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Philosophical Works of Descartes Vol. 1

Philosophical Works of Descartes Vol. 1

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Sections

  • "Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason" . 79
  • "Meditations on First Philosophy" *\
  • "The Search after Truth"
  • The editors of the latest French edition of his works assign it to
  • For example take our investigations of those sciences conducive to
  • We must further observe that while our inferences
  • I might add that there is no more intricate task than that of solving
  • I seem to recognize certain traces of this true Mathematics in
  • Jhat in my investigation into truth I shall follow obstinately such an
  • Rule VII
  • Here there is no place for these operations ; it will be sufficient to
  • Rule VIII
  • ( Truly we shall learn how to employ our mental intuition from
  • Now to this co-operation we assign a two-fold advantage. Firstly
  • For my desire is in all that I write to assert nothing controversial
  • /—Thirdly we assert that all these simple natures are known per se~\
  • Rule XIII
  • We have already said that there can be no falsity in the mere
  • We are said to seek to derive things from words when the
  • Water when poured into the vessel remained within without leaking
  • I have no hesitation in saying that it was not the case that this part
  • Someone might interpret the expression to mean merely that which
  • I had said that which is animate occupies place. This explains why
  • The unfolding of relations of measurement will therefore be all that
  • This is that there is no less reason for abstracting our propositions
  • When we come across matters which do not require our present
  • In the right-angled triangle ABC to find the hypotenuse AC
  • Four hundred copies were given him for distribution to his friends
  • I make on myself to lean to the side of self-depreciation rather
  • I was given to believe that by their means a clear and certain
  • I might meet with much more truth in the reasonings that each
  • I always had an excessive desire to learn to distinguish the true
  • And if we consider that this happens despite the fact that
  • His graces will perhaps form designs which are more elevated ; but
  • And although in reality Logic contains many precepts which are
  • And I had not much trouble in discovering which objects it was
  • And perhaps it was also due to my having shown forth my reasons
  • For how do we know that the thoughts that come in dreams are
  • He now preserves it is just the same as that by which He at first
  • I have first tried to discover generally the principles or first causes
  • I am sure that those who most passionately follow Aristotle now-a-
  • And I thought that it was easy for me to select certain matters
  • The edition from which the present translation is made is the second
  • I am convinced that you will also have so excellent a motive for
  • And inasmuch as I make no promise to others to satisfy them
  • (But it must meaniohile be remarked that I do not in any way there
  • And further I show in what sense it is true to say that the certainty
  • Now let us assume that we are asleep and that all these
  • Geometry and other sciences of that kind which only treat of things
  • But I have already denied that I had senses and body. Yet I
  • I believed myself to be a man. But what is a man ? Shall I say a
  • But I shall rather stop here to consider the thoughts which of
  • What of nutrition or walking [the first mentioned] ? But if it is so
  • And what more ? I shall exercise my imagination [in order to
  • I am dreaming. Let it be so ; still it is at least quite certain that
  • And what I have here remarked of wax may be applied to all other
  • Now I must discover whether these proofs are sufficiently strong
  • Now it is manifest by the natural light that there must at least
  • And the longer and the more carefully that 1 investigate these
  • But as to all the other qualities of which the ideas of corporeal
  • And we cannot say that this idea of God is perhaps materially false
  • I need not seek for any author of my existence. For all the course
  • And it is perfectly manifest that in this there can be no regression
  • I conceive to be in Him. And certainly the idea of this unity of
  • For from the sole fact that God created me it is most probable that
  • Himself all the great things towards which I aspire [and the ideas
  • And certainly the idea which I possess of the human
  • I have had great experience of late when I set aside as false all
  • And it is in the misuse of the free will that the privation which
  • And inasmuch as it is in this that the greatest and principal
  • Many other matters respecting the attributes of God and my
  • And not only do I know these things with distinctness when
  • And we must not here object that it is in truth necessary for me
  • And so I very clearly recognise that the certainty and truth of
  • I have need of a particular effort of mind in order to effect the act
  • There is certainly further in me a certain passive faculty of per-
  • I should define exactly what I really understand when I say that
  • Thus in considering that he who would doubt all things cannot yet
  • I have taken the being or existence of this thought as the first
  • But though the reader cannot follow the argument adequately
  • And these three things are found perfectly in your Royal
  • When mind afterwards considers the diverse conceptions which
  • We possess the great advantage in proving the existence of God
  • He is in so far as the weakness of our nature permits. For when
  • God could take us into His counsels. But regarding Him as the
  • How the freedom of the will may be reconciled with Divine
  • What a clear and distinct perception is
  • What I have hitherto enumerated are regarded either as the
  • . even in created things that which never exists in them in any
  • Ofthe distinction created by thought
  • We may likewise consider thought and extension as constituting
  • For we experience some difficulty in abstracting the notions that
  • How we may also conceive them as modes ofsubstance
  • We may likewise consider thought and extension as the modes
  • We shall similarly best apprehend the diverse modes of thought
  • How we may distinguish in such matters that which we know
  • And when anyone says that he sees colour in a body or feels pain
  • And although this is not the place in which to treat particularly of
  • In what way rarefaction takes place
  • What space or internal place is
  • And it will be easy for us to recognise that the same extension
  • How space is differentfrom body in our mode of conceiving it
  • What external place is
  • But if at length we are persuaded that there are no points in the
