led"e. Meditation III. Of God: that He exists. I shall no) close y eyes, I shall stop y ears, I shall call a)ay all y senses, I shall efface e$en fro y tho*"hts all the i a"es of corporeal thin"s, or at least (for that is hardly possi!le% I shall estee the as $ain and false= and th*s holdin" con$erse only )ith yself and considerin" y o)n nat*re, I shall try little !y little to reach a !etter 0no)led"e of and a ore fa iliar ac8*aintanceship )ith yself. I a a thin" that thin0s, that is to say, that do*!ts, affir s, denies, that 0no)s a fe) thin"s, that is i"norant of any Athat lo$es, that hatesB, that )ills, that desires, that also i a"ines and percei$es= for as I re ar0ed !efore, altho*"h the thin"s )hich I percei$e and i a"ine are perhaps nothin" at all apart fro e and in the sel$es, I a ne$ertheless ass*red that these odes of tho*"ht that I call perceptions and i a"inations, inas *ch only as they are odes of tho*"ht, certainly reside Aand are et )ithB in e. 2nd in the little that I ha$e 5*st said, I thin0 I ha$e s* ed *p all 12

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that I really 0no), or at least all that hitherto I )as a)are that I 0ne). In order to try to e.tend y 0no)led"e f*rther, I shall no) loo0 aro*nd ore caref*lly and see )hether I cannot still disco$er in yself so e other thin"s )hich I ha$e not hitherto percei$ed. I a certain that I a a thin" )hich thin0s= !*t do I not then li0e)ise 0no) )hat is re8*isite to render e certain of a tr*thG Certainly in this first 0no)led"e there is nothin" that ass*res e of its tr*th, e.ceptin" the clear and distinct perception of that )hich I state, )hich )o*ld not indeed s*ffice to ass*re e that )hat I say is tr*e, if it co*ld e$er happen that a thin" )hich I concei$ed so clearly and distinctly co*ld !e false= and accordin"ly it see s to e that already I can esta!lish as a "eneral r*le that all thin"s )hich I percei$e14 $ery clearly and $ery distinctly are tr*e. 2t the sa e ti e I ha$e !efore recei$ed and ad itted any thin"s to !e $ery certain and anifest, )hich yet I after)ards reco"ni&ed as !ein" d*!io*s. 7hat then )ere these thin"sG They )ere the earth, s0y, stars and all other o!5ects )hich I apprehended !y eans of the senses. @*t )hat did I clearly Aand distinctlyB percei$e in the G :othin" ore than that the ideas or tho*"hts of these thin"s )ere presented to y ind. 2nd not e$en no) do I deny that these ideas are et )ith in e. @*t there )as yet another thin" )hich I affir ed, and )hich, o)in" to the ha!it )hich I had for ed of !elie$in" it, I tho*"ht I percei$ed $ery clearly, altho*"h in tr*th I did not percei$e it at all, to )it, that there )ere o!5ects o*tside of e fro )hich these ideas proceeded, and to )hich they )ere entirely si ilar. 2nd it )as in this that I erred, or, if perchance y 5*d" ent )as correct, this )as not d*e to any 0no)led"e arisin" fro y perception. @*t )hen I too0 anythin" $ery si ple and easy in the sphere of arith etic or "eo etry into consideration, e.". that t)o and three to"ether ade fi$e, and other thin"s of the sort, )ere not these present to y ind so clearly as to ena!le e to affir that they )ere tr*eG Certainly if I 5*d"ed that since s*ch atters co*ld !e do*!ted, this )o*ld not ha$e !een so for any other reason than that it ca e into y ind that perhaps a <od i"ht ha$e endo)ed e )ith s*ch a nat*re that I ay ha$e !een decei$ed e$en concernin" thin"s )hich see ed to e ost anifest. @*t e$ery ti e that this preconcei$ed opinion of the so$erei"n po)er of a <od presents itself to y tho*"ht, I a constrained to confess that it is easy to (i , if (e )ishes it, to ca*se e to err, e$en in atters in )hich I !elie$e yself to ha$e the !est
14 Percipio, 1. no*s conce$ons.

e$idence. 2nd, on the other hand, al)ays )hen I direct y attention to thin"s )hich I !elie$e yself to percei$e $ery clearly, I a so pers*aded of their tr*th that I let yself !rea0 o*t into )ords s*ch as these? +et )ho )ill decei$e e, (e can ne$er ca*se e to !e nothin" )hile I thin0 that I a , or so e day ca*se it to !e tr*e to say that I ha$e ne$er !een, it !ein" tr*e no) to say that I a , or that t)o and three a0e ore or less than fi$e, or any s*ch thin" in )hich I see a anifest contradiction. 2nd, certainly, since I ha$e no reason to !elie$e that there is a <od )ho is a decei$er, and as I ha$e not yet satisfied yself that there is a <od at all, the reason for do*!t )hich depends on this opinion alone is $ery sli"ht, and so to spea0 etaphysical. @*t in order to !e a!le alto"ether to re o$e it, I *st in8*ire )hether there is a <od as soon as the occasion presents itself= and if I find that there is a <od, I *st also in8*ire )hether (e ay !e a decei$er= for )itho*t a 0no)led"e of these t)o tr*ths I do not see that I can e$er !e certain of anythin". 2nd in order that I ay ha$e an opport*nity of in8*irin" into this in an orderly )ay A)itho*t interr*ptin" the order of editation )hich I ha$e proposed to yself, and )hich is little !y little to pass fro the notions )hich I find first of all in y ind to those )hich I shall later on disco$er in itB it is re8*isite that I sho*ld here di$ide y tho*"hts into certain 0inds, and that I sho*ld consider in )hich of these 0inds there is, properly spea0in", tr*th or error to !e fo*nd. 4f y tho*"hts so e are, so to spea0, i a"es of the thin"s, and to these alone is the title -idea/ properly applied= e.a ples are y tho*"ht of a an or of a chi era, of hea$en, of an an"el, or Ae$enB of <od. @*t other tho*"hts possess other for s as )ell. 1or e.a ple in )illin", fearin", appro$in", denyin", tho*"h I al)ays percei$e so ethin" as the s*!5ect of the action of y ind,15 yet !y this action I al)ays add so ethin" else to the idea16 )hich I ha$e of that thin"= and of the tho*"hts of this 0ind so e are called $olitions or affections, and others 5*d" ents. :o) as to )hat concerns ideas, if )e consider the only in the sel$es and do not relate the to anythin" else !eyond the sel$es, they cannot properly spea0in" !e false= for )hether I i a"ine a "oat or a chi era, it is not less tr*e that I i a"ine the one that the other. 7e *st not fear li0e)ise that falsity can enter into )ill and into affections, for altho*"h I ay desire e$il thin"s, or e$en thin"s that ne$er e.isted,
15 The 1rench $ersion is follo)ed here as !ein"

ore e.plicit. In it -action de

on esprit/ replaces - ea co"itatio./ 16 In the +atin $ersion -si ilit*dine ./

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it is not the less tr*e that I desire the . Th*s there re ains no ore than the 5*d" ents )hich )e a0e, in )hich I *st ta0e the "reatest care not to decei$e yself. @*t the principal error and the co onest )hich )e ay eet )ith in the , consists in y 5*d"in" that the ideas )hich are in e are si ilar or confor a!le to the thin"s )hich are o*tside e= for )itho*t do*!t if I considered the ideas only as certain odes of y tho*"hts, )itho*t tryin" to relate the to anythin" !eyond, they co*ld scarcely "i$e e aterial for error. @*t a on" these ideas, so e appear to e to !e innate, so e ad$entitio*s, and others to !e for ed Aor in$entedB !y yself= for, as I ha$e the po)er of *nderstandin" )hat is called a thin", or a tr*th, or a tho*"ht, it appears to e that I hold this po)er fro no other so*rce than y o)n nat*re. @*t if I no) hear so e so*nd, if I see the s*n, or feel heat, I ha$e hitherto 5*d"ed that these sensations proceeded fro certain thin"s that e.ist o*tside of e= and finally it appears to e that sirens, hippo"ryphs, and the li0e, are for ed o*t of y o)n ind. @*t a"ain I ay possi!ly pers*ade yself that all these ideas are of the nat*re of those )hich I ter ad$entitio*s, or else that they are all innate, or all fictitio*s? for I ha$e not yet clearly disco$ered their tr*e ori"in. 2nd y principal tas0 in this place is to consider, in respect to those ideas )hich appear to e to proceed fro certain o!5ects that are o*tside e, )hat are the reasons )hich ca*se e to thin0 the si ilar to these o!5ects. It see s indeed in the first place that I a ta*"ht this lesson !y nat*re= and, secondly, I e.perience in yself that these ideas do not depend on y )ill nor therefore on yself9for they often present the sel$es to y ind in spite of y )ill. H*st no), for instance, )hether I )ill or )hether I do not )ill, I feel heat, and th*s I pers*ade yself that this feelin", or at least this idea of heat, is prod*ced in e !y so ethin" )hich is different fro e, i.e. !y the heat of the fire near )hich I sit. 2nd nothin" see s to e ore o!$io*s than to 5*d"e that this o!5ect i prints its li0eness rather than anythin" else *pon e. :o) I *st disco$er )hether these proofs are s*fficiently stron" and con$incin". 7hen I say that I a so instr*cted !y nat*re, I erely ean a certain spontaneo*s inclination )hich i pels e to !elie$e in this connection, and not a nat*ral li"ht )hich a0es e reco"ni&e that it is tr*e. @*t these t)o thin"s are $ery different= for I cannot do*!t that )hich the nat*ral li"ht ca*ses e to !elie$e to !e tr*e, as, for e.a ple, it has sho)n e that I a fro the fact that I do*!t, or other facts of the sa e 0ind. 2nd I possess no other fac*lty )here!y to distin"*ish tr*th

fro falsehood, )hich can teach e that )hat this li"ht sho)s e to !e tr*e is not really tr*e, and no other fac*lty that is e8*ally tr*st)orthy. @*t as far as AapparentlyB nat*ral i p*lses are concerned, I ha$e fre8*ently re ar0ed, )hen I had to a0e acti$e choice !et)een $irt*e and $ice, that they often eno*"h led e to the part that )as )orse= and this is )hy I do not see any reason for follo)in" the in )hat re"ards tr*th and error. 2nd as to the other reason, )hich is that these ideas *st proceed fro o!5ects o*tside e, since they do not depend on y )ill, I do not find it any the ore con$incin". 1or 5*st as these i p*lses of )hich I ha$e spo0en are fo*nd in e, not)ithstandin" that they do not al)ays conc*r )ith y )ill, so perhaps there is in e so e fac*lty fitted to prod*ce these ideas )itho*t the assistance of any e.ternal thin"s, e$en tho*"h it is not yet 0no)n !y e= 5*st as, apparently, they ha$e hitherto al)ays !een fo*nd in e d*rin" sleep )itho*t the aid of any e.ternal o!5ects. 2nd finally, tho*"h they did proceed fro o!5ects different fro yself, it is not a necessary conse8*ence that they sho*ld rese !le these. 4n the contrary, I ha$e noticed that in any cases there )as a "reat difference !et)een the o!5ect and its idea. I find, for e.a ple, t)o co pletely di$erse ideas of the s*n in y ind= the one deri$es its ori"in fro the senses, and sho*ld !e placed in the cate"ory of ad$entitio*s ideas= accordin" to this idea the s*n see s to !e e.tre ely s all= !*t the other is deri$ed fro astrono ical reasonin"s, i.e. is elicited fro certain notions that are innate in e, or else it is for ed !y e in so e other anner= in accordance )ith it the s*n appears to !e se$eral ti es "reater than the earth. These t)o ideas cannot, indeed, !oth rese !le the sa e s*n, and reason a0es e !elie$e that the one )hich see s to ha$e ori"inated directly fro the s*n itself, is the one )hich is ost dissi ilar to it. 2ll this ca*ses e to !elie$e that *ntil the present ti e it has not !een !y a 5*d" ent that )as certain Aor pre editatedB, !*t only !y a sort of !lind i p*lse that I !elie$ed that thin"s e.isted o*tside of, and different fro e, )hich, !y the or"ans of y senses, or !y so e other ethod )hate$er it i"ht !e, con$eyed these ideas or i a"es to e Aand i printed on e their si ilit*desB. @*t there is yet another ethod of in8*irin" )hether any of the o!5ects of )hich I ha$e ideas )ithin e e.ist o*tside of e. If ideas are only ta0en as certain odes of tho*"ht, I reco"ni&e a on"st the no difference or ine8*ality, and all appear to proceed fro e in the sa e anner= !*t )hen )e consider the as i a"es, one representin" one 14

