PHL220: Descartes Meditation IV
Descartes Meditation IV
- Descartes feels he's shown
- I am a thinking thing, which is without
extension, and this is more clear and distinct than my
- God exists, and is benevolent and would not deceive me:
"... it is impossible for God ever to deceive me, for trickery
and deception is always indicative of some imperfection."
- But then, why is there error?
- Error is judgment that is incorrect
- God would not deceive, so the world does not
- God would not make something imperfect, so why is
my judgment (of the undeceptive world) imperfect?
- Two caveats
- I may not understand what God is up to
- The whole may be perfect but parts may appear imperfect
- An explanation
- Error is in judgments, and judgments are the
product of intellect and of will
- Through the intellect I perceive (understand) ideas
- Through the will I (among other things) assert
that a perceived idea corresponds with something in
- God gave me a limited intellect: I can
conceptualize God's perfect intellect, and see my is
- By the way: God is not imperfect for having given
me a limited intellect, because God gave me a
sufficient intellect for a good life
- My will is as great as God's, because the will is
just the faculty of choosing to do or not do something.
Will cannot be "divided," it is a simple, so God made
no mistake in giving me a will like God's own
- There is no error in my capability of intellect,
and no error in my capability of will, but when
I apply will to the intellect, I may make mistakes: I
do always not "contain the will"
- If I judged only matters that were clear and
distinct, I would be always right, but I sometimes
will to judge matters that are not clear and distinct
- Even if my own intellect is very limited, I can
at least avoid error by not willing to assert anything
not clear and distinct