  • That this confirms what was said of rarefaction
  • Thatfrom this may be demonstrated the non-existence of atoms
  • We also know that there cannot be any atoms or parts of matter
  • What motion is in common parlance
  • And I say that it is the transportation and not either the force or the
  • XXIX. Nor does it relate to any but those contiguous bodies
  • XXXIV. From this it follows that the division of matter is
  • XXXV. The manner in which this division takes place; and
  • XXXVII. The first law of nature : that each thing as far as in
  • XL. The third law: that a body that comes in contact with
  • XLII. The proofof the second part
  • XLIX. „ fourth
  • LIII. That the application of these rules is difficult, because
  • LV. That there is nothing that joins the parts of hard bodies
  • LVI1 1. That if any particles of a fluid are more slowly moved
  • LX. That yet it cannot receive a greater velocityfrom thatfluid
  • LXIV. That I do not accept or desire any other principle in
  • The first is that we must ever keep before our minds the infinitude
  • In what sense it can be said that all things were createdfor man
  • IX. That the light of the sun and fixed stars shine by their
  • X. That the moon and the other planets derive light from
  • XVI. That the hypothesis of Ptolemy does not satisfactorily
  • XXVI. That the earth rests in its own heaven, but that it is
  • XXIX. That movement must not be attributed to the earth, even
  • XXXI. How the planets are carried along
  • XXXIV. The movement of the heavens is not perfectly circular
  • XXXVI. Ofthe longitudinal motion
  • XL. That no cJmnge of position in the earth affects a change
  • XLII. All things that are seen in the earth may be counted as
  • XLIII. That it can hardly be otherwise than that the causes
  • XLV. That I shall also here assume some propositions which
  • XLVI. The propositions which Ihere assume as explaining all
  • XLVIL That the falsity of these propositions does not prevent
  • XLIX. That around these sphericalparticles there must be another
  • LI. That these same particles are moved very quickly
  • LII. That there are three elements of this visible world
  • LIII. That thrte heavens can also be distinguished in it
  • LVI. What ought to be said of the striving after motion by
  • LIX. How great is theforce oj this attempt
  • LX. That this striving isfound in the material of the heavens
  • LXII. It isfor the same reason that the celestial matter tends to
  • LXIV. That this tendency serves to explain all the properties of
  • LXV. That the poles ofeach vortex oj the heavens touch the parts
  • LXVII. That the poles of two vortices cannot touch one another
  • LXIX. That the matter of the first element flows from the poles
  • LXXI. W/iat is tlie reason of this difference?
  • LXXIII. That there are various inequalities in the position oj
  • LXXIV. That there are various inequalities in the motion of its
  • LXXXI. Whether its force is equal at the poles and at the
  • LXXXIII. Why those farthest away are moved more quickly
  • LXXXV. Why the same nearest to the sun are smaller than
  • LXXXVI. Whence it is that the globules of the second element
  • LXXXVII. That there are various degrees of speed amongst the
  • LXXXVIII. That these minute particles of it that have the
  • XCL That these particles comingfrom opposite poles are twisted
  • XCIII. Among these striated particles and among the smallest
  • XCVII. How in the extremities of certain ones the colours of the
  • XCIX. Into what kind ofparticles spots are dissokk d
  • And that this ether and tliese spots are referred to the third element
  • CVI. What is the disposition of these passages, or why the
  • CXIV. That the same star can alternately appear and disappear
  • CXXX. How the light ofa fixed star reaches asfar as t/ie earth
  • CXXXII. Why comets are not seen by us when they are outside
  • CXXXIV. Ofa certain refraction from which this tail depends
  • CXXXIX. Why such comets' tails do not appear round fixed
  • CXLII. Second
  • CXLV. Fifth
  • CXLVII. Why certain planets are more remote from the sun
  • CL. Why the earth turns on its own axis
  • CLIII. Why the moon advances quicker, and diverges less from
  • IV. Description of the second
  • V. Description of the third
  • VI. That the particles of the third element which are in this
  • VIII. That they are greater than the globules of the second
  • XI. That the globules of the second element were originally the
  • XII. That they have had narrower passages between them
  • XIV. Ofthe firstformation of various bodies in the third region
  • XX. Explanation of the second action which is called gravity
  • XXIV. How much gravity there is in each body
  • XXVI. Why it is not in their natural places that bodies
  • XXVII. That gravity depresses bodies towards the centre of the
  • XXXII. Why the highest region of the earth was first divided
  • XXXV. That only particles of one sort are contained in that
  • XXXIX. Of the accretion of this fourth body and purification
  • XLVI. Why it is easily rarefied and compressed
  • XLVII. Ofits violent compression in certain machines
  • L. Why the water ascends for 6^ hours and descends for
  • LI. Why the tides are greater when the moon isfull or new
  • LII. Why they are greatest at equinoxes
  • LIV. Why in the same latitude regions which have the sea to
  • LV. Why there is no flow or ebb in lakes or swamps; or why
  • LVI. How the particulars of this cause should be investigated in
  • LXI. Of sour juices and acids from which are formed shoe-
  • LXII. Of the oleaginous matter of bitumen, sulphur &c
  • LXIV. Ofthe exterior of the earth, and of the origin ofsprings
  • LXV. Why the sea is not increased by the fact that rivers flow
  • LXVI. Why springs are not salt, nor does the sea become sweet
  • LXVIL Why in certain wells the water is salt,
  • LXX. Of vapours, spirits and exhalations ascending from the
  • LXXI. Howfrom their various mixtures, various kinds ofstones
  • LXXVIII. Whyfire breaksfrom certain mountains
  • LXXIX. Why there are usually several concussions in an earth-
  • LXXXII. How it is conserved
  • LXXXI1 1. Why it needs aliment
  • LXXXIV. How it is struck out offlints
  • LXXXV. Howfrom dry woods
  • LXXXIX. In lightning and in shooting stars
  • XC. In bodies which shine and do not burn, as in falling stars
  • XCIII. In lime sprinkled with water, and other cases
  • XCV. How a candle turns
  • XCVI. Howfire is conserved in it
  • XCVIII. How air and other bodies nourish the flame
  • XCIX. Of the motion of air toirards the fire
  • C. Ofthose bodies which extinguish fire
  • CI. What is required in order that a body may be fit for
  • CV. Why the force of great fires is increased by ivater or salt
  • CVII. Why certain bodies may take fire, others not
  • CXV. Of the grains of this powder in which its special force
  • CXVI. Oflanterns burningfor a very long time