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thin" and the other another, it is clear that they are $ery different one fro the other. There is no do*!t that those )hich represent to e s*!stances are so ethin" ore, and contain so to spea0 ore o!5ecti$e reality )ithin the Athat is to say, !y representation participate in a hi"her de"ree of !ein" or perfectionB than those that si ply represent odes or accidents= and that idea a"ain !y )hich I *nderstand a s*pre e <od, eternal, infinite, Ai *ta!leB, o niscient, o nipotent, and Creator of all thin"s )hich are o*tside of (i self, has certainly ore o!5ecti$e reality in itself than those ideas !y )hich finite s*!stances are represented. :o) it is anifest !y the nat*ral li"ht that there *st at least !e as *ch reality in the efficient and total ca*se as in its effect. 1or, pray, )hence can the effect deri$e its reality, if not fro its ca*seG 2nd in )hat )ay can this ca*se co *nicate this reality to it, *nless it possessed it in itselfG 2nd fro this it follo)s, not only that so ethin" cannot proceed fro nothin", !*t li0e)ise that )hat is ore perfect9 that is to say, )hich has ore reality )ithin itself9cannot proceed fro the less perfect. 2nd this is not only e$idently tr*e of those effects )hich possess act*al or for al reality, !*t also of the ideas in )hich )e consider erely )hat is ter ed o!5ecti$e reality. To ta0e an e.a ple, the stone )hich has not yet e.isted not only cannot no) co ence to !e *nless it has !een prod*ced !y so ethin" )hich possesses )ithin itself, either for ally or e inently, all that enters into the co position of the stone Ai.e. it *st possess the sa e thin"s or other ore e.cellent thin"s than those )hich e.ist in the stoneB and heat can only !e prod*ced in a s*!5ect in )hich it did not pre$io*sly e.ist !y a ca*se that is of an order Ade"ree or 0indB at least as perfect as heat, and so in all other cases. @*t f*rther, the idea of heat, or of a stone, cannot e.ist in e *nless it has !een placed )ithin e !y so e ca*se )hich possesses )ithin it at least as *ch reality as that )hich I concei$e to e.ist in the heat or the stone. 1or altho*"h this ca*se does not trans it anythin" of its act*al or for al reality to y idea, )e *st not for that reason i a"ine that it is necessarily a less real ca*se= )e *st re e !er that Asince e$ery idea is a )or0 of the indB its nat*re is s*ch that it de ands of itself no other for al reality than that )hich it !orro)s fro y tho*"ht, of )hich it is only a ode Ai.e. a anner or )ay of thin0in"B. @*t in order that an idea sho*ld contain so e one certain o!5ecti$e reality rather than another, it *st )itho*t do*!t deri$e it fro so e ca*se in )hich there is at least as *ch for al reality as this idea contains of o!5ecti$e reality. 1or if )e i a"ine that so ethin" is fo*nd in an idea )hich is not fo*nd in the ca*se, it *st then ha$e !een

deri$ed fro no*"ht= !*t ho)e$er i perfect ay !e this ode of !ein" !y )hich a thin" is o!5ecti$ely Aor !y representationB in the *nderstandin" !y its idea, )e cannot certainly say that this ode of !ein" is nothin", nor conse8*ently, that the idea deri$es its ori"in fro nothin". :or *st I i a"ine that, since the reality that I consider in these ideas is only o!5ecti$e, it is not essential that this reality sho*ld !e for ally in the ca*ses of y ideas, !*t that it is s*fficient that it sho*ld !e fo*nd o!5ecti$ely. 1or 5*st as this ode of o!5ecti$e e.istence pertains to ideas !y their proper nat*re, so does the ode of for al e.istence pertain to the ca*ses of those ideas (this is at least tr*e of the first and principal% !y the nat*re pec*liar to the . 2nd altho*"h it ay !e the case that one idea "i$es !irth to another idea, that cannot contin*e to !e so indefinitely= for in the end )e *st reach an idea )hose ca*se shall !e so to spea0 an archetype, in )hich the )hole reality Aor perfectionB )hich is so to spea0 o!5ecti$ely Aor !y representationB in these ideas is contained for ally Aand reallyB. Th*s the li"ht of nat*re ca*ses e to 0no) clearly that the ideas in e are li0e Apict*res orB i a"es )hich can, in tr*th, easily fall short of the perfection of the o!5ects fro )hich they ha$e !een deri$ed, !*t )hich can ne$er contain anythin" "reater or ore perfect. 2nd the lon"er and the ore caref*lly that I in$esti"ate these atters, the ore clearly and distinctly do I reco"ni&e their tr*th. @*t )hat a I to concl*de fro it all in the endG It is this, that if the o!5ecti$e reality of any one of y ideas is of s*ch a nat*re as clearly to a0e e reco"ni&e that it is not in e either for ally or e inently, and that conse8*ently I cannot yself !e the ca*se of it, it follo)s of necessity that I a not alone in the )orld, !*t that there is another !ein" )hich e.ists, or )hich is the ca*se of this idea. 4n the other hand, had no s*ch an idea e.isted in e, I sho*ld ha$e had no s*fficient ar"* ent to con$ince e of the e.istence of any !ein" !eyond yself= for I ha$e ade $ery caref*l in$esti"ation e$ery)here and *p to the present ti e ha$e !een a!le to find no other "ro*nd. @*t of y ideas, !eyond that )hich represents e to yself, as to )hich there can here !e no diffic*lty, there is another )hich represents a <od, and there are others representin" corporeal and inani ate thin"s, others an"els, others ani als, and others a"ain )hich represent to e en si ilar to yself. 2s re"ards the ideas )hich represent to e other en or ani als, or an"els, I can ho)e$er easily concei$e that they i"ht !e for ed !y an ad i.t*re of the other ideas )hich I ha$e of yself, of corporeal

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thin"s, and of <od, e$en altho*"h there )ere apart fro e neither en nor ani als, nor an"els, in all the )orld. 2nd in re"ard to the ideas of corporeal o!5ects, I do not reco"ni&e in the anythin" so "reat or so e.cellent that they i"ht not ha$e possi!ly proceeded fro yself= for if I consider the ore closely, and e.a ine the indi$id*ally, as I yesterday e.a ined the idea of )a., I find that there is $ery little in the )hich I percei$e clearly and distinctly. ,a"nit*de or e.tension in len"th, !readth, or depth, I do so percei$e= also fi"*re )hich res*lts fro a ter ination of this e.tension, the sit*ation )hich !odies of different fi"*re preser$e in relation to one another, and o$e ent or chan"e of sit*ation= to )hich )e ay also add s*!stance, d*ration and n* !er. 2s to other thin"s s*ch as li"ht, colo*rs, so*nds, scents, tastes, heat, cold and the other tactile 8*alities, they are tho*"ht !y e )ith so *ch o!sc*rity and conf*sion that I do not e$en 0no) if they are tr*e or false, i.e. )hether the ideas )hich I for of these 8*alities are act*ally the ideas of real o!5ects or not Aor )hether they only represent chi eras )hich cannot e.ist in factB. 1or altho*"h I ha$e !efore re ar0ed that it is only in 5*d" ents that falsity, properly spea0in", or for al falsity, can !e et )ith, a certain aterial falsity ay ne$ertheless !e fo*nd in ideas, i.e. )hen these ideas represent )hat is nothin" as tho*"h it )ere so ethin". 1or e.a ple, the ideas )hich I ha$e of cold and heat are so far fro clear and distinct that !y their eans I cannot tell )hether cold is erely a pri$ation of heat, or heat a pri$ation of cold, or )hether !oth are real 8*alities, or are not s*ch. 2nd inas *ch as Asince ideas rese !le i a"esB there cannot !e any ideas )hich do not appear to represent so e thin"s, if it is correct to say that cold is erely a pri$ation of heat, the idea )hich represents it to e as so ethin" real and positi$e )ill not !e i properly ter ed false, and the sa e holds "ood of other si ilar ideas. To these it is certainly not necessary that I sho*ld attri!*te any a*thor other than yself. 1or if they are false, i.e. if they represent thin"s )hich do not e.ist, the li"ht of nat*re sho)s e that they iss*e fro no*"ht, that is to say, that they are only in e so far as so ethin" is lac0in" to the perfection of y nat*re. @*t if they are tr*e, ne$ertheless !eca*se they e.hi!it so little reality to e that I cannot e$en clearly distin"*ish the thin" represented fro nonE!ein", I do not see any reason )hy they sho*ld not !e prod*ced !y yself. 2s to the clear and distinct idea )hich I ha$e of corporeal thin"s, so e of the see as tho*"h I i"ht ha$e deri$ed the fro the idea )hich I possess of yself, as those )hich I ha$e of s*!stance, d*ration,

n* !er, and s*ch li0e. 1or Ae$enB )hen I thin0 that a stone is a s*!stance, or at least a thin" capa!le of e.istin" of itself, and that I a a s*!stance also, altho*"h I concei$e that I a a thin" that thin0s and not one that is e.tended, and that the stone on the other hand is an e.tended thin" )hich does not thin0, and that th*s there is a nota!le difference !et)een the t)o conceptions9they see , ne$ertheless, to a"ree in this, that !oth represent s*!stances. In the sa e )ay, )hen I percei$e that I no) e.ist and f*rther recollect that I ha$e in for er ti es e.isted, and )hen I re e !er that I ha$e $ario*s tho*"hts of )hich I can reco"ni&e the n* !er, I ac8*ire ideas of d*ration and n* !er )hich I can after)ards transfer to any o!5ect that I please. @*t as to all the other 8*alities of )hich the ideas of corporeal thin"s are co posed, to )it, e.tension, fi"*re, sit*ation and otion, it is tr*e that they are not for ally in e, since I a only a thin" that thin0s= !*t !eca*se they are erely certain odes of s*!stance Aand so to spea0 the $est ents *nder )hich corporeal s*!stance appears to *sB and !eca*se I yself a also a s*!stance, it )o*ld see that they i"ht !e contained in e e inently. (ence there re ains only the idea of <od, concernin" )hich )e *st consider )hether it is so ethin" )hich cannot ha$e proceeded fro e yself. @y the na e <od I *nderstand a s*!stance that is infinite Aeternal, i *ta!leB, independent, allE0no)in", allEpo)erf*l, and !y )hich I yself and e$erythin" else, if anythin" else does e.ist, ha$e !een created. :o) all these characteristics are s*ch that the ore dili"ently I attend to the , the less do they appear capa!le of proceedin" fro e alone= hence, fro )hat has !een already said, )e *st concl*de that <od necessarily e.ists. 1or altho*"h the idea of s*!stance is )ithin e o)in" to the fact that I a s*!stance, ne$ertheless I sho*ld not ha$e the idea of an infinite s*!stance9since I a finite9if it had not proceeded fro so e s*!stance )hich )as $erita!ly infinite. :or sho*ld I i a"ine that I do not percei$e the infinite !y a tr*e idea, !*t only !y the ne"ation of the finite, 5*st as I percei$e repose and dar0ness !y the ne"ation of o$e ent and of li"ht= for, on the contrary, I see that there is anifestly ore reality in infinite s*!stance than in finite, and therefore that in so e )ay I ha$e in e the notion of the infinite earlier then the finite9to )it, the notion of <od !efore that of yself. 1or ho) )o*ld it !e possi!le that I sho*ld 0no) that I do*!t and desire, that is to say, that so ethin" is lac0in" to e, and that I a not 8*ite perfect, *nless I had )ithin e so e idea of a @ein" ore perfect than yself, in co parison )ith )hich I sho*ld reco"ni&e the 16

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deficiencies of y nat*reG 2nd )e cannot say that this idea of <od is perhaps aterially false and that conse8*ently I can deri$e it fro no*"ht Ai.e. that possi!ly it e.ists in e !eca*se I a i perfectB, as I ha$e 5*st said is the case )ith ideas of heat, cold and other s*ch thin"s= for, on the contrary, as this idea is $ery clear and distinct and contains )ithin it ore o!5ecti$e reality than any other, there can !e none )hich is of itself ore tr*e, nor any in )hich there can !e less s*spicion of falsehood. The idea, I say, of this @ein" )ho is a!sol*tely perfect and infinite, is entirely tr*e= for altho*"h, perhaps, )e can i a"ine that s*ch a @ein" does not e.ist, )e cannot ne$ertheless i a"ine that (is idea represents nothin" real to e, as I ha$e said of the idea of cold. This idea is also $ery clear and distinct= since all that I concei$e clearly and distinctly of the real and the tr*e, and of )hat con$eys so e perfection, is in its entirety contained in this idea. 2nd this does not cease to !e tr*e altho*"h I do not co prehend the infinite, or tho*"h in <od there is an infinit*de of thin"s )hich I cannot co prehend, nor possi!ly e$en reach in any )ay !y tho*"ht= for it is of the nat*re of the infinite that y nat*re, )hich is finite and li ited, sho*ld not co prehend it= and it is s*fficient that I sho*ld *nderstand this, and that I sho*ld 5*d"e that all thin"s )hich I clearly percei$e and in )hich I 0no) that there is so e perfection, and possi!ly li0e)ise an infinit*de of properties of )hich I a i"norant, are in <od for ally or e inently, so that the idea )hich I ha$e of (i ay !eco e the ost tr*e, ost clear, and ost distinct of all the ideas that are in y ind. @*t possi!ly I a so ethin" ore than I s*ppose yself to !e, and perhaps all those perfections )hich I attri!*te to <od are in so e )ay potentially in e, altho*"h they do not yet disclose the sel$es, or iss*e in action. 2s a atter of fact I a already sensi!le that y 0no)led"e increases Aand perfects itselfB little !y little, and I see nothin" )hich can pre$ent it fro increasin" ore and ore into infinit*de= nor do I see, after it has th*s !een increased Aor perfectedB, anythin" to pre$ent y !ein" a!le to ac8*ire !y its eans all the other perfections of the Di$ine nat*re= nor finally )hy the po)er I ha$e of ac8*irin" these perfections, if it really e.ists in e, shall not s*ffice to prod*ce the ideas of the . 2t the sa e ti e I reco"ni&e that this cannot !e. 1or, in the first place, altho*"h it )ere tr*e that e$ery day y 0no)led"e ac8*ired ne) de"rees of perfection, and that there )ere in y nat*re any thin"s potentially )hich are not yet there act*ally, ne$ertheless these e.cellences do not pertain to Aor a0e the s allest approach toB the idea )hich I ha$e of <od in )ho there is nothin" erely potential

A!*t in )ho all is present really and act*allyB= for it is an infalli!le to0en of i perfection in y 0no)led"e that it increases little !y little. and f*rther, altho*"h y 0no)led"e "ro)s ore and ore, ne$ertheless I do not for that reason !elie$e that it can e$er !e act*ally infinite, since it can ne$er reach a point so hi"h that it )ill !e *na!le to attain to any "reater increase. @*t I *nderstand <od to !e act*ally infinite, so that (e can add nothin" to (is s*pre e perfection. 2nd finally I percei$e that the o!5ecti$e !ein" of an idea cannot !e prod*ced !y a !ein" that e.ists potentially only, )hich properly spea0in" is nothin", !*t only !y a !ein" )hich is for al or act*al. To spea0 the tr*th, I see nothin" in all that I ha$e 5*st said )hich !y the li"ht of nat*re is not anifest to anyone )ho desires to thin0 attenti$ely on the s*!5ect= !*t )hen I sli"htly rela. y attention, y ind, findin" its $ision so e)hat o!sc*red and so to spea0 !linded !y the i a"es of sensi!le o!5ects, I do not easily recollect the reason )hy the idea that I possess of a !ein" ore perfect then I, *st necessarily ha$e !een placed in e !y a !ein" )hich is really ore perfect= and this is )hy I )ish here to "o on to in8*ire )hether I, )ho ha$e this idea, can e.ist if no s*ch !ein" e.ists. 2nd I as0, fro )ho do I then deri$e y e.istenceG Perhaps fro yself or fro y parents, or fro so e other so*rce less perfect than <od= for )e can i a"ine nothin" ore perfect than <od, or e$en as perfect as (e is. @*t A)ere I independent of e$ery other andB )ere I yself the a*thor of y !ein", I sho*ld do*!t nothin" and I sho*ld desire nothin", and finally no perfection )o*ld !e lac0in" to e= for I sho*ld ha$e !esto)ed on yself e$ery perfection of )hich I possessed any idea and sho*ld th*s !e <od. 2nd it *st not !e i a"ined that those thin"s that are lac0in" to e are perhaps ore diffic*lt of attain ent than those )hich I already possess= for, on the contrary, it is 8*ite e$ident that it )as a atter of *ch "reater diffic*lty to !rin" to pass that I, that is to say, a thin" or a s*!stance that thin0s, sho*ld e er"e o*t of nothin", than it )o*ld !e to attain to the 0no)led"e of any thin"s of )hich I a i"norant, and )hich are only the accidents of this thin0in" s*!stance. @*t it is clear that if I had of yself possessed this "reater perfection of )hich I ha$e 5*st spo0en Athat is to say, if I had !een the a*thor of y o)n e.istenceB, I sho*ld not at least ha$e denied yself the thin"s )hich are the ore easy to ac8*ire Ato )it, any !ranches of 0no)led"e of )hich y nat*re is destit*teB= nor sho*ld I ha$e depri$ed yself of any of the thin"s contained in the idea )hich I for of <od, !eca*se there are none of the )hich see to e specially diffic*lt to

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ac8*ire? and if there )ere any that )ere ore diffic*lt to ac8*ire, they )o*ld certainly appear to e to !e s*ch (s*pposin" I yself )ere the ori"in of the other thin"s )hich I possess% since I sho*ld disco$er in the that y po)ers )ere li ited. @*t tho*"h I ass* e that perhaps I ha$e al)ays e.isted 5*st as I a at present, neither can I escape the force of this reasonin", and i a"ine that the concl*sion to !e dra)n fro this is, that I need not see0 for any a*thor of y e.istence. 1or all the co*rse of y life ay !e di$ided into an infinite n* !er of parts, none of )hich is in any )ay dependent on the other= and th*s fro the fact that I )as in e.istence a short ti e a"o it does not follo) that I *st !e in e.istence no), *nless so e ca*se at this instant, so to spea0, prod*ces e ane), that is to say, conser$es e. It is as a atter of fact perfectly clear and e$ident to all those )ho consider )ith attention the nat*re of ti e, that, in order to !e conser$ed in each o ent in )hich it end*res, a s*!stance has need of the sa e po)er and action as )o*ld !e necessary to prod*ce and create it ane), s*pposin" it did not yet e.ist, so that the li"ht of nat*re sho)s *s clearly that the distinction !et)een creation and conser$ation is solely a distinction of the reason. 2ll that I th*s re8*ire here is that I sho*ld interro"ate yself, if I )ish to 0no) )hether I possess a po)er )hich is capa!le of !rin"in" it to pass that I )ho no) a shall still !e in the f*t*re= for since I a nothin" !*t a thin0in" thin", or at least since th*s far it is only this portion of yself )hich is precisely in 8*estion at present, if s*ch a po)er did reside in e, I sho*ld certainly !e conscio*s of it. @*t I a conscio*s of nothin" of the 0ind, and !y this I 0no) clearly that I depend on so e !ein" different fro yself. Possi!ly, ho)e$er, this !ein" on )hich I depend is not that )hich I call <od, and I a created either !y y parents or !y so e other ca*se less perfect than <od. This cannot !e, !eca*se, as I ha$e 5*st said, it is perfectly e$ident that there *st !e at least as *ch reality in the ca*se as in the effect= and th*s since I a a thin0in" thin", and possess an idea of <od )ithin e, )hate$er in the end !e the ca*se assi"ned to y e.istence, it *st !e allo)ed that it is li0e)ise a thin0in" thin" and that it possesses in itself the idea of all the perfections )hich I attri!*te to <od. 7e ay a"ain in8*ire )hether this ca*se deri$es its ori"in fro itself or fro so e other thin". 1or if fro itself, it follo)s !y the reasons !efore !ro*"ht for)ard, that this ca*se *st itself !e <od= for since it possesses the $irt*e of selfEe.istence, it *st also )itho*t do*!t ha$e the po)er of act*ally possessin" all the perfections of )hich it has the idea, that is, all those )hich I concei$e as e.istin" in <od. @*t if it

deri$es its e.istence fro so e other ca*se than itself, )e shall a"ain as0, for the sa e reason, )hether this second ca*se e.ists !y itself or thro*"h another, *ntil fro one step to another, )e finally arri$e at an *lti ate ca*se, )hich )ill !e <od. 2nd it is perfectly anifest that in this there can !e no re"ression into infinity, since )hat is in 8*estion is not so *ch the ca*se )hich for erly created e, as that )hich conser$es e at the present ti e. :or can )e s*ppose that se$eral ca*ses ay ha$e conc*rred in y prod*ction, and that fro one I ha$e recei$ed the idea of one of the perfections )hich I attri!*te to <od, and fro another the idea of so e other, so that all these perfections indeed e.ist so e)here in the *ni$erse, !*t not as co plete in one *nity )hich is <od. 4n the contrary, the *nity, the si plicity or the insepara!ility of all thin"s )hich are in "od is one of the principal perfections )hich I concei$e to !e in (i . 2nd certainly the idea of this *nity of all Di$ine perfections cannot ha$e !een placed in e !y any ca*se fro )hich I ha$e not li0e)ise recei$ed the ideas of all the other perfections= for this ca*se co*ld not a0e e a!le to co prehend the as 5oined to"ether in an insepara!le *nity )itho*t ha$in" at the sa e ti e ca*sed e in so e eas*re to 0no) )hat they are Aand in so e )ay to reco"ni&e each one of the B. 1inally, so far as y parents Afro )ho it appears I ha$e spr*n"B are concerned, altho*"h all that I ha$e e$er !een a!le to !elie$e of the )ere tr*e, that does not a0e it follo) that it is they )ho conser$e e, nor are they e$en the a*thors of y !ein" in any sense, in so far as I a a thin0in" !ein"= since )hat they did )as erely to i plant certain dispositions in that atter in )hich the self9i.e. the ind, )hich alone I at present identify )ith yself9is !y e dee ed to e.ist. 2nd th*s there can !e no diffic*lty in their re"ard, !*t )e *st of necessity concl*de fro the fact alone that I e.ist, or that the idea of a @ein" s*pre ely perfect9that is of <od9is in e, that the proof of <od6s e.istence is "ro*nded on the hi"hest e$idence. It only re ains to e to e.a ine into the anner in )hich I ha$e ac8*ired this idea fro <od= for I ha$e not recei$ed it thro*"h the senses, and it is ne$er presented to e *ne.pectedly, as is *s*al )ith the ideas of sensi!le thin"s )hen these thin"s present the sel$es, or see to present the sel$es, to the e.ternal or"ans of y senses= nor is it li0e)ise a fiction of y ind, for it is not in y po)er to ta0e fro or to add anythin" to it= and conse8*ently the only alternati$e is that it is innate in e, 5*st as the idea of yself is innate in e. 2nd one certainly o*"ht not to find it stran"e that <od, in creatin" 18

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e, placed this idea )ithin e to !e li0e the ar0 of the )or0 an i printed on his )or0= and it is li0e)ise not essential that the ar0 shall !e so ethin" different fro the )or0 itself. 1or fro the sole fact that <od created e it is ost pro!a!le that in so e )ay he has placed his i a"e and si ilit*de *pon e, and that I percei$e this si ilit*de (in )hich the idea of <od is contained% !y eans of the sa e fac*lty !y )hich I percei$e yself9that is to say, )hen I reflect on yself I not only 0no) that I a so ethin" Ai perfectB, inco plete and dependent on another, )hich incessantly aspires after so ethin" )hich is !etter and "reater than yself, !*t I also 0no) that (e on )ho I depend possesses in (i self all the "reat thin"s to)ards )hich I aspire Aand the ideas of )hich I find )ithin yselfB, and that not indefinitely or potentially alone, !*t really, act*ally and infinitely= and that th*s (e is <od. 2nd the )hole stren"th of the ar"* ent )hich I ha$e here ade *se of to pro$e the e.istence of <od consists in this, that I reco"ni&e that it is not possi!le that y nat*re sho*ld !e )hat it is, and indeed that I sho*ld ha$e in yself the idea of a <od, if <od did not $erita!ly e.ist9a <od, I say, )hose idea is in e, i.e. )ho possesses all those s*pre e perfections of )hich o*r ind ay indeed ha$e so e idea !*t )itho*t *nderstandin" the all, )ho is lia!le to no errors or defect Aand )ho has none of all those ar0s )hich denote i perfectionB. 1ro this it is anifest that (e cannot !e a decei$er, since the li"ht of nat*re teaches *s that fra*d and deception necessarily proceed fro so e defect. @*t !efore I e.a ine this atter )ith ore care, and pass on to the consideration of other tr*ths )hich ay !e deri$ed fro it, it see s to e ri"ht to pa*se for a )hile in order to conte plate <od (i self, to ponder at leis*re (is ar$ello*s attri!*tes, to consider, and ad ire, and adore, the !ea*ty of this li"ht so resplendent, at least as far as the stren"th of y ind, )hich is in so e eas*re da&&led !y the si"ht, )ill allo) e to do so. 1or 5*st as faith teaches *s that the s*pre e felicity of the other life consists only in this conte plation of the Di$ine ,a5esty, so )e contin*e to learn !y e.perience that a si ilar editation, tho*"h inco para!ly less perfect, ca*ses *s to en5oy the "reatest satisfaction of )hich )e are capa!le in this life.

Meditation IV. Of the True and the False. I ha$e !een )ell acc*sto ed these past days to detach y ind

fro y senses, and I ha$e acc*rately o!ser$ed that there are $ery fe) thin"s that one 0no)s )ith certainty respectin" corporeal o!5ects, that there are any ore )hich are 0no)n to *s respectin" the h* an ind, and yet ore still re"ardin" <od (i self= so that I shall no) )itho*t any diffic*lty a!stract y tho*"hts fro the consideration of Asensi!le orB i a"ina!le o!5ects, and carry the to those )hich, !ein" )ithdra)n fro all contact )ith atter, are p*rely intelli"i!le. 2nd certainly the idea )hich I possess of the h* an ind inas *ch as it is a thin0in" thin", and not e.tended in len"th, )idth and depth, nor participatin" in anythin" pertainin" to !ody, is inco para!ly ore distinct than is the idea of any corporeal thin". 2nd )hen I consider that I do*!t, that is to say, that I a an inco plete and dependent !ein", the idea of a !ein" that is co plete and independent, that is of <od, presents itself to y ind )ith so *ch distinctness and clearness9and fro the fact alone that this idea is fo*nd in e, or that I )ho possess this idea e.ist, I concl*de so certainly that <od e.ists, and that y e.istence depends entirely on (i in e$ery o ent of y life9that I do not thin0 that the h* an ind is capa!le of 0no)in" anythin" )ith ore e$idence and certit*de. 2nd it see s to e that I no) ha$e !efore e a road )hich )ill lead *s fro the conte plation of the tr*e <od (in )ho all the treas*res of science and )isdo are contained% to the 0no)led"e of the other o!5ects of the *ni$erse. 1or, first of all, I reco"ni&e it to !e i possi!le that (e sho*ld e$er decei$e e= for in all fra*d and deception so e i perfection is to !e fo*nd, and altho*"h it ay appear that the po)er of deception is a ar0 of s*!tilty or po)er, yet the desire to decei$e )itho*t do*!t testifies to alice or fee!leness, and accordin"ly cannot !e fo*nd in <od. In the ne.t place I e.perienced in yself a certain capacity for 5*d"in" )hich I ha$e do*!tless recei$ed fro <od, li0e all the other thin"s that I possess= and as (e co*ld not desire to decei$e e, it is clear that (e has not "i$en e a fac*lty that )ill lead e to err if I *se it ari"ht. 2nd no do*!t respectin" this atter co*ld re ain, if it )ere not that the conse8*ence )o*ld see to follo) that I can th*s ne$er !e decei$ed= for if I hold all that I possess fro <od, and if (e has not placed in e the capacity for error, it see s as tho*"h I co*ld ne$er fall into error. 2nd it is tr*e that )hen I thin0 only of <od Aand direct y ind )holly to (i B,17 I disco$er Ain yselfB no ca*se of error, or falsity= yet directly after)ards, )hen rec*rrin" to yself, e.perience
17 :ot in the 1rench $ersion.