  • CXIX. What bodies dry up and become hard
  • CXXI. Ofsublimates and oils
  • CXXVI. Why it is liquid when it is white-hot and easily assumes
  • CXXVII. Why when it is cold it is very hard
  • CXXX. Wiry it is transparent
  • CXXXII. Why it is rigid like a bow, and in general why rigid
  • CXXXIII. Of the magnet. Repetition of those things said
  • CXLIII. How steel is tempered
  • CXLVII. That they flow with greater difficulty through air,
  • CLIV. Why they sometimes retreatfrom one another
  • CLIX. Why iron according to the various ways in which it is
  • CLX. Why an oblong piece of iron does not receive it except
  • CLXVI. Why the magnetic force is weaker in the earth than in
  • CLXVIL Why needles touched by a magnet always have the
  • CLXXI. Why a magnet attracts iron
  • CLXXIII. Why its poles, although contrary, help each other to
  • CLXXV. How and why the force of one magnet increases or
  • CLXXVIII. Why in these northern regions the south pole of the
  • CLXXX. Why an iron plate joined to the pole of the magnet
  • CLXXXII. Why t/ie unsuitable position of a magnet gradually
  • CLXXXIV. Of the force of attraction in amber, wax, resin and
  • CLXXXV. What is the cause of this attraction in glass
  • Of Smell
  • Of Sight
  • And certainly I am surprised that amongst so many distin-
  • I doubt all things and am certain of nothing. But what conclusions
  • I now owe them all the greater thanks in that the things they
  • I asked of you. But as you have just numbered in the tilings of
  • I may add that I cannot even absolutely deny that I have a body
  • I dare not hope that Epistemon will give way to my reasoning
  • Many words for small results ! as much could be said in four words
  • The work entitled 'The Passions of the Soul' was written in
  • How the mocement of the heart Is carried on
  • For in addition to the action of the soul which is truly in our case
  • The first consists in the diversity of movements which are excited
  • And I have explained in the Dioptric how all the objects of
  • And this inequality may proceed from the diverse matters of
  • Of the Will
  • Of the Perceptions
  • That is why we usually consider them as actions rather than
  • Of the perceptions which we relate to our soul
  • We may call them perceptions when we make use of this word
  • How one and the same cause may excite different passions in
  • What is the power of the soul in reference to its passions
  • And there is a special reason which prevents the soul from being-
  • And it is by success in these combats that each individual can
  • Yet there is a great difference between the resolutions which proceed
  • And these things are useful in inciting each one of us to study to
  • What are the first causes of the passions
  • What is their mode of operation and how they may be enumerated
  • Love and hatred
  • Favour and gratitude
  • That there are only si.r primitive passions
  • That in this passion no change occurs in the heart or in the blood
  • In what wonder particularly consists
  • What it is to join or separate oneselfby one sfree will
  • Now the difference which exists between these three sorts of love is
  • And I only find one distinct characteristic of any note which is
  • But what is most remarkable here is that these passions of delight
  • How they may also be pxcited by the things good and evil which
  • Now in considering the various alterations which experience
  • In Sadness
  • In Desire
  • The movement of the blood and spirits in Love
  • What is the cause of its movements in Love
  • And our eye shows us that there are in the liver numbers of veins
  • In Joy
  • Of Desire
  • The external signs of these Passions
  • How Joy causes us to flush
  • That it may also be caused by other passions
  • Why grief does not cause us to swoon
  • Why it does not accompany the greatest joys
  • And I can only observe two causes which make the lung thus
  • Ofthe origin of Tears
  • How that which causes pain in the eye excites it to tears
  • Why children and old people easily weep
  • Why some children become pale instead of crying
  • And the scent of roses may have caused a severe headache to a
  • Of their faults and the means of correcting them
  • That is why we should make use of experience and reason in order
  • Of the function of the same passions inasfar as they pertain to
  • Of the same passions inasmuch as they relate to Desire
  • And we must be very careful to remark that what I have just
  • For in so far as they excite in us desire by means of which they
  • I have just said that desire is always good when it follows a true
  • (which is what I here call following after virtue) receives from
  • Now these two passions may generally speaking relate to all
  • For what reasons we may esteem ourselves
  • And because one of the principal parts of wisdom is to know in
  • That Generosity prevents our despising others
  • In what consists a virtuous humility
  • Ofvicious humility
  • How Generosity may be acquired
  • Of Veneration
  • Of Confidence and Despair
  • Of Jealousy
  • And because we ought to have more care in preserving these
  • But this fear is so common and so strong in some people that
  • Of Scorn
  • Why the least perfect are usually most given to mockery
  • What we usually call envy is a vice which consists in a perver-
  • From whence it comes that the envious are subject to have a leaden
  • Of Pity
  • Who are those who are not touched by it
  • Why this passion moves us to weep
  • Of Self-Satisfaction
  • Of Gratitude
  • Of Ingratitude
  • Of its Use
  • And the external signs of this passion are different according to
  • Of Glory
  • What I here call by the name glory is a species of joy founded
  • Of Disgust
  • Of Regret
  • Of Cheerfulness
  • A general remedy against the Passions
  • This is the last writing on Descartes' part which concerns the re-
  • III. Hence they are in error who assert that we conceive the
  • IV. The fact that mind is in truth nothing other than a
  • VIII. As it has no parts and no extension in its concept, it is
  • IX. As mind can be affected in equal degree by things imaginary
  • XL As mind is a substance and in being born is brought for
  • XV. Our concept of God, or the idea of God ivhich exists in our
  • XVI. The thought of the mind is twofold : intellect and will
  • XVII. Intellect is perception andjudgment
  • XIX. All sensation is the perception ofsome corporeal movement,
  • No men more easily attain a great reputation for piety than
  • Here one must distinguish between three types of questions
  • . Among these are generally
  • Holy Scripture. The other statement is that that same human
  • In the first place I have shown that we have a notion or idea of
  • No men more easily attain a great reputa-
  • What could be more unjust than to attribute to a writer opinions