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sho)s e that I a ne$ertheless s*!5ect to an infinit*de of errors, as to )hich, )hen )e co e to in$esti"ate the ore closely, I notice that not only is there a real and positi$e idea of <od or of a @ein" of s*pre e perfection present to y ind, !*t also, so to spea0, a certain ne"ati$e idea of nothin", that is, of that )hich is infinitely re o$ed fro any 0ind of perfection= and that I a in a sense so ethin" inter ediate !et)een <od and no*"ht, i.e. placed in s*ch a anner !et)een the s*pre e @ein" and nonE!ein", that there is in tr*th nothin" in e that can lead to error in so far as a so$erei"n @ein" has for ed e= !*t that, as I in so e de"ree participate li0e)ise in no*"ht or in nonE!ein", i.e. in so far as I a not yself the s*pre e @ein", and as I find yself s*!5ect to an infinit*de of i perfections, I o*"ht not to !e astonished if I sho*ld fall into error. Th*s do I reco"ni&e that error, in so far as it is s*ch, is not a real thin" dependin" on <od, !*t si ply a defect= and therefore, in order to fall into it, that I ha$e no need to possess a special fac*lty "i$en e !y <od for this $ery p*rpose, !*t that I fall into error fro the fact that the po)er "i$en e !y <od for the p*rpose of distin"*ishin" tr*th fro error is not infinite. :e$ertheless this does not 8*ite satisfy e= for error is not a p*re ne"ation Ai.e. is not the di ple defect or )ant of so e perfection )hich o*"ht not to !e ineB, !*t it is a lac0 of so e 0no)led"e )hich it see s that I o*"ht to possess. 2nd on considerin" the nat*re of <od it does not appear to e possi!le that (e sho*ld ha$e "i$en e a fac*lty )hich is not perfect of its 0ind, that is, )hich is )antin" in so e perfection d*e to it. 1or if it is tr*e that the ore s0illf*l the arti&an, the ore perfect is the )or0 of his hands, )hat can ha$e !een prod*ced !y this s*pre e Creator of all thin"s that is not in all its parts perfectG 2nd certainly there is no do*!t that <od co*ld ha$e created e so that I co*ld ne$er ha$e !een s*!5ect to error= it is also certain that (e e$er )ills )hat is !est= is it then !etter that I sho*ld !e s*!5ect to err than that I sho*ld notG In considerin" this ore attenti$ely, it occ*rs to e in the first place that I sho*ld not !e astonished if y intelli"ence is not capa!le of co prehendin" )hy <od acts as (e does= and that there is th*s no reason to do*!t of (is e.istence fro the fact that I ay perhaps find any other thin"s !esides this as to )hich I a a!le to *nderstand neither for )hat reason nor ho) <od has prod*ced the . 1or, in the first place, 0no)in" that y nat*re is e.tre ely fee!le and li ited, and that the nat*re of <od is on the contrary i ense, inco prehensi!le, and infinite, I ha$e no f*rther diffic*lty in reco"nisin" that there is an infinit*de of atter in (is po)er, the ca*ses of )hich transcend y

0no)led"e= and this reason s*ffices to con$ince e that the species of ca*se ter ed final, finds no *sef*l e ploy ent in physical Aor nat*ralB thin"s= for it does not appear to e that I can )itho*t te erity see0 to in$esti"ate the Ainscr*ta!leB ends of <od. It f*rther occ*rs to e that )e sho*ld not consider one sin"le creat*re separately, )hen )e in8*ire as to )hether the )or0s of <od are perfect, !*t sho*ld re"ard all his creations to"ether. 1or the sa e thin" )hich i"ht possi!ly see $ery i perfect )ith so e se !lance of reason if re"arded !y itself, is fo*nd to !e $ery perfect if re"arded as part of the )hole *ni$erse= and altho*"h, since I resol$ed to do*!t all thin"s, I as yet ha$e only 0no)n certainly y o)n e.istence and that of <od, ne$ertheless since I ha$e reco"ni&ed the infinite po)er of <od, I cannot deny that (e ay ha$e prod*ced any other thin"s, or at least that (e has the po)er of prod*cin" the , so that I ay o!tain a place as a part of a "reat *ni$erse. 7here*pon, re"ardin" yself ore closely, and considerin" )hat are y errors (for they alone testify to there !ein" any i perfection in e%, I ans)er that they depend on a co !ination of t)o ca*ses, to )it, on the fac*lty of 0no)led"e that rests in e, and on the po)er of choice or of free )ill9that is to say, of the *nderstandin" and at the sa e ti e of the )ill. 1or !y the *nderstandin" alone I Aneither assert nor deny anythin", !*tB apprehend18 the ideas of thin"s as to )hich I can for a 5*d" ent. @*t no error is properly spea0in" fo*nd in it, pro$ided the )ord error is ta0en in its proper si"nification= and tho*"h there is possi!ly an infinit*de of thin"s in the )orld of )hich I ha$e no idea in y *nderstandin", )e cannot for all that say that it is depri$ed of these ideas Aas )e i"ht say of so ethin" )hich is re8*ired !y its nat*reB, !*t si ply it does not possess these= !eca*se in tr*th there is no reason to pro$e that <od sho*ld ha$e "i$en e a "reater fac*lty of 0no)led"e than (e has "i$en e= and ho)e$er s0illf*l a )or0 an I represent (i to !e, I sho*ld not for all that consider that (e )as !o*nd to ha$e placed in each of (is )or0s all the perfections )hich (e ay ha$e !een a!le to place in so e. I li0e)ise cannot co plain that <od has not "i$en e a free choice or a )ill )hich is s*fficient, a ple and perfect, since as a atter of fact I a conscio*s of a )ill so e.tended as to !e s*!5ect to no li its. 2nd )hat see s to e $ery re ar0a!le in this re"ard is that of all the 8*alities )hich I possess there is no one so perfect and so co prehensi$e that I do not $ery clearly reco"ni&e that it i"ht !e yet "reater and ore perfect. 1or, to ta0e an e.a ple, if I
18 percipio.

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consider the fac*lty of co prehension )hich I possess, I find that it is of $ery s all e.tent and e.tre ely li ited, and at the sa e ti e I find the idea of another fac*lty *ch ore a ple and e$en infinite, and seein" that I can for the idea of it, I reco"ni&e fro this $ery fact that it pertains to the nat*re of <od. If in the sa e )ay I e.a ine the e ory, the i a"ination, or so e other fac*lty, I do not find any )hich is not s all and circ* scri!ed, )hile in <od it is i ense Aor infiniteB. It is freeE)ill alone or li!erty of choice )hich I find to !e so "reat in e that I can concei$e no other idea to !e ore "reat= it is indeed the case that it is for the ost part this )ill that ca*ses e to 0no) that in so e anner I !ear the i a"e and si ilit*de of <od. 1or altho*"h the po)er of )ill is inco para!ly "reater in <od than in e, !oth !y reason of the 0no)led"e and the po)er )hich, con5oined )ith it, render it stron"er and ore efficacio*s, and !y reason of its o!5ect, inas *ch as in <od it e.tends to a "reat any thin"s= it ne$ertheless does not see to e "reater if I consider it for ally and precisely in itself? for the fac*lty of )ill consists alone in o*r ha$in" the po)er of choosin" to do a thin" or choosin" not to do it (that is, to affir or deny, to p*rs*e or to sh*n it%, or rather it consists alone in the fact that in order to affir or deny, p*rs*e or sh*n those thin"s placed !efore *s !y the *nderstandin", )e act so that )e are *nconscio*s that any o*tside force constrains *s in doin" so. 1or in order that I sho*ld !e free it is not necessary that I sho*ld !e indifferent as to the choice of one or the other of t)o contraries= !*t contrari)ise the ore I lean to the one9)hether I reco"ni&e clearly that the reasons of the "ood and tr*e are to !e fo*nd in it, or )hether <od so disposes y in)ard tho*"ht9the ore freely do I choose and e !race it. 2nd *ndo*!tedly !oth di$ine "race and nat*ral 0no)led"e, far fro di inishin" y li!erty, rather increase it and stren"then it. (ence this indifference )hich I feel, )hen I a not s)ayed to one side rather than to the other !y lac0 of reason, is the lo)est "rade of li!erty, and rather e$inces a lac0 or ne"ation in 0no)led"e than a perfection of )ill? for if I al)ays reco"ni&ed clearly )hat )as tr*e and "ood, I sho*ld ne$er ha$e tro*!le in deli!eratin" as to )hat 5*d" ent or choice I sho*ld a0e, and then I sho*ld !e entirely free )itho*t e$er !ein" indifferent. 1ro all this I reco"ni&e that the po)er of )ill )hich I ha$e recei$ed fro <od is not of itself the so*rce of y errors9for it is $ery a ple and $ery perfect of its 0ind9any ore than is the po)er of *nderstandin"= for since I *nderstand nothin" !*t !y the po)er )hich <od has "i$en e for *nderstandin", there is no do*!t that all that I *nderstand, I *nderstand as I o*"ht, and it is not possi!le that I err in

this. 7hence then co e y errorsG They co e fro the sole fact that since the )ill is *ch )ider in its ran"e and co pass than the *nderstandin", I do not restrain it )ithin the sa e !o*nds, !*t e.tend it also to thin"s )hich I do not *nderstand? and as the )ill is of itself indifferent to these, it easily falls into error and sin, and chooses the e$il for the "ood, or the false for the tr*e. 1or e.a ple, )hen I lately e.a ined )hether anythin" e.isted in the )orld, and fo*nd that fro the $ery fact that I considered this 8*estion it follo)ed $ery clearly that I yself e.isted, I co*ld not pre$ent yself fro !elie$in" that a thin" I so clearly concei$ed )as tr*e? not that I fo*nd yself co pelled to do so !y so e e.ternal ca*se, !*t si ply !eca*se fro "reat clearness in y ind there follo)ed a "reat inclination of y )ill= and I !elie$ed this )ith so *ch the "reater freedo or spontaneity as I possessed the less indifference to)ards it. :o), on the contrary, I not only 0no) that I e.ist, inas *ch as I a a thin0in" thin", !*t a certain representation of corporeal nat*re is also presented to y ind= and it co es to pass that I do*!t )hether this thin0in" nat*re )hich is in e, or rather !y )hich I a )hat I a , differs fro this corporeal nat*re, or )hether !oth are not si ply the sa e thin"= and I here s*ppose that I do not yet 0no) any reason to pers*ade e to adopt the one !elief rather than the other. 1ro this it follo)s that I a entirely indifferent as to )hich of the t)o I affir or deny, or e$en )hether I a!stain fro for in" any 5*d" ent in the atter. 2nd this indifference does not only e.tend to atters as to )hich the *nderstandin" has no 0no)led"e, !*t also in "eneral to all those )hich are not apprehended )ith perfect clearness at the o ent )hen the )ill is deli!eratin" *pon the ? for, ho)e$er pro!a!le are the con5ect*res )hich render e disposed to for a 5*d" ent respectin" anythin", the si ple 0no)led"e that I ha$e that those are con5ect*res alone and not certain and ind*!ita!le reasons, s*ffices to occasion e to 5*d"e the contrary. 4f this I ha$e had "reat e.perience of late )hen I set aside as false all that I had for erly held to !e a!sol*tely tr*e, for the sole reason that I re ar0ed that it i"ht in so e eas*re !e do*!ted. @*t if I a!stain fro "i$in" y 5*d" ent on any thin" )hen I do not percei$e it )ith s*fficient clearness and distinctness, it is plain that I act ri"htly and a not decei$ed. @*t if I deter ine to deny or affir , I no lon"er a0e *se as I sho*ld of y free )ill, and if I affir )hat is not tr*e, it is e$ident that I decei$e yself= e$en tho*"h I 5*d"e accordin" to tr*th, this co es a!o*t only !y chance, and I do not escape

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the !la e of is*sin" y freedo = for the li"ht of nat*re teaches *s that the 0no)led"e of the *nderstandin" sho*ld al)ays precede the deter ination of the )ill. 2nd it is in the is*se of the free )ill that the pri$ation )hich constit*tes the characteristic nat*re of error is et )ith. Pri$ation, I say, is fo*nd in the act, in so far as it proceeds fro e, !*t it is not fo*nd in the fac*lty )hich I ha$e recei$ed fro <od, nor e$en in the act in so far as it depends on (i . 1or I ha$e certainly no ca*se to co plain that <od has not "i$en e an intelli"ence )hich is ore po)erf*l, or a nat*ral li"ht )hich is stron"er than that )hich I ha$e recei$ed fro (i , since it is proper to the finite *nderstandin" not to co prehend a *ltit*de of thin"s, and it is proper to a created *nderstandin" to !e finite= on the contrary, I ha$e e$ery reason to render than0s to <od )ho o)es e nothin" and )ho has "i$en e all the perfections I possess, and I sho*ld !e far fro char"in" (i )ith in5*stice, and )ith ha$in" depri$ed e of, or )ron"f*lly )ithheld fro e, these perfections )hich (e has not !esto)ed *pon e. I ha$e f*rther no reason to co plain that (e has "i$en e a )ill ore a ple than y *nderstandin", for since the )ill consists only of one sin"le ele ent, and is so to spea0 indi$isi!le, it appears that its nat*re is s*ch that nothin" can !e a!stracted fro it A)itho*t destroyin" itB= and certainly the ore co prehensi$e it is fo*nd to !e, the ore reason I ha$e to render "ratit*de to the "i$er. 2nd, finally, I *st also not co plain that <od conc*rs )ith e in for in" the acts of the )ill, that is the 5*d" ent in )hich I "o astray, !eca*se these acts are entirely tr*e and "ood, inas *ch as they depend on <od= and in a certain sense ore perfection accr*es to y nat*re fro the fact that I can for the , than if I co*ld not do so. 2s to the pri$ation in )hich alone the for al reason of error or sin consists, it has no need of any conc*rrence fro <od, since it is not a thin" Aor an e.istenceB, and since it is not related to <od as to a ca*se, !*t sho*ld !e ter ed erely a ne"ation Aaccordin" to the si"nificance "i$en to these )ords in the 'choolsB. 1or in fact it is not an i perfection in <od that (e has "i$en e the li!erty to "i$e or )ithhold y assent fro certain thin"s as to )hich (e has not placed a clear and distinct 0no)led"e in y *nderstandin"= !*t it is )itho*t do*!t an i perfection in e not to a0e a "ood *se of y freedo , and to "i$e y 5*d" ent readily on atters )hich I only *nderstand o!sc*rely. I ne$ertheless percei$e that <od co*ld easily ha$e created e so that I ne$er sho*ld err, altho*"h I still re ained free, and endo)ed )ith a li ited 0no)led"e, $i&. !y "i$in" to y *nderstandin" a clear and distinct intelli"ence of all thin"s

as to )hich I sho*ld e$er ha$e to deli!erate= or si ply !y (is en"ra$in" deeply in y e ory the resol*tion ne$er to for a 5*d" ent on anythin" )itho*t ha$in" a clear and distinct *nderstandin" of it, so that I co*ld ne$er for"et it. 2nd it is easy for e to *nderstand that, in so far as I consider yself alone, and as if there )ere only yself in the )orld, I sho*ld ha$e !een *ch ore perfect than I a , if <od had created e so that I co*ld ne$er err. :e$ertheless I cannot deny that in so e sense it is a "reater perfection in the )hole *ni$erse that certain parts sho*ld not !e e.e pt fro error as others are than that all parts sho*ld !e e.actly si ilar. 2nd I ha$e no ri"ht to co plain if <od, ha$in" placed e in the )orld, has not called *pon e to play a part that e.cels all others in distinction and perfection. 2nd f*rther I ha$e reason to !e "lad on the "ro*nd that if (e has not "i$en e the po)er of ne$er "oin" astray !y the first eans pointed o*t a!o$e, )hich depends on a clear and e$ident 0no)led"e of all the thin"s re"ardin" )hich I can deli!erate, (e has at least left )ithin y po)er the other eans, )hich is fir ly to adhere to the resol*tion ne$er to "i$e 5*d" ent on atters )hose tr*th is not clearly 0no)n to e= for altho*"h I notice a certain )ea0ness in y nat*re in that I cannot contin*ally concentrate y ind on one sin"le tho*"ht, I can yet, !y attenti$e and fre8*ently repeated editation, i press it so forci!ly on y e ory that I shall ne$er fail to recollect it )hene$er I ha$e need of it, and th*s ac8*ire the ha!it of ne$er "oin" astray. 2nd inas *ch as it is in this that the "reatest and principal perfection of an consists, it see s to e that I ha$e not "ained little !y this dayJs ,editation, since I ha$e disco$ered the so*rce of falsity and error. 2nd certainly there can !e no other so*rce than that )hich I ha$e e.plained= for as often as I so restrain y )ill )ithin the li its of y 0no)led"e that it for s no 5*d" ent e.cept on atters )hich are clearly and distinctly represented to it !y the *nderstandin", I can ne$er !e decei$ed= for e$ery clear and distinct conception19 is )itho*t do*!t so ethin", and hence cannot deri$e its ori"in fro )hat is no*"ht, !*t *st of necessity ha$e <od as its a*thor9<od, I say, )ho !ein" s*pre ely perfect, cannot !e the ca*se of any error= and conse8*ently )e *st concl*de that s*ch a conception Aor s*ch a 5*d" entB is tr*e. :or ha$e I only learned toEday )hat I sho*ld a$oid in order that I ay not err, !*t also ho) I sho*ld act in order to arri$e at a 0no)led"e of the tr*th= for )itho*t do*!t I shall arri$e at this end if I de$ote y attention s*fficiently to those thin"s )hich I perfectly *nderstand= and if
19 perceptio.