Digitized by the Internet Archive
in

2011 with funding from
University of Toronto

http://www.archive.org/details/philosophicalwor01desc

^.-IpBAAr

-&£$'

THE PHILOSOPHICAL WORKS
OF

DESCARTES

VOLUME

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
ILonfcon:
C.

FETTER LANE,
F.

E.C.

CLAY, Manager

(Efcinburgl)

:

100,

PRINCES STREET

Berlin:
ILeipjig:

A.

ASHER AND CO. F. A. BROCKHAUS
PUTNAM'S SONS
CO., Ltd.

#rto gork:

G. P.

Bombajj anD (Calcutta:

MACMILLAN AND

All rights reserved

1

THE PHILOSOPHICAL WORKS
OF

DESCARTES
RENDERED INTO ENGLISH BY

ELIZABETH

S.

HALDANE,
AND

LL.D.

G. R. T. ROSS, M.A., D.Phil.

IN

TWO VOLUMES

VOLUME

Cambridge
at

the University Press

191

:

•A,

251332
Slot

<2TambriUge

PRINTED BY JOHN CLAY, M.A. AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS

PREFACE
rpHE
all

aim of

this edition is to present to English readers

the philosophical works of Descartes which were

originally intended for publication.

More than one valuable
But certain others

translation

of the treatises which give a general view of

Descartes' system has already appeared.

which are quite indispensable for a thorough comprehension
of his views have not yet been
readers.

made

accessible to English

The

chief of these are probably the "Rules for the

Direction of the Understanding" and the "Passions of the
Soul."

As a matter of

fact the " Passions of the Soul "

was
in

actually translated into English

by an anonymous writer
is

the
rare,

year

1650,

but

this

translation

now exceedingly
the present time.

and no other has appeared

until

In the "Passions"

we

find the full exposition of Descartes'

theory that mental and physiological phenomena

may be

explained by simple mechanical processes.
pletely

It

was a com-

new departure

to

state

that such

matters were

capable of being interpreted thus, and one that has had a

fundamental influence on the psychology and physiology of
the present time.

most important to mark the result of Descartes' speculations on contemporary thought; and the complete
It is also

translation

now presented of the "Objections" directed against

the "Meditations," published together with Descartes' replies
thereto, in the second volume, will enable the English reader

vi

Preface
doctrine,

to realize the novelty of the Cartesian

and the

enormous

effect it

had upon European thought at the time.

He

will further

be able to judge better of the success of

Descartes' attempts to extricate himself from the difficulties

which his philosophy undoubtedly contains.

The works translated here are the "Rules," the "Method,"
the "Meditations," with the "Objections and Replies," part of the "Principles," the "Search after Truth," the "Passions,"

and the "Notes."

Unfortunately

it

has been found impossible

to include Descartes' philosophical correspondence

and

his

more

specially physiological treatises, but perhaps in the not

too distant future the work of the present translators will be

supplemented in

this direction.

The
and the

translators have used the

new and complete
The

edition

of Descartes'
late

Works which has been prepared by M. Adam
(Paris,

M. Tannery

Leopold

Cerf).

translator

of the "Rules for the Direction of the Understanding" has
also

had recourse to an edition published by Dr Artur
(Leipzig, Durr'schen

Buchenau

Buchhandlung

1907).

More-

over his especial thanks are due to

Mr W.

R. Boyce Gibson,

who already had a translation of the work in manuscript, for kindly permitting him to use, as he did with great profit, this
previous version.
E. S.

HALDANE
ROSS

G. R. T.

March

1911

CONTENTS
PAGE
Translators' Preface

v

"Rules

for the Direction of the

Mind"

w.

Cd

.

!

.

ix
.

"Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason"

79
131

"Meditations on First Philosophy"

*\

"The

Principles of Philosophy"
after

"The Search
"The

Truth"

....
.'
.

201

303 329

Passions of the Soul"

"Notes directed against a certain Programme"
Index

429
451

6

,H3

RULES FOR THE DIRECTION OF THE MIND

'•'RULES

FOR THE DIRECTION OF
PREFATORY NOTE.

OUR INTELLIGENCE."
This seems to be the
earliest of Descartes' philosophical works.

The

editors of the latest

French edition of his works assign

it

to

the year 1628 (/Euvres, edit.
sqq.), just before his

Adam

et Tannery, Vol. x. pp.

486

removal to Holland and nine years after the
in philosophy first occurred to him.

idea of

a new Method

The work was

to have been complete in thirty-six rules falling

into three parts containing twelve rules each.

The
;

first

part gives

the general nature of Descartes'
a transition
is

new Method

while in the second

made

to

its

application in the field of Mathematics.

Unfortunately the treatise, which was never completed, breaks off
after, Rule
is

also

XXI, and indeed the explanation of the last three rules The third part was to have shown the application omitted.

Method to the general problems of Philosophy. The treatise was not published during the author's lifetime and appeared first in print in the Opuscula Posthuma published at Amsterdam in 1701. The original MS. had passed to Clerselier and
of the

was employed by Arnauld and Nicole, the authors of the Port Royal Logic, in their second edition of that work, which appeared in 1664.
It

appears

now

to be irrevocably lost.

The Amsterdam

edition

seems to have been made from a copy left in Holland, and M. Adam has been able to collate the text with another copy (not in Descartes'
handwriting) which Leibniz secured in Holland in 1670 and which
still

remains in the Royal Public Library of Hanover.

of the doctrine contained in this work will be afterwards met with in the "Method," " Meditations," etc., but there are important

Much

points in which there
writings.

is

a discrepancy between the earlier and later
still is

More noteworthy
{e.g.

the fact that there are several

speculative suggestions

certain of those about 'simple natures')

which never received further development in Descartes' philosophy. For further information about our author's mathematical doctrine
the reader
is

referred to his Geometrie, etc.

G. R. T. R.

Hence they have held the same to be true of the sciences also. they those respects in which the two other. exercise For since the sciences taken all together are identical with human wisdom. even in two things. The end of study should be to direct the mind towards the enunciation of sound and correct judgments on all matters that come befoi~e it. and suffers no more differenis certainly wrong. there . which always remains one and the same. tiation proceeding from them than the light of the sun experiences it from the variety of the things which for illumines. however applied to different subjects. they have imagined that they ought to But this be studied separately. is no need minds to be confined at all within limits for neither does the knowing of one truth have an effect like that of the acquisition of 1 Ingenii. most readily becomes the best executant. They see that not all the arts can be acquired by the same man. but that he who restricts himself to one. what they have found to be true of the Thus they the erroneously compare the sciences.RULES FOR THE DIRECTION OF THE MIND 1 . or to the performance of several such tasks as to one alone. H. with the arts. I . Rule I. each in isolation from all the rest. which entirely consist in cognitive exercise of the mind. since it is not so easy for the same hand to adapt itself both to agricultural operations and to harp-playing. Whenever men differ. R. notice some similarity between are wont to ascribe to each. which depend upon an and disposition of the body. and distinguishing them from one another according to their subject matter.

and the objects of similar sciences. them all together than to isolate one from all the others. Hence we must believe that it is all the sciences are so inter-connected. because these mislead us in a more subtle fashion. or universal Wisdom. he ought not to therefore. anyone wishes serious earnest. indeed expect to receive the legitimate fruits of scientific inquiry in the course of our study. I do not here refer to perverse and . the transmutations of metals. practically the only joy in is life that complete and untroubled with any pain. it rather aids us to do so. since there is nothing more prone to turn us aside from the correct way of seeking out truth than this directing of our inquiries. we think of them. but even higher results than tion. that much easier to study If. the motions of the stars. not towards their general end. but in order that his understanding that he has may life. though nevertheless all other studies are to be esteemed not so much for their own value as because they contribute someConsequently we are justified in bringing forward thing to this. 1 that fall within scholae. the virtues of plants. censurable pursuits like counterfeit reasonings For example take our investigations of those sciences conducive to the conveniences of life or which yield that pleasure which is found in the contemplation of truth. . while at the same time practically none bethink themselves about good understanding. but if. empty glory or base gain obviously and quibbles suited to vulgar understanding open up a much more direct route to such a goal than does a sound apprehension of the truth. and that he has not only obtai they desire. for all the : sciences are conjoined with each other and interdependent he ought rather to think how to 1 increase the natural light of reason. Certainly it appears to me strange that so many people should investigate human customs with such care. to search out the truth of things in select one special science . because they seem to be either of slight value or of little interest. this as the first rule of all. But I have in view even honourable and laudable pursuits. not for the purpose of resolving this or that difficulty of scholastic type . but towards certain special investigations.2 Rules one art and prevent us from finding out another. There we may . light his will to its proper choice in all the contingencies of In a short time he will see with amazement progress than those wl: made much more are eager about particular ends. they frequently cause us to omit many facts which are necessary to the understanding of other matters.

occurring in the sciences about which talented agreed. and apparently there is not even one of them in the right for if the reasoning of the second was sound and clear he would be able so to . more learned who has doubts on many matters than the has never thought of them nay he appears to be less learned if he has formed wrong opinions on any particulars. they have so accus- tomed themselves to trick out their fabricated explanations. that they have ended by gradually imposing on themselves and thus have issued them to the public as genuine. a common and open . all than to occupy one's self with objects of such false. No doubt men but little of education may persuade themselves that there too easy is of such certain knowledge. But if we adhere closely to this rule we shall find left but few For there is scarce any question objects of legitimate study. them to neglect to think upon such truths but I nevertheless announce that there are more of these than they think —truths which suffice to give a rigorous demonstration of innumerable propositions. to the 1 sure and be indubitable knowledge of ivhich our mental powers seem to Science in its entirety is true and evident cognition. exceeded by the risk of Thus is in accordance with the above maxim we it such merely probable knowledge and make a rule to trust only what completely known and incapable of being doubted. that. failing of human and nature has so led made them deem it to everyone. engage our attention. the discussion of which they have hitherto been unable to free from the element of probability.For Direction Rule Only adequate. He is no man who not to study at difficulty. forsooth. for it would be Conrashness to hope for more than others have attained to. owing to our inability to distinguish true from . because. standing also. because they have believed that it Further. 1—2 . Hence it were better . those objects should II. lay it before the other as finally to succeed in convincing his under- Hence apparently we cannot attain to a perfect knowledge in any such case of probable opinion. 1 ingenia. men have not dis- But whenever two men come to opposite decisions about the same matter one of them at least must certainly be in the wrong. was unbecoming for a man of education to confess ignorance on any point. we are forced to regard the doubtful as certain is for in those matters any hope of augmenting our knowledge diminishing reject all it.