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I separate fro these that )hich I only *nderstand conf*sedly and )ith o!sc*rity. To these I shall henceforth dili"ently "i$e heed.

Meditation V. Of the essence of material things, and, again, of God, that He exists. ,any other atters respectin" the attri!*tes of <od and y o)n nat*re or ind re ain for consideration= !*t I shall possi!ly on another occasion res* e the in$esti"ation of these. :o) (after first notin" )hat *st !e done or a$oided, in order to arri$e at a 0no)led"e of the tr*th% y principal tas0 is to endea$o*r to e er"e fro the state of do*!t into )hich I ha$e these last days fallen, and to see )hether nothin" certain can !e 0no)n re"ardin" aterial thin"s. @*t !efore e.a inin" )hether any s*ch o!5ects as I concei$e e.ist o*tside of e, I *st consider the ideas of the in so far as they are in y tho*"ht, and see )hich of the are distinct and )hich conf*sed. In the first place, I a a!le distinctly to i a"ine that 8*antity )hich philosophers co only call contin*o*s, or the e.tension in len"th, !readth, or depth, that is in this 8*antity, or rather in the o!5ect to )hich it is attri!*ted. 1*rther, I can n* !er in it any different parts, and attri!*te to each of its parts any sorts of si&e, fi"*re, sit*ation and local o$e ent, and, finally, I can assi"n to each of these o$e ents all de"rees of d*ration. 2nd not only do I 0no) these thin"s )ith distinctness )hen I consider the in "eneral, !*t, li0e)ise Aho)e$er little I apply y attention to the atterB, I disco$er an infinit*de of partic*lars respectin" n* !ers, fi"*res, o$e ents, and other s*ch thin"s, )hose tr*th is so anifest, and so )ell accords )ith y nat*re, that )hen I !e"in to disco$er the , it see s to e that I learn nothin" ne), or recollect )hat I for erly 0ne)9that is to say, that I for the first ti e percei$e thin"s )hich )ere already present to y ind, altho*"h I had not as yet applied y ind to the . 2nd )hat I here find to !e ost i portant is that I disco$er in yself an infinit*de of ideas of certain thin"s )hich cannot !e estee ed as p*re ne"ations, altho*"h they ay possi!ly ha$e no e.istence o*tside of y tho*"ht, and )hich are not fra ed !y e, altho*"h it is )ithin y po)er either to thin0 or not to thin0 the , !*t )hich possess nat*res )hich are tr*e and i *ta!le. 1or e.a ple, )hen I i a"ine a trian"le, altho*"h there ay no)here in the )orld !e s*ch a fi"*re o*tside y

tho*"ht, or e$er ha$e !een, there is ne$ertheless in this fi"*re a certain deter inate nat*re, for , or essence, )hich is i *ta!le and eternal, )hich I ha$e not in$ented, and )hich in no )ise depends on y ind, as appears fro the fact that di$erse properties of that trian"le can !e de onstrated, $i&. that its three an"les are e8*al to t)o ri"ht an"les, that the "reatest side is s*!tended !y the "reatest an"le, and the li0e, )hich no), )hether I )ish it or do not )ish it, I reco"ni&e $ery clearly as pertainin" to it, altho*"h I ne$er tho*"ht of the atter at all )hen I i a"ined a trian"le for the first ti e, and )hich therefore cannot !e said to ha$e !een in$ented !y e. :or does the o!5ection hold "ood that possi!ly this idea of a trian"le has reached y ind thro*"h the edi* of y senses, since I ha$e so eti es seen !odies trian"*lar in shape= !eca*se I can for in y ind an infinit*de of other fi"*res re"ardin" )hich )e cannot ha$e the least conception of their e$er ha$in" !een o!5ects of sense, and I can ne$ertheless de onstrate $ario*s properties pertainin" to their nat*re as )ell as to that of the trian"le, and these *st certainly all !e tr*e since I concei$e the clearly. (ence they are so ethin", and not p*re ne"ation= for it is perfectly clear that all that is tr*e is so ethin", and I ha$e already f*lly de onstrated that all that I 0no) clearly is tr*e. 2nd e$en altho*"h I had not de onstrated this, the nat*re of y ind is s*ch that I co*ld not pre$ent yself fro holdin" the to !e tr*e so lon" as I concei$e the clearly= and I recollect that e$en )hen I )as still stron"ly attached to the o!5ects of sense, I co*nted as the ost certain those tr*ths )hich I concei$ed clearly as re"ards fi"*res, n* !ers, and the other atters )hich pertain to arith etic and "eo etry, and, in "eneral, to p*re and a!stract athe atics. @*t no), if 5*st !eca*se I can dra) the idea of so ethin" fro y tho*"ht, it follo)s that all )hich I 0no) clearly and distinctly as pertainin" to this o!5ect does really !elon" to it, ay I not deri$e fro this an ar"* ent de onstratin" the e.istence of <odG It is certain that I no less find the idea of <od, that is to say, the idea of a s*pre ely perfect @ein", in e, than that of any fi"*re or n* !er )hate$er it is= and I do not 0no) any less clearly and distinctly that an Aact*al andB eternal e.istence pertains to this nat*re than I 0no) that all that )hich I a a!le to de onstrate of so e fi"*re or n* !er tr*ly pertains to the nat*re of this fi"*re or n* !er, and therefore, altho*"h all that I concl*ded in the precedin" ,editations )ere fo*nd to !e false, the e.istence of <od )o*ld pass )ith e as at least as certain as I ha$e e$er held the tr*ths of athe atics ()hich concern only n* !ers and fi"*res% to !e.

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This indeed is not at first anifest, since it )o*ld see to present so e appearance of !ein" a sophis . 1or !ein" acc*sto ed in all other thin"s to a0e a distinction !et)een e.istence and essence, I easily pers*ade yself that the e.istence can !e separated fro the essence of <od, and that )e can th*s concei$e <od as not act*ally e.istin". @*t, ne$ertheless, )hen I thin0 of it )ith ore attention, I clearly see that e.istence can no ore !e separated fro the essence of <od than can its ha$in" its three an"les e8*al to t)o ri"ht an"les !e separated fro the essence of a ArectilinearB trian"le, or the idea of a o*ntain fro the idea of a $alley= and so there is not any less rep*"nance to o*r concei$in" a <od (that is, a @ein" s*pre ely perfect% to )ho e.istence is lac0in" (that is to say, to )ho a certain perfection is lac0in"%, than to concei$e of a o*ntain )hich has no $alley. @*t altho*"h I cannot really concei$e of a <od )itho*t e.istence any ore than a o*ntain )itho*t a $alley, still fro the fact that I concei$e of a o*ntain )ith a $alley, it does not follo) that there is s*ch a o*ntain in the )orld= si ilarly altho*"h I concei$e of <od as possessin" e.istence, it )o*ld see that it does not follo) that there is a <od )hich e.ists= for y tho*"ht does not i pose any necessity *pon thin"s, and 5*st as I ay i a"ine a )in"ed horse, altho*"h no horse )ith )in"s e.ists, so I co*ld perhaps attri!*te e.istence to <od, altho*"h no <od e.isted. @*t a sophis is concealed in this o!5ection= for fro the fact that I cannot concei$e a o*ntain )itho*t a $alley, it does not follo) that there is any o*ntain or any $alley in e.istence, !*t only that the o*ntain and the $alley, )hether they e.ist or do not e.ist, cannot in any )ay !e separated one fro the other. 7hile fro the fact that I cannot concei$e <od )itho*t e.istence, it follo)s that e.istence is insepara!le fro (i , and hence that (e really e.ists= not that y tho*"ht can !rin" this to pass, or i pose any necessity on thin"s, !*t, on the contrary, !eca*se the necessity )hich lies in the thin" itself, i.e. the necessity of the e.istence of <od deter ines e to thin0 in this )ay. 1or it is not )ithin y po)er to thin0 of <od )itho*t e.istence (that is of a s*pre ely perfect @ein" de$oid of a s*pre e perfection% tho*"h it is in y po)er to i a"ine a horse either )ith )in"s or )itho*t )in"s. 2nd )e *st not here o!5ect that it is in tr*th necessary for e to assert that <od e.ists after ha$in" pres*pposed that (e possesses e$ery sort of perfection, since e.istence is one of these, !*t that as a atter of fact y ori"inal s*pposition )as not necessary, 5*st as it is not necessary to consider that all 8*adrilateral fi"*res can !e inscri!ed in

the circle= for s*pposin" I tho*"ht this, I sho*ld !e constrained to ad it that the rho !*s i"ht !e inscri!ed in the circle since it is a 8*adrilateral fi"*re, )hich, ho)e$er, is anifestly false. A7e *st not, I say, a0e any s*ch alle"ations !eca*seB altho*"h it is not necessary that I sho*ld at any ti e entertain the notion of <od, ne$ertheless )hene$er it happens that I thin0 of a first and a so$erei"n @ein", and, so to spea0, deri$e the idea of (i fro the storeho*se of y ind, it is necessary that I sho*ld attri!*te to (i e$ery sort of perfection, altho*"h I do not "et so far as to en* erate the all, or to apply y ind to each one in partic*lar. 2nd this necessity s*ffices to a0e e concl*de (after ha$in" reco"ni&ed that e.istence is a perfection% that this first and so$erei"n @ein" really e.ists= 5*st as tho*"h it is not necessary for e e$er to i a"ine any trian"le, yet, )hene$er I )ish to consider a rectilinear fi"*re co posed only of three an"les, it is a!sol*tely essential that I sho*ld attri!*te to it all those properties )hich ser$e to !rin" a!o*t the concl*sion that its three an"les are not "reater than t)o ri"ht an"les, e$en altho*"h I ay not then !e considerin" this point in partic*lar. @*t )hen I consider )hich fi"*res are capa!le of !ein" inscri!ed in the circle, it is in no )ise necessary that I sho*ld thin0 that all 8*adrilateral fi"*res are of this n* !er= on the contrary, I cannot e$en pretend that this is the case, so lon" as I do not desire to accept anythin" )hich I cannot concei$e clearly and distinctly. 2nd in conse8*ence there is a "reat difference !et)een the false s*ppositions s*ch as this, and the tr*e ideas !orn )ithin e, the first and principal of )hich is that of <od. 1or really I discern in any )ays that this idea is not so ethin" factitio*s, and dependin" solely on y tho*"ht, !*t that it is the i a"e of a tr*e and i *ta!le nat*re= first of all, !eca*se I cannot concei$e anythin" !*t <od hi self to )hose essence e.istence AnecessarilyB pertains= in the second place !eca*se it is not possi!le for e to concei$e t)o or ore <ods in this sa e position= and, "ranted that there is one s*ch <od )ho no) e.ists, I see clearly that it is necessary that (e sho*ld ha$e e.isted fro all eternity, and that (e *st e.ist eternally= and finally, !eca*se I 0no) an infinit*de of other properties in <od, none of )hich I can either di inish or chan"e. 1or the rest, )hate$er proof or ar"* ent I a$ail yself of, )e *st al)ays ret*rn to the point that it is only those thin"s )hich )e concei$e clearly and distinctly that ha$e the po)er of pers*adin" e entirely. 2nd altho*"h a on"st the atters )hich I concei$e of in this )ay, so e indeed are anifestly o!$io*s to all, )hile others only anifest the sel$es to those )ho consider the closely and e.a ine the 24

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attenti$ely= still, after they ha$e once !een disco$ered, the latter are not estee ed as any less certain than the for er. 1or e.a ple, in the case of e$ery ri"htEan"led trian"le, altho*"h it does not so anifestly appear that the s8*are of the !ase is e8*al to the s8*ares of the t)o other sides as that this !ase is opposite to the "reatest an"le= still, )hen this has once !een apprehended, )e are 5*st as certain of its tr*th as of the tr*th of the other. 2nd as re"ards <od, if y ind )ere not preEocc*pied )ith pre5*dices, and if y tho*"ht did not find itself on all hands di$erted !y the contin*al press*re of sensi!le thin"s, there )o*ld !e nothin" )hich I co*ld 0no) ore i ediately and ore easily than (i . 1or is there anythin" ore anifest than that there is a <od, that is to say, a '*pre e @ein", to )hose essence alone e.istence pertainsG20 2nd altho*"h for a fir "rasp of this tr*th I ha$e need of a stren*o*s application of ind, at present I not only feel yself to !e as ass*red of it as of all that I hold as ost certain, !*t I also re ar0 that the certainty of all other thin"s depends on it so a!sol*tely, that )itho*t this 0no)led"e it is i possi!le e$er to 0no) anythin" perfectly. 1or altho*"h I a of s*ch a nat*re that as lon" as 21 I *nderstand anythin" $ery clearly and distinctly, I a nat*rally i pelled to !elie$e it to !e tr*e, yet !eca*se I a also of s*ch a nat*re that I cannot ha$e y ind constantly fi.ed on the sa e o!5ect in order to percei$e it clearly, and as I often recollect ha$in" for ed a past 5*d" ent )itho*t at the sa e ti e properly recollectin" the reasons that led e to a0e it, it ay happen ean)hile that other reasons present the sel$es to e, )hich )o*ld easily ca*se e to chan"e y opinion, if I )ere i"norant of the facts of the e.istence of <od, and th*s I sho*ld ha$e no tr*e and certain 0no)led"e, !*t only $a"*e and $acillatin" opinions. Th*s, for e.a ple, )hen I consider the nat*re of a ArectilinearB trian"le, I )ho ha$e so e little 0no)led"e of the principles of "eo etry reco"ni&e 8*ite clearly that the three an"les are e8*al to t)o ri"ht an"les, and it is not possi!le for e not to !elie$e this so lon" as I apply y ind to its de onstration= !*t so soon as I a!stain fro attendin" to the proof, altho*"h I still recollect ha$in" clearly co prehended it, it ay easily occ*r that I co e to do*!t its tr*th, if I a i"norant of there !ein" a <od. 1or I can pers*ade yself of ha$in" !een so constit*ted !y nat*re that I can easily decei$e yself e$en in those atters )hich I !elie$e yself to apprehend )ith the "reatest e$idence and certainty, especially
20 -In the idea of )ho 21 -1ro