they appear. But now let us proceed to explain more carefully our reasons for saying. than to be left entirely to their own devices. deduction. They indeed give practice to the wits of youths and. as we did a little while ago. we in earlier years experienced this scholastic training but now. for they. without acquiring any knowledge whatsoever. This is a technical term used (like experimentum) for inductive arguments. Arithmetic and Geometry alone are free from any taint of falsity or uncertainty. this rule reduces us. being released from that oath of as if allegiance which our riper years. that of all the sciences known as yet. and since. experientias. frequently find too late that after all their labours they have only increased the multitude of their doubts. act as a stimulus and it is much better for their minds to be moulded by opinions of this sort. We must note then that there are two ways by which we arrive at the knowledge of facts. who neglect all easy scaling the heights of quests and take up their time only with difficult matters . 'if it is not seen to be necessary. For thus through lack of . producing emulation among them. which becomes we wish in earnest to establish for ourselves those rules shall aid us in human knowledge. probable syllogisms. We ourselves rejoice that . guidance they might stray into some abyss follow in their masters' footsteps. as being objects of controversy among the learned. of the sciences already discovered. we must admit assuredly among the primary members of our catalogue that maxim which forbids us to abuse our leisure as many do. they will yet certainly find a path which is at least in this respect safer. but as long as they though they may diverge at times from the truth. adds in brackets 'ea opus esse.' Tr. by experience and by deduction. we are no longer subject to the ferule. Leibniz's MS. though certainly making all sorts of subtle conjectures and elaborat- ing most plausible arguments with great ingenuity. 2 si non videatur.4 sequently if Rules we reckon correctly. bound us to our old masters. though it may be passed over. that it has been approved of by more prudent people. We must further observe that while our inferences ! from experience 1 are frequently fallacious. or the pure illation of one thing from another. Arithmetic and Geometry alone are left. viz. which are so well suited for polemics.' 1 . uncertain though . if 2 it is not seen through cannot be erroneous when performed by an . to which the observance of Yet we do not therefore condemn that method of philosophizing which others have already discovered and those weapons of the schoolmen.

for in them it is scarce humanly possible for anyone to err except by inadvertence. This furnishes us with an evident explanation of the great superiority in certitude of Arithmetic and Geometry to other sciences. . But one conclusion now emerges out of these considerations. of all. than to arrive at the real truth about a single question however simple 1 that may be. that Arithmetic and Geometry are the sole sciences to be studied. not. that they need make no assumptions at all which experience renders basis of poorly upon a uncertain. though I do not for other purposes. but wholly consist in the rational deduction of con- sequences. The former alone deal with an object so pure and uncomplicated.. And their yet or to we should not be surprised to find that plenty of people of own accord prefer to apply their intelligence to other studies. indeed. not beasts) are due to they are caused merely by the fact that we found comprehended experiences. because it is a great boon for us to be able to 1 make use 2 of the labours of so many facili. Rule In the subjects III. not to what others have thought conjecture. for knowledge is not won in any other way. we propose to investigate. and that it easier to have some vague notion about any subject. The reason for this is that every person permits more confidence than in one which is clear. viz. Philosophy. human deny that that discipline may be serviceable My reason for saying so I say. no himself the liberty of making guesses in the matter of an obscure subject with is much matter what. senserint. . is that none of the mistakes which faulty inference men can make (men. our inquiries should be 2 nor to what we ourselves directed. or that propositions are posited which are hasty and groundless. .For Direction understanding that is 5 in the least degree rational. but to what we can clearly and perspicuously behold and with certainty deduce . They are on that account much the easiest and clearest and possess an object such as we require. To study the writings of the ancients is right. but only that in our search for the direct road towards truth we should busy ourselves with no object about which we cannot attain a certitude equal to that of the demonstrations of Arithmetic and Geometry. is And it seems to me that the operation profited but little by those constraining bonds by means of which the Dialecticians claim to control reason.

yet since scarce anything has been asserted by any one man the contrary of which has not been alleged by another. . Neither. at which vulgari. For it is the way of writers. and also that we may inform ourselves as to what in the various sciences investigation. shall we become Philosophers we should have acquired the knowledge not of a science. But even though all these men agreed among themselves. meaning to follow that opinion which was supported by the greater number of authors for if it is a question of difficulty that . in the first instance hazard the assertion of obscure and ill-comprehended theories. There is no is in dispute. it would seem. it is . that we must wholly refrain from ever mixing up conjectures with our pronouncements on the truth of things. stronger reason for our finding nothing in the current 1 Philosophy which is so evident and certain as not clear to be capable of being controverted. But when. men and we should do so. what they teach us would not suffice for us. and never thrust upon us doubtful opinions as true. though we have mastered all the arguments of Plato and Aristotle. unless we have an intellectual talent that fits us to resolve difficulties of any kind. Further. lest the simplicity of their less. explanation should make us respect their discovery or because they grudge us an open vision of the truth. on the contrary. to try with the subtlest of arguments to compel us to go along with them.6 Rules . This warning is of no little importance. but of history. both in order to discover what they is still left for have correctly made out in previous ages. fearing. but expounded every matter in good faith. if yet we have not the capacity for passing a solid judgment on these matters. It would be no use to total up the testimonies in favour of each. than the fact that the learned. For we shall not. all turn out to be mathematicians though we know by heart all the proofs that others have elaborated. guard against them as we may. not content with the recognition of what is and 1 certain. whenever they have allowed themselves rashly and credulously to take up a position in any controverted matter. we should be eternally uncertain which of the two to believe. e. But yet there is a great danger lest in a too absorbed study of these works we should become infected with their errors.g. they have happily come upon something certain and evident. supposing now that all were wholly open and candid. more likely that the truth would have been discovered by few than by many. I lay down the rule also. in displaying it they never fail to surround it with ambiguities.