)hen I recollect that I ha$e fre8*ently 5*d"ed atters to !e tr*e and certain )hich other reasons ha$e after)ards i pelled e to 5*d"e to !e alto"ether false. @*t after I ha$e reco"ni&ed that there is a <od9!eca*se at the sa e ti e I ha$e also reco"ni&ed that all thin"s depend *pon (i , and that (e is not a decei$er, and fro that ha$e inferred that )hat I percei$e clearly and distinctly cannot fail to !e tr*e9altho*"h I no lon"er pay attention to the reasons for )hich I ha$e 5*d"ed this to !e tr*e, pro$ided that I recollect ha$in" clearly and distinctly percei$ed it no contrary reason can !e !ro*"ht for)ard )hich co*ld e$er ca*se e to do*!t of its tr*th= and th*s I ha$e a tr*e and certain 0no)led"e of it. 2nd this sa e 0no)led"e e.tends li0e)ise to all other thin"s )hich I recollect ha$in" for erly de onstrated, s*ch as the tr*ths of "eo etry and the li0e= for )hat can !e alle"ed a"ainst the to ca*se e to place the in do*!tG 7ill it !e said that y nat*re is s*ch as to ca*se e to !e fre8*ently decei$edG @*t I already 0no) that I cannot !e decei$ed in the 5*d" ent )hose "ro*nds I 0no) clearly. 7ill it !e said that I for erly held any thin"s to !e tr*e and certain )hich I ha$e after)ards reco"ni&ed to !e falseG @*t I had not had any clear and distinct 0no)led"e of these thin"s, and not as yet 0no)in" the r*le )here!y I ass*re yself of the tr*th, I had !een i pelled to "i$e y assent fro reasons )hich I ha$e since reco"ni&ed to !e less stron" than I had at the ti e i a"ined the to !e. 7hat f*rther o!5ection can then !e raisedG That possi!ly I a drea in" (an o!5ection I yself ade a little )hile a"o%, or that all the tho*"hts )hich I no) ha$e are no ore tr*e than the phantasies of y drea sG @*t e$en tho*"h I slept the case )o*ld !e the sa e, for all that is clearly present to y ind is a!sol*tely tr*e. 2nd so I $ery clearly reco"ni&e that the certainty and tr*th of all 0no)led"e depends alone on the 0no)led"e of the tr*e <od, in so *ch that, !efore I 0ne) (i , I co*ld not ha$e a perfect 0no)led"e of any other thin". 2nd no) that I 0no) (i I ha$e the eans of ac8*irin" a perfect 0no)led"e of an infinit*de of thin"s, not only of those )hich relate to <od (i self and other intellect*al atters, !*t also of those )hich pertain to corporeal nat*re in so far as it is the o!5ect of p*re athe atics A)hich ha$e no concern )ith )hether it e.ists or notB.

alone necessary or eternal e.istence is co prised./

1rench $ersion. the o ent that./ 1rench $ersion.

Meditation VI. Of the Existence of Material Things, and of the real distinction between the Soul and Body of Man.

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:othin" f*rther no) re ains !*t to in8*ire )hether aterial thin"s e.ist. 2nd certainly I at least 0no) that these ay e.ist in so far as they are considered as the o!5ects of p*re athe atics, since in this aspect I percei$e the clearly and distinctly. 1or there is no do*!t that <od possesses the po)er to prod*ce e$erythin" that I a capa!le of percei$in" )ith distinctness, and I ha$e ne$er dee ed that anythin" )as i possi!le for (i , *nless I fo*nd a contradiction in atte ptin" to concei$e it clearly. 1*rther, the fac*lty of i a"ination )hich I possess, and of )hich, e.perience tells e, I a0e *se )hen I apply yself to the consideration of aterial thin"s, is capa!le of pers*adin" e of their e.istence= for )hen I attenti$ely consider )hat i a"ination is, I find that it is nothin" !*t a certain application of the fac*lty of 0no)led"e to the !ody )hich is i ediately present to it, and )hich therefore e.ists. 2nd to render this 8*ite clear, I re ar0 in the first place the difference that e.ists !et)een the i a"ination and p*re intellection Aor conception22B. 1or e.a ple, )hen I i a"ine a trian"le, I do not concei$e it only as a fi"*re co prehended !y three lines, !*t I also apprehend23 these three lines as present !y the po)er and in)ard $ision of y ind,24 and this is )hat I call i a"inin". @*t if I desire to thin0 of a chilia"on, I certainly concei$e tr*ly that it is a fi"*re co posed of a tho*sand sides, 5*st as easily as I concei$e of a trian"le that it is a fi"*re of three sides only= !*t I cannot in any )ay i a"ine the tho*sand sides of a chilia"on Aas I do the three sides of a trian"leB, nor do I, so to spea0, re"ard the as present A)ith the eyes of y indB. 2nd altho*"h in accordance )ith the ha!it I ha$e for ed of al)ays e ployin" the aid of y i a"ination )hen I thin0 of corporeal thin"s, it ay happen that in i a"inin" a chilia"on I conf*sedly represent to yself so e fi"*re, yet it is $ery e$ident that this fi"*re is not a chilia"on, since it in no )ay differs fro that )hich I represent to yself )hen I thin0 of a yria"on or any other anyEsided fi"*re= nor does it ser$e y p*rpose in disco$erin" the properties )hich "o to for the distinction !et)een a chilia"on and other poly"ons. @*t if the 8*estion t*rns *pon a penta"on, it is 8*ite tr*e that I can concei$e its fi"*re as )ell as that of a chilia"on )itho*t the help of y i a"ination= !*t I can also i a"ine it !y applyin" the attention of y ind to each of its fi$e sides, and at the sa e ti e to the space )hich they enclose.
22 -Conception,/ 1rench $ersion. -intellectione ,/ +atin $ersion. 23 int*eor. 24 acie entis.

2nd th*s I clearly reco"ni&e that I ha$e need of a partic*lar effort of ind in order to effect the act of i a"ination, s*ch as I do not re8*ire in order to *nderstand, and this partic*lar effort of ind clearly anifests the difference )hich e.ists !et)een i a"ination and p*re intellection.25 I re ar0 !esides that this po)er of i a"ination )hich is in one, inas *ch as it differs fro the po)er of *nderstandin", is in no )ise a necessary ele ent in y nat*re, or in A y essence, that is to say, inB the essence of y ind= for altho*"h I did not possess it I sho*ld do*!tless e$er re ain the sa e as I no) a , fro )hich it appears that )e i"ht concl*de that it depends on so ethin" )hich differs fro e. 2nd I easily concei$e that if so e !ody e.ists )ith )hich y ind is con5oined and *nited in s*ch a )ay that it can apply itself to consider it )hen it pleases, it ay !e that !y this eans it can i a"ine corporeal o!5ects= so that this ode of thin0in" differs fro p*re intellection only inas *ch as ind in its intellect*al acti$ity in so e anner t*rns on itself, and considers so e of the ideas )hich it possesses in itself= )hile in i a"inin" it t*rns to)ards the !ody, and there !eholds in it so ethin" confor a!le to the idea )hich it has either concei$ed of itself or percei$ed !y the senses. I easily *nderstand, I say, that the i a"ination co*ld !e th*s constit*ted if it is tr*e that !ody e.ists= and !eca*se I can disco$er no other con$enient ode of e.plainin" it, I con5ect*re )ith pro!a!ility that !ody does e.ist= !*t this is only )ith pro!a!ility, and altho*"h I e.a ine all thin"s )ith care, I ne$ertheless do not find that fro this distinct idea of corporeal nat*re, )hich I ha$e in y i a"ination, I can deri$e any ar"* ent fro )hich there )ill necessarily !e ded*ced the e.istence of !ody. @*t I a in the ha!it of i a"inin" any other thin"s !esides this corporeal nat*re )hich is the o!5ect of p*re athe atics, to )it, the colo*rs, so*nds, scents, pain, and other s*ch thin"s, altho*"h less distinctly. 2nd inas *ch as I percei$e these thin"s *ch !etter thro*"h the senses, !y the edi* of )hich, and !y the e ory, they see to ha$e reached y i a"ination, I !elie$e that, in order to e.a ine the ore con$eniently, it is ri"ht that I sho*ld at the sa e ti e in$esti"ate the nat*re of sense perception, and that I sho*ld see if fro the ideas )hich I apprehend !y this ode of tho*"ht, )hich I call feelin", I cannot deri$e so e certain proof of the e.istence of corporeal o!5ects. 2nd first of all I shall recall to y e ory those atters )hich I hitherto held to !e tr*e, as ha$in" percei$ed the thro*"h the senses, and the fo*ndations on )hich y !elief has rested= in the ne.t place I
25 intellectione .

26

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shall e.a ine the reasons )hich ha$e since o!li"ed e to place the in do*!t= in the last place I shall consider )hich of the I *st no) !elie$e. 1irst of all, then, I percei$ed that I had a head, hands, feet, and all other e !ers of )hich this !ody9)hich I considered as a part, or possi!ly e$en as the )hole, of yself9is co posed. 1*rther I )as sensi!le that this !ody )as placed a idst any others, fro )hich it )as capa!le of !ein" affected in any different )ays, !eneficial and h*rtf*l, and I re ar0ed that a certain feelin" of pleas*re acco panied those that )ere !eneficial, and pain those )hich )ere har f*l. 2nd in addition to this pleas*re and pain, I also e.perienced h*n"er, thirst, and other si ilar appetites, as also certain corporeal inclinations to)ards 5oy, sadness, an"er, and other si ilar passions. 2nd o*tside yself, in addition to e.tension, fi"*re, and otions of !odies, I re ar0ed in the hardness, heat, and all other tactile 8*alities, and, f*rther, li"ht and colo*r, and scents and so*nds, the $ariety of )hich "a$e e the eans of distin"*ishin" the s0y, the earth, the sea, and "enerally all the other !odies, one fro the other. 2nd certainly, considerin" the ideas of all these 8*alities )hich presented the sel$es to y ind, and )hich alone I percei$ed properly or i ediately, it )as not )itho*t reason that I !elie$ed yself to percei$e o!5ects 8*ite different fro y tho*"ht, to )it, !odies fro )hich those ideas proceeded= for I fo*nd !y e.perience that these ideas presented the sel$es to e )itho*t y consent !ein" re8*isite, so that I co*ld not percei$e any o!5ect, ho)e$er desiro*s I i"ht !e, *nless it )ere present to the or"ans of sense= and it )as not in y po)er not to percei$e it, )hen it )as present. 2nd !eca*se the ideas )hich I recei$ed thro*"h the senses )ere *ch ore li$ely, ore clear, and e$en, in their o)n )ay, ore distinct than any of those )hich I co*ld of yself fra e in editation, or than those I fo*nd i pressed on y e ory, it appeared as tho*"h they co*ld not ha$e proceeded fro y ind, so that they *st necessarily ha$e !een prod*ced in e !y so e other thin"s. 2nd ha$in" no 0no)led"e of those o!5ects e.ceptin" the 0no)led"e )hich the ideas the sel$es "a$e e, nothin" )as ore li0ely to occ*r to y ind than that the o!5ects )ere si ilar to the ideas )hich )ere ca*sed. 2nd !eca*se I li0e)ise re e !ered that I had for erly ade *se of y senses rather than y reason, and reco"ni&ed that the ideas )hich I for ed of yself )ere not so distinct as those )hich I percei$ed thro*"h the senses, and that they )ere ost fre8*ently e$en co posed of portions of these last, I pers*aded yself easily that I had no idea in y ind )hich had not for erly co e to e thro*"h the senses. :or

)as it )itho*t so e reason that I !elie$ed that this !ody ()hich !y a certain special ri"ht I call y o)n% !elon"ed to e ore properly and ore strictly than any other= for in fact I co*ld ne$er !e separated fro it as fro other !odies= I e.perienced in it and on acco*nt of it all y appetites and affections, and finally I )as to*ched !y the feelin" of pain and the titillation of pleas*re in its parts, and not in the parts of other !odies )hich )ere separated fro it. @*t )hen I in8*ired, )hy, fro so e, I 0no) not )hat, painf*l sensation, there follo)s sadness of ind, and fro the pleas*ra!le sensation there arises 5oy, or )hy this ysterio*s pinchin" of the sto ach )hich I call h*n"er ca*ses e to desire to eat, and dryness of throat ca*ses a desire to drin0, and so on, I co*ld "i$e no reason e.ceptin" that nat*re ta*"ht e so= for there is certainly no affinity (that I at least can *nderstand% !et)een the cra$in" of the sto ach and the desire to eat, any ore than !et)een the perception of )hate$er ca*ses pain and the tho*"ht of sadness )hich arises fro this perception. 2nd in the sa e )ay it appeared to e that I had learned fro nat*re all the other 5*d" ents )hich I for ed re"ardin" the o!5ects of y senses, since I re ar0ed that these 5*d" ents )ere for ed in e !efore I had the leis*re to )ei"h and consider any reasons )hich i"ht o!li"e e to a0e the . @*t after)ards any e.periences little !y little destroyed all the faith )hich I had rested in y senses= for I fro ti e to ti e o!ser$ed that those to)ers )hich fro afar appeared to e to !e ro*nd, ore closely o!ser$ed see ed s8*are, and that colossal stat*es raised on the s* it of these to)ers, appeared as 8*ite tiny stat*es )hen $ie)ed fro the !otto = and so in an infinit*de of other cases I fo*nd error in 5*d" ents fo*nded on the e.ternal senses. 2nd not only in those fo*nded on the e.ternal senses, !*t e$en in those fo*nded on the internal as )ell= for is there anythin" ore inti ate or ore internal than painG 2nd yet I ha$e learned fro so e persons )hose ar s or le"s ha$e !een c*t off, that they so eti es see ed to feel pain in the part )hich had !een a p*tated, )hich ade e thin0 that I co*ld not !e 8*ite certain that it )as a certain e !er )hich pained e, e$en altho*"h I felt pain in it. 2nd to those "ro*nds of do*!t I ha$e lately added t)o others, )hich are $ery "eneral= the first is that I ne$er ha$e !elie$ed yself to feel anythin" in )a0in" o ents )hich I cannot also so eti es !elie$e yself to feel )hen I sleep, and as I do not thin0 that these thin"s )hich I see to feel in sleep, proceed fro o!5ects o*tside of e, I do not see any reason )hy I sho*ld ha$e this !elief re"ardin" o!5ects )hich I see to percei$e )hile a)a0e. The other )as that !ein" still i"norant, or rather s*pposin" yself to !e