. to arrive at the knowledge of things. For example consider this consequence 1 : 2 and 2 amount is to the same as 3 and 1. intuition and induction. All that I take note of is the meaning of the Latin of each word. Now we 2 purae. in that it is simpler. nor the misleading judgment that proceeds from the blundering constructions of imagination. Or. Thus each individual can mentally have^ intuition of the fact that he exists. sort. I here make pay no attention to the way in which particular terms have of late been employed in the schools. cannot by us C be erroneously conducted. we shall here take note of all those mental operations by which we are able. disdaining as they do to direct their attention upon such simple matters. however. because it would have been difficult to employ the same terminology while my theory was wholly different. But in case 2 anyone may be put out by this new use of the term intuition and of other terms which in the following pages I am similarly compelled to dissever from their current meaning. I the general announcement that This evidence and certitude.For Direction they have arrived merely by probable conjecture. they finish by being unable to deduce any conclusion which does not appear to depend upon some proposition of the doubtful not uncertain. in cases where an appro priate term is lacking. and hence is same error. and that he thinks that the triangle is bounded by three lines only. viz. though deduction. 'Intuitus' but sparingly used in Descartes' later writings. which belongs to intuition. . the sphere by a single superficies. Now I admit only two. as we have noted above. intuition is the undoubting concep1 tion of an unclouded and attentive mind. 7 Then afterwards they gradually attach complete credence to them. wholly without fear of illusion. Facts of such a kind are far more numerous . but also in discursive reasoning of whatever sort. and springs from the light of reason alone it is more certain than deduction itself. is required not only in the enunciation of propositions. what comes to the same thing. . But lest we in turn should slip into the By intuition I understand. than many people think. and so on. and mingling them promiscuously with what is true and evident. when. but the conception which an unclouded and attentive mind gives us so readily and distinctly that we are wholly freed from doubt about that which we understand. I wish to transfer to the vocabulary that expresses my own meaning those that I deem most suitable. not the fluctuating testimony of the senses.

the remote conclusions are furnished only by deduction. on the contrary. first i. since belief in these things 2 . 4 est de obscuris. an action not of also since. is . from the first even to the last. by which we understand necessary inference from other facts that are This. viz. « .e. into that of the former there does not. Hence now we are we have. because known with certainty. as 3 all faith in obscure matters. but only remember that we have taken them successively under review and that each single one is united to its neighbour. These two methods are the most certain routes to knowledge. even though we do not take in by means of one and the same act of vision all the intermediate links on which that connection depends. ingenii. All the rest should be rejected as suspect of error and dangerous. its certitude is rather conferred is upon it in some way by memory. and the mind should admit no others. 1 cogitationis. they can and ought to be. many things are known with certainty. and that likewise 3 and 1 make 4. It is in a similar way that we know that the last link in a long chain is connected with the first. things else. But this does not prevent us from believing matters that have been divinely revealed as being more certain than our surest knowledge.8 Rules need to see intuitively not only that 2 and 2 make 4. Hence we distinguish this mental intuition from deduction by the fact that into the conception of the latter there enters a certain movement or action of a 1 succession. But the first principles themselves are given by intuition alone. in a way that differs according to our point of view. while. Further deduction does not require an immediately presented evidence such as intuition possesses . The upshot are of the matter that it is possible to say that those propositions indeed which are immediately deduced from principles known now by intuition. in a position to raise the question as to why of all besides intuition. our intelligence 4 but of our if will. however. but further that the third of the above statements is a necessary conclusion from these two.' Leibniz's >rs. we could not avoid. discovered by one or other of the ways above-mentioned. but only deduced from true and known principles by the continuous and uninterrupted mind that has a clear vision of each step in the process. though not by themselves evident. as we hope perhaps to show at greater length on all more than some future opportunity. They should be heeded they have any basis in our understanding. knowing. given this supplementary method knowing by deduction. now by deduction. a <ut> quaecunque 2 that faith of ours.

he shall never assume what is false as true. the curiosity by which mortals are possessed. I But but do not allow that this argues greater industry on their part.For Direction 9 Rule There is is IV. or because we have fallen into the contrary error. and will never spend his mental efforts to no purpose. if we are without the knowledge of is any of the things only because which we are capable of understanding. many Geometricians. only better luck. For. that we have never perceived any way to bring us to this knowledge. and how deduction should be discovered in order that we may arrive at the knowledge of all things. if a man observe them accurately. so as not to fall into the contrary error. But however that may all. seeking to find something that a passer by might have chanced to drop. As might a man burning with an unintelligent desire to find treasure. continuously roam the streets. I do not see what else is needed to make it complete for I have already rightly explains . But if our method how our mental vision should be used. Those who walk in darkness weaken their eye-sight they cannot bear the light of day. For it is very certain that unregulated inquiries and confused reflections of this kind only confound the natural light and blind our mental powers. These two points must be carefully noted. do not deny that sometimes in these wanderings they are lucky enough to find something true. need of a method for finding out the truth. give a sounder and clearer decision about obvious matters all their than those who have spent time in the schools Moreover and simple rules. it were far better^ never to think of investigating truth at than to do so without a method. having no reason to hope for success. that So blind they often conduct their minds along unexplored routes. L^ . never to assttrae what is false as true. but will always gradually increase his knowledge and so arrive at a true by a method I mean certain understanding of all that does not surpass his powers. such that. for so so become accustomed to much that afterwards . and Philosophers not a I few prosecute their studies. viz. This is confirmed by experience how often do we not see that those who have never taken ? to letters. This is the way in which most Chemists. and to arrive at a knowledge which takes in all things. be. but merely being willing to risk the experiment of finding whether the truth they seek well lies there.