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i"norant, of the a*thor of y !ein", I sa) nothin" to pre$ent e fro ha$in" !een so constit*ted !y nat*re that I i"ht !e decei$ed e$en in atters )hich see ed to e to !e ost certain. 2nd as to the "ro*nds on )hich I )as for erly pers*aded of the tr*th of sensi!le o!5ects, I had not *ch tro*!le in replyin" to the . 1or since nat*re see ed to ca*se e to lean to)ards any thin"s fro )hich reason repelled e, I did not !elie$e that I sho*ld tr*st *ch to the teachin"s of nat*re. 2nd altho*"h the ideas )hich I recei$e !y the senses do not depend on y )ill, I did not thin0 that one sho*ld for that reason concl*de that they proceeded fro thin"s different fro yself, since possi!ly so e fac*lty i"ht !e disco$ered in e9tho*"h hitherto *n0no)n to e9 )hich prod*ced the . @*t no) that I !e"in to 0no) yself !etter, and to disco$er ore clearly the a*thor of y !ein", I do not in tr*th thin0 that I sho*ld rashly ad it all the atters )hich the senses see to teach *s, !*t, on the other hand, I do not thin0 that I sho*ld do*!t the all *ni$ersally. 2nd first of all, !eca*se I 0no) that all thin"s )hich I apprehend clearly and distinctly can !e created !y <od as I apprehend the , it s*ffices that I a a!le to apprehend one thin" apart fro another clearly and distinctly in order to !e certain that the one is different fro the other, since they ay !e ade to e.ist in separation at least !y the o nipotence of <od= and it does not si"nify !y )hat po)er this separation is ade in order to co pel e to 5*d"e the to !e different? and, therefore, 5*st !eca*se I 0no) certainly that I e.ist, and that ean)hile I do not re ar0 that any other thin" necessarily pertains to y nat*re or essence, e.ceptin" that I a a thin0in" thin", I ri"htly concl*de that y essence consists solely in the fact that I a a thin0in" thin" Aor a s*!stance )hose )hole essence or nat*re is to thin0B. 2nd altho*"h possi!ly (or rather certainly, as I shall say in a o ent% I possess a !ody )ith )hich I a $ery inti ately con5oined, yet !eca*se, on the one side, I ha$e a clear and distinct idea of yself inas *ch as I a only a thin0in" and *ne.tended thin", and as, on the other, I possess a distinct idea of !ody, inas *ch as it is only an e.tended and *nthin0in" thin", it is certain that this I Athat is to say, y so*l !y )hich I a )hat I a B, is entirely and a!sol*tely distinct fro y !ody, and can e.ist )itho*t it. I f*rther find in yself fac*lties e ployin" odes of thin0in" pec*liar to the sel$es, to )it, the fac*lties of i a"ination and feelin", )itho*t )hich I can easily concei$e yself clearly and distinctly as a co plete !ein"= )hile, on the other hand, they cannot !e so concei$ed apart fro e, that is )itho*t an intelli"ent s*!stance in )hich they

reside, for Ain the notion )e ha$e of these fac*lties, or, to *se the lan"*a"e of the 'choolsB in their for al concept, so e 0ind of intellection is co prised, fro )hich I infer that they are distinct fro e as its odes are fro a thin". I o!ser$e also in e so e other fac*lties s*ch as that of chan"e of position, the ass* ption of different fi"*res and s*ch li0e, )hich cannot !e concei$ed, any ore than can the precedin", apart fro so e s*!stance to )hich they are attached, and conse8*ently cannot e.ist )itho*t it= !*t it is $ery clear that these fac*lties, if it !e tr*e that they e.ist, *st !e attached to so e corporeal or e.tended s*!stance, and not to an intelli"ent s*!stance, since in the clear and distinct conception of these there is so e sort of e.tension fo*nd to !e present, !*t no intellection at all. There is certainly f*rther in e a certain passi$e fac*lty of perception, that is, of recei$in" and reco"nisin" the ideas of sensi!le thin"s, !*t this )o*ld !e *seless to e Aand I co*ld in no )ay a$ail yself of itB, if there )ere not either in e or in so e other thin" another acti$e fac*lty capa!le of for in" and prod*cin" these ideas. @*t this acti$e fac*lty cannot e.ist in e Ainas *ch as I a a thin" that thin0sB seein" that it does not pres*ppose tho*"ht, and also that those ideas are often prod*ced in e )itho*t y contri!*tin" in any )ay to the sa e, and often e$en a"ainst y )ill= it is th*s necessarily the case that the fac*lty resides in so e s*!stance different fro e in )hich all the reality )hich is o!5ecti$ely in the ideas that are prod*ced !y this fac*lty is for ally or e inently contained, as I re ar0ed !efore. 2nd this s*!stance is either a !ody, that is, a corporeal nat*re in )hich there is contained for ally Aand reallyB all that )hich is o!5ecti$ely Aand !y representationB in those ideas, or it is <od (i self, or so e other creat*re ore no!le than !ody in )hich that sa e is contained e inently. @*t, since <od is no decei$er, it is $ery anifest that (e does not co *nicate to e these ideas i ediately and !y (i self, nor yet !y the inter$ention of so e creat*re in )hich their reality is not for ally, !*t only e inently, contained. 1or since (e has "i$en e no fac*lty to reco"ni&e that this is the case, !*t, on the other hand, a $ery "reat inclination to !elie$e Athat they are sent to e orB that they are con$eyed to e !y corporeal o!5ects, I do not see ho) (e co*ld !e defended fro the acc*sation of deceit if these ideas )ere prod*ced !y ca*ses other than corporeal o!5ects. (ence )e *st allo) that corporeal thin"s e.ist. (o)e$er, they are perhaps not e.actly )hat )e percei$e !y the senses, since this co prehension !y the senses is in any instances $ery o!sc*re and conf*sed= !*t )e *st at least ad it that all thin"s )hich I concei$e in the clearly and distinctly, that is to say, all thin"s )hich, spea0in" 28

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"enerally, are co prehended in the o!5ect of p*re athe atics, are tr*ly to !e reco"ni&ed as e.ternal o!5ects. 2s to other thin"s, ho)e$er, )hich are either partic*lar only, as, for e.a ple, that the s*n is of s*ch and s*ch a fi"*re, etc., or )hich are less clearly and distinctly concei$ed, s*ch as li"ht, so*nd, pain and the li0e, it is certain that altho*"h they are $ery d*!io*s and *ncertain, yet on the sole "ro*nd that <od is not a decei$er, and that conse8*ently (e has not per itted any falsity to e.ist in y opinion )hich (e has not li0e)ise "i$en e the fac*lty of correctin", I ay ass*redly hope to concl*de that I ha$e )ithin e the eans of arri$in" at the tr*th e$en here. 2nd first of all there is no do*!t that in all thin"s )hich nat*re teaches e there is so e tr*th contained= for !y nat*re, considered in "eneral, I no) *nderstand no other thin" than either <od (i self or else the order and disposition )hich <od has esta!lished in created thin"s= and !y y nat*re in partic*lar I *nderstand no other thin" than the co ple.*s of all the thin"s )hich <od has "i$en e. @*t there is nothin" )hich this nat*re teaches e ore e.pressly Anor ore sensi!lyB than that I ha$e a !ody )hich is ad$ersely affected )hen I feel pain, )hich has need of food or drin0 )hen I e.perience the feelin"s of h*n"er and thirst, and so on= nor can I do*!t there !ein" so e tr*th in all this. :at*re also teaches e !y these sensations of pain, h*n"er, thirst, etc., that I a not only lod"ed in y !ody as a pilot in a $essel, !*t that I a $ery closely *nited to it, and so to spea0 so inter in"led )ith it that I see to co pose )ith it one )hole. 1or if that )ere not the case, )hen y !ody is h*rt, I, )ho a erely a thin0in" thin", sho*ld not feel pain, for I sho*ld percei$e this )o*nd !y the *nderstandin" only, 5*st as the sailor percei$es !y si"ht )hen so ethin" is da a"ed in his $essel= and )hen y !ody has need of drin0 or food, I sho*ld clearly *nderstand the fact )itho*t !ein" )arned of it !y conf*sed feelin"s of h*n"er and thirst. 1or all these sensations of h*n"er, thirst, pain, etc. are in tr*th none other than certain conf*sed odes of tho*"ht )hich are prod*ced !y the *nion and apparent inter in"lin" of ind and !ody. ,oreo$er, nat*re teaches e that any other !odies e.ist aro*nd ine, of )hich so e are to !e a$oided, and others so*"ht after. 2nd certainly fro the fact that I a sensi!le of different sorts of colo*rs, so*nds, scents, tastes, heat, hardness, etc., I $ery easily concl*de that there are in the !odies fro )hich all these di$erse senseEperceptions proceed certain $ariations )hich ans)er to the , altho*"h possi!ly these are not really at all si ilar to the . 2nd also fro the fact that

a on"st these different senseEperceptions so e are $ery a"reea!le to e and others disa"reea!le, it is 8*ite certain that y !ody (or rather yself in y entirety, inas *ch as I a for ed of !ody and so*l% ay recei$e different i pressions a"reea!le and disa"reea!le fro the other !odies )hich s*rro*nd it. @*t there are any other thin"s )hich nat*re see s to ha$e ta*"ht e, !*t )hich at the sa e ti e I ha$e ne$er really recei$ed fro her, !*t )hich ha$e !een !ro*"ht a!o*t in y ind !y a certain ha!it )hich I ha$e of for in" inconsiderate 5*d" ents on thin"s= and th*s it ay easily happen that these 5*d" ents contain so e error. Ta0e, for e.a ple, the opinion )hich I hold that all space in )hich there is nothin" that affects Aor a0es an i pression onB y senses is $oid= that in a !ody )hich is )ar there is so ethin" entirely si ilar to the idea of heat )hich is in e= that in a )hite or "reen !ody there is the sa e )hiteness or "reenness that I percei$e= that in a !itter or s)eet !ody there is the sa e taste, and so on in other instances= that the stars, the to)ers, and all other distant !odies are of the sa e fi"*re and si&e as they appear fro far off to o*r eyes, etc. @*t in order that in this there sho*ld !e nothin" )hich I do not concei$e distinctly, I sho*ld define e.actly )hat I really *nderstand )hen I say that I a ta*"ht so e)hat !y nat*re. 1or here I ta0e nat*re in a ore li ited si"nification than )hen I ter it the s* of all the thin"s "i$en e !y <od, since in this s* any thin"s are co prehended )hich only pertain to ind (and to these I do not refer in spea0in" of nat*re% s*ch as the notion )hich I ha$e of the fact that )hat has once !een done cannot e$er !e *ndone and an infinit*de of s*ch thin"s )hich I 0no) !y the li"ht of nat*re A)itho*t the help of the !odyB= and seein" that it co prehends any other atters !esides )hich only pertain to !ody, and are no lon"er here contained *nder the na e of nat*re, s*ch as the 8*ality of )ei"ht )hich it possesses and the li0e, )ith )hich I also do not deal= for in tal0in" of nat*re I only treat of those thin"s "i$en !y <od to e as a !ein" co posed of ind and !ody. @*t the nat*re here descri!ed tr*ly teaches e to flee fro thin"s )hich ca*se the sensation of pain, and see0 after the thin"s )hich co *nicate to e the senti ent of pleas*re and so forth= !*t I do not see that !eyond this it teaches e that fro those di$erse senseEperceptions )e sho*ld e$er for any concl*sion re"ardin" thin"s o*tside of *s, )itho*t ha$in" Acaref*lly and at*relyB entally e.a ined the !eforehand. 1or it see s to e that it is ind alone, and not ind and !ody in con5*nction, that is re8*isite to a 0no)led"e of the tr*th in re"ard to s*ch thin"s. Th*s, altho*"h a star a0es no lar"er an i pression on y eye than the fla e of a little

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candle there is yet in e no real or positi$e propensity i pellin" e to !elie$e that it is not "reater than that fla e= !*t I ha$e 5*d"ed it to !e so fro y earliest years, )itho*t any rational fo*ndation. 2nd altho*"h in approachin" fire I feel heat, and in approachin" it a little too near I e$en feel pain, there is at the sa e ti e no reason in this )hich co*ld pers*ade e that there is in the fire so ethin" rese !lin" this heat any ore than there is in it so ethin" rese !lin" the pain= all that I ha$e any reason to !elie$e fro this is, that there is so ethin" in it, )hate$er it ay !e, )hich e.cites in e these sensations of heat or of pain. 'o also, altho*"h there are spaces in )hich I find nothin" )hich e.cites y senses, I *st not fro that concl*de that these spaces contain no !ody= for I see in this, as in other si ilar thin"s, that I ha$e !een in the ha!it of per$ertin" the order of nat*re, !eca*se these perceptions of sense ha$in" !een placed )ithin e !y nat*re erely for the p*rpose of si"nifyin" to y ind )hat thin"s are !eneficial or h*rtf*l to the co posite )hole of )hich it for s a part, and !ein" *p to that point s*fficiently clear and distinct, I yet a$ail yself of the as tho*"h they )ere a!sol*te r*les !y )hich I i"ht i ediately deter ine the essence of the !odies )hich are o*tside e, as to )hich, in fact, they can teach e nothin" !*t )hat is ost o!sc*re and conf*sed. @*t I ha$e already s*fficiently considered ho), not)ithstandin" the s*pre e "oodness of <od, falsity enters into the 5*d" ents I a0e. 4nly here a ne) diffic*lty is presented9one respectin" those thin"s the p*rs*it or a$oidance of )hich is ta*"ht e !y nat*re, and also respectin" the internal sensations )hich I possess, and in )hich I see to ha$e so eti es detected error Aand th*s to !e directly decei$ed !y y o)n nat*reB. To ta0e an e.a ple, the a"reea!le taste of so e food in )hich poison has !een inter in"led ay ind*ce e to parta0e of the poison, and th*s decei$e e. It is tr*e, at the sa e ti e, that in this case nat*re ay !e e.c*sed, for it only ind*ces e to desire food in )hich I find a pleasant taste, and not to desire the poison )hich is *n0no)n to it= and th*s I can infer nothin" fro this fact, e.cept that y nat*re is not o niscient, at )hich there is certainly no reason to !e astonished, since an, !ein" finite in nat*re, can only ha$e 0no)led"e the perfectness of )hich is li ited. @*t )e not *nfre8*ently decei$e o*rsel$es e$en in those thin"s to )hich )e are directly i pelled !y nat*re, as happens )ith those )ho )hen they are sic0 desire to drin0 or eat thin"s h*rtf*l to the . It )ill perhaps !e said here that the ca*se of their decepti$eness is that their nat*re is corr*pt, !*t that does not re o$e the diffic*lty, !eca*se a sic0 an is none the less tr*ly <od6s creat*re than he )ho is in health= and it

is therefore as rep*"nant to <od6s "oodness for the one to ha$e a deceitf*l nat*re as it is for the other. 2nd as a cloc0 co posed of )heels and co*nterE)ei"hts no less e.actly o!ser$es the la)s of nat*re )hen it is !adly ade, and does not sho) the ti e properly, than )hen it entirely satisfies the )ishes of its a0er, and as, if I consider the !ody of a an as !ein" a sort of achine so !*ilt *p and co posed of ner$es, *scles, $eins, !lood and s0in, that tho*"h there )ere no ind in it at all, it )o*ld not cease to ha$e the sa e otions as at present, e.ception !ein" ade of those o$e ents )hich are d*e to the direction of the )ill, and in conse8*ence depend *pon the ind Aas opposed to those )hich operate !y the disposition of its or"ansB, I easily reco"ni&e that it )o*ld !e as nat*ral to this !ody, s*pposin" it to !e, for e.a ple, dropsical, to s*ffer the parchedness of the throat )hich *s*ally si"nifies to the ind the feelin" of thirst, and to !e disposed !y this parched feelin" to o$e the ner$es and other parts in the )ay re8*isite for drin0in", and th*s to a*" ent its alady and do har to itself, as it is nat*ral to it, )hen it has no indisposition, to !e i pelled to drin0 for its "ood !y a si ilar ca*se. 2nd altho*"h, considerin" the *se to )hich the cloc0 has !een destined !y its a0er, I ay say that it deflects fro the order of its nat*re )hen it does not indicate the ho*rs correctly= and as, in the sa e )ay, considerin" the achine of the h* an !ody as ha$in" !een for ed !y <od in order to ha$e in itself all the o$e ents *s*ally anifested there, I ha$e reason for thin0in" that it does not follo) the order of nat*re )hen, if the throat is dry, drin0in" does har to the conser$ation of health, ne$ertheless I reco"ni&e at the sa e ti e that this last ode of e.plainin" nat*re is $ery different fro the other. 1or this is !*t a p*rely $er!al characterisation dependin" entirely on y tho*"ht, )hich co pares a sic0 an and a !adly constr*cted cloc0 )ith the idea )hich I ha$e of a healthy an and a )ell ade cloc0, and it is hence e.trinsic to the thin"s to )hich it is applied= !*t accordin" to the other interpretation of the ter nat*re I *nderstand so ethin" )hich is tr*ly fo*nd in thin"s and )hich is therefore not )itho*t so e tr*th. @*t certainly altho*"h in re"ard to the dropsical !ody it is only so to spea0 to apply an e.trinsic ter )hen )e say that its nat*re is corr*pted, inas *ch as apart fro the need to drin0, the throat is parched= yet in re"ard to the co posite )hole, that is to say, to the ind or so*l *nited to this !ody, it is not a p*rely $er!al predicate, !*t a real error of nat*re, for it to ha$e thirst )hen drin0in" )o*ld !e h*rtf*l to it. 2nd th*s it still re ains to in8*ire ho) the "oodness of <od does not pre$ent the nat*re of an so re"arded fro !ein" fallacio*s. In order to !e"in this e.a ination, then, I here say, in the first 30

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place, that there is a "reat difference !et)een ind and !ody, inas *ch as !ody is !y nat*re al)ays di$isi!le, and the ind is entirely indi$isi!le. 1or, as a atter of fact, )hen I consider the ind, that is to say, yself inas *ch as I a only a thin0in" thin", I cannot distin"*ish in yself any parts, !*t apprehend yself to !e clearly one and entire= and altho*"h the )hole ind see s to !e *nited to the )hole !ody, yet if a foot, or an ar , or so e other part, is separated fro y !ody, I a a)are that nothin" has !een ta0en a)ay fro y ind. 2nd the fac*lties of )illin", feelin", concei$in", etc. cannot !e properly spea0in" said to !e its parts, for it is one and the sa e ind )hich e ploys itself in )illin" and in feelin" and *nderstandin". @*t it is 8*ite other)ise )ith corporeal or e.tended o!5ects, for there is not one of these i a"ina!le !y e )hich y ind cannot easily di$ide into parts, and )hich conse8*ently I do not reco"ni&e as !ein" di$isi!le= this )o*ld !e s*fficient to teach e that the ind or so*l of an is entirely different fro the !ody, if I had not already learned it fro other so*rces. I f*rther notice that the ind does not recei$e the i pressions fro all parts of the !ody i ediately, !*t only fro the !rain, or perhaps e$en fro one of its s allest parts, to )it, fro that in )hich the co on sense26 is said to reside, )hich, )hene$er it is disposed in the sa e partic*lar )ay, con$eys the sa e thin" to the ind, altho*"h ean)hile the other portions of the !ody ay !e differently disposed, as is testified !y inn* era!le e.peri ents )hich it is *nnecessary here to reco*nt. I notice, also, that the nat*re of !ody is s*ch that none of its parts can !e o$ed !y another part a little )ay off )hich cannot also !e o$ed in the sa e )ay !y each one of the parts )hich are !et)een the t)o, altho*"h this ore re ote part does not act at all. 2s, for e.a ple, in the cord 2@CD A)hich is in tensionB if )e p*ll the last part D, the first part 2 )ill not !e o$ed in any )ay differently fro )hat )o*ld !e the case if one of the inter$enin" parts @ or C )ere p*lled, and the last part D )ere to re ain *n o$ed. 2nd in the sa e )ay, )hen I feel pain in y foot, y 0no)led"e of physics teaches e that this sensation is co *nicated !y eans of ner$es dispersed thro*"h the foot, )hich, !ein" e.tended li0e cords fro there to the !rain, )hen they are contracted in the foot, at the sa e ti e contract the in ost portions of the !rain )hich is their e.tre ity and place of ori"in, and then e.cite a certain o$e ent )hich nat*re has esta!lished in order to
26 sens*s co

ca*se the ind to !e affected !y a sensation of pain represented as e.istin" in the foot. @*t !eca*se these ner$es *st pass thro*"h the ti!ia, the thi"h, the loins, the !ac0 and the nec0, in order to reach fro the le" to the !rain, it ay happen that altho*"h their e.tre ities )hich are in the foot are not affected, !*t only certain ones of their inter$enin" parts A)hich pass !y the loins or the nec0B, this action )ill e.cite the sa e o$e ent in the !rain that i"ht ha$e !een e.cited there !y a h*rt recei$ed in the foot, in conse8*ence of )hich the ind )ill necessarily feel in the foot the sa e pain as if it had recei$ed a h*rt. 2nd the sa e holds "ood of all the other perceptions of o*r senses. I notice finally that since each of the o$e ents )hich are in the portion of the !rain !y )hich the ind is i ediately affected !rin"s a!o*t one partic*lar sensation only, )e cannot *nder the circ* stances i a"ine anythin" ore li0ely than that this o$e ent, a on"st all the sensations )hich it is capa!le of i pressin" on it, ca*ses ind to !e affected !y that one )hich is !est fitted and ost "enerally *sef*l for the conser$ation of the h* an !ody )hen it is in health. @*t e.perience a0es *s a)are that all the feelin"s )ith )hich nat*re inspires *s are s*ch as I ha$e 5*st spo0en of= and there is therefore nothin" in the )hich does not "i$e testi ony to the po)er and "oodness of the <od A)ho has prod*ced the 27B. Th*s, for e.a ple, )hen the ner$es )hich are in the feet are $iolently or ore than *s*ally o$ed, their o$e ent, passin" thro*"h the ed*lla of the spine28 to the in ost parts of the !rain, "i$es a si"n to the ind )hich a0es it feel so e)hat, to )it, pain, as tho*"h in the foot, !y )hich the ind is e.cited to do its *t ost to re o$e the ca*se of the e$il as dan"ero*s and h*rtf*l to the foot. It is tr*e that <od co*ld ha$e constit*ted the nat*re of an in s*ch a )ay that this sa e o$e ent in the !rain )o*ld ha$e con$eyed so ethin" 8*ite different to the ind= for e.a ple, it i"ht ha$e prod*ced conscio*sness of itself either in so far as it is in the !rain, or as it is in the foot, or as it is in so e other place !et)een the foot and the !rain, or it i"ht finally ha$e prod*ced conscio*sness of anythin" else )hatsoe$er= !*t none of all this )o*ld ha$e contri!*ted so )ell to the conser$ation of the !ody. 'i ilarly, )hen )e desire to drin0, a certain dryness of the throat is prod*ced )hich o$es its ner$es, and !y their eans the internal portions of the !rain= and this o$e ent ca*ses in the ind the sensation of thirst, !eca*se in this case there is nothin" ore *sef*l to *s than to !eco e a)are that )e
27 +atin $ersion only. 28 spini dorsae ed*lla .

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ha$e need to drin0 for the conser$ation of o*r health= and the sa e holds "ood in other instances. 1ro this it is 8*ite clear that, not)ithstandin" the s*pre e "oodness of <od, the nat*re of an, inas *ch as it is co posed of ind and !ody, cannot !e other)ise than so eti es a so*rce of deception. 1or if there is any ca*se )hich e.cites, not in the foot !*t in so e part of the ner$es )hich are e.tended !et)een the foot and the !rain, or e$en in the !rain itself, the sa e o$e ent )hich *s*ally is prod*ced )hen the foot is detri entally affected, pain )ill !e e.perienced as tho*"h it )ere in the foot, and the sense )ill th*s nat*rally !e decei$ed= for since the sa e o$e ent in the !rain is capa!le of ca*sin" !*t one sensation in the ind, and this sensation is *ch ore fre8*ently e.cited !y a ca*se )hich h*rts the foot than !y another e.istin" in so e other 8*arter, it is reasona!le that it sho*ld con$ey to the ind pain in the foot rather than in any other part of the !ody. 2nd altho*"h the parchedness of the throat does not al)ays proceed, as it *s*ally does, fro the fact that drin0in" is necessary for the health of the !ody, !*t so eti es co es fro 8*ite a different ca*se, as is the case )ith dropsical patients, it is yet *ch !etter that it sho*ld islead on this occasion than if, on the other hand, it )ere al)ays to decei$e *s )hen the !ody is in "ood health= and so on in si ilar cases. 2nd certainly this consideration is of "reat ser$ice to e, not only in ena!lin" e to reco"ni&e all the errors to )hich y nat*re is s*!5ect, !*t also in ena!lin" e to a$oid the or to correct the ore easily. for 0no)in" that all y senses ore fre8*ently indicate to e tr*th than falsehood respectin" the thin"s )hich concern that )hich is !eneficial to the !ody, and !ein" a!le al ost al)ays to a$ail yself of any of the in order to e.a ine one partic*lar thin", and, !esides that, !ein" a!le to a0e *se of y e ory in order to connect the present )ith the past, and of y *nderstandin" )hich already has disco$ered all the ca*ses of y errors, I o*"ht no lon"er to fear that falsity ay !e fo*nd in atters e$ery day presented to e !y y senses. 2nd I o*"ht to set aside all the do*!ts of these past days as hyper!olical and ridic*lo*s, partic*larly that $ery co on *ncertainty respectin" sleep, )hich I co*ld not distin"*ish fro the )a0in" state= for at present I find a $ery nota!le difference !et)een the t)o, inas *ch as o*r e ory can ne$er connect o*r drea s one )ith the other, or )ith the )hole co*rse of o*r li$es, as it *nites e$ents )hich happen to *s )hile )e are a)a0e. 2nd, as a atter of fact, if so eone, )hile I )as a)a0e, 8*ite s*ddenly appeared to e and disappeared as fast as do the i a"es )hich I see in

sleep, so that I co*ld not 0no) fro )hence the for ca e nor )hither it )ent, it )o*ld not !e )itho*t reason that I sho*ld dee it a spectre or a phanto for ed !y y !rain Aand si ilar to those )hich I for in sleepB, rather than a real an. @*t )hen I percei$e thin"s as to )hich I 0no) distinctly !oth the place fro )hich they proceed, and that in )hich they are, and the ti e at )hich they appeared to e= and )hen, )itho*t any interr*ption, I can connect the perceptions )hich I ha$e of the )ith the )hole co*rse of y life, I a perfectly ass*red that these perceptions occ*r )hile I a )a0in" and not d*rin" sleep. 2nd I o*"ht in no )ise to do*!t the tr*th of s*ch atters, if, after ha$in" called *p all y senses, y e ory, and y *nderstandin", to e.a ine the , nothin" is !ro*"ht to e$idence !y any one of the )hich is rep*"nant to )hat is set forth !y the others. 1or !eca*se <od is in no )ise a decei$er, it follo)s that I a not decei$ed in this. @*t !eca*se the e.i"encies of action often o!li"e *s to a0e *p o*r inds !efore ha$in" leis*re to e.a ine atters caref*lly, )e *st confess that the life of an is $ery fre8*ently s*!5ect to error in respect to indi$id*al o!5ects, and )e *st in the end ac0no)led"e the infir ity of o*r nat*re.29

29

#naltered copies of this co p*ter te.t file ay !e freely distri!*ted for personal and classroo *se. 2lterations to this file are per itted only for p*rposes of co p*ter printo*ts, altho*"h altered co p*ter te.t files ay not circ*late.

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