give us an instance of this for we have sufficient evidence that the ancient Geometricians made use of a certain analysis which they extended to the resolution of all problems. This is the chief result which I have had in view in writing this treatise. rather they are to be accounted impedi- ments. and Geometry. Since then the usefulness of this method is so great that without I study seems to be harmful rather than profitable. though much objecta. Consequently Arithmetic . For I should not think much of these rules. But as for the other mental operations. because nothing can be added to the pure light of reason which does not in some way obscure it it. the simplest sciences. if they witli had no utility save for the solution of the empty problems which Logicians and Geometers have been wont to beguile their leisure my only achievement thus would have seemed to be an ability to trifles argue about more subtly than 1 others. not even the simplest. though they grudged the secret to posterity. nature even conducting them to am quite ready to believe that the greater minds of former ages had some knowledge of it. happens that however much neglected and choked by interfering studies they bear fruit of their own accord.10 said that no science is Rules acquired except by mental intuition or it deduction. unless our understanding were already able to employ them. it could comprehend none of the precepts of that very method. order to they are quite useless here . because they are the most simple and primary of all. There is besides no question of extending further in show how these said operations ought to be effected. called Algebra. . it. which designs to effect. when dealing with numbers. which Dialectic does its best to direct by making use of these prior ones. Consequently. latter case. what These two methods sprung from . scattered the often first germs of useful modes of thought. are nothing else than the spontaneous fruit the 1 inborn principles of the discipline here in question and I do not wonder that these sciences with their very simple subject matter should have yielded results so much more satisfactory than others But even in the in which greater obstructions choke all growth. Further. For the human wherein are mind has it in it something that we may call divine. the ancients achieved in the matter of figures. fruits will certainly be able to come to full maturity. At the present day also there flourishes a certain kind of Arithmetic. if only we take care to cultivate them assiduously.

might add that there is no more intricate task than that of solving by this method of proof new difficulties that arise. to When first I applied is my mind Mathematics I read straight away most and I paid rest. But when I afterwards bethought myself how it could be that the earliest pioneers of Philosophy in bygone ages refused to admit to the study of wisdom any one who was not . which are discovered more frequently by chance than by skill. should. as being the source of I all others. they in a sense exhibited to my eyes a great As number itself to of truths and drew conclusions from certain consequences. for the outer covering mentioned. even of talent and scholarship. did indeed learn in their works I many propositions about numbers which figures. follows and that I am expounding quite another science. Such a science should contain the primary rudiments of human reason. after glancing at these sciences. is really there nothing more futile than to busy one's with bare numbers and imaginary figures in such a way as to appear to rest and so to resort to those superficial demonstrations. To speak freely. that in a sense one ceases to I make use of one's reason. of what usually given by the mathematical writers. and its province ought to extend to the eliciting of true results in every subject. and I was not surprised that how they discovered them. I am convinced that it is a more powerful instrument of knowledge than any other that has been bequeathed But as employ it to cover up and conceal my method for the purpose of warding off the vulgar rather I hope so to clothe and embellish it that I may make it more to us by human agency. But they did not seem to make it sufficiently plain to the mind why those things are so. understanding. I mean not to suitable for presentation to the human mind. have either given being empty and childish intricate. found on calculation to be true. special attention to Arithmetic and Geometry. the reader and cer- my drift with sufficient attention will easily see that nothing is less in my mind than ordinary Mathematics. or. involved as they are with numerical confusions.For Direction mention is 11 figures. because all they were said to be the simplest and so to speak the way to the But in neither case did I I then meet with authors who fully satisfied me. Consequently many people. of which these illustrations are rather the outer husk than the constituents. and are a matter more of the eyes and the imagination than of the content with such trifles. taking them to them up as be very difficult and For self been deterred at the very outset from learning them. here made who of numbers and because no other sciences furnish us with illustrations of such self-evidence tainty.

I am not shaken in my opinion by the 1 fact that historians make a great deal of certain machines of theirs. certain Finally there have been men of talent who in the present age have tried to revive this from that vast same art. suppressed this knowledge. simple would they feared that their method being so easy and become cheapened on being divulged. and yet the ignorant and wonder-loving multitude might easily have landed them as miraculous. we. I was confirmed in my suspicion that they had knowledge of a species of Mathematics very different from that which passes current in our time. as the results of their art. made them recognize true notions in Philosophy and Mathematics. . But my opinion is that these writers then with a sort of low cunning. although they knew not why this was so. only we could extricate it array of numbers and inexplicable figures by which j>o_ it is overwhelmed.12 Rules versed in Mathematics. rather than to disclose to us that method itself which would have wholly annulled the admiration accorded. But I am convinced that certain primary germs of truth implanted by nature in human minds though in our case the daily reading and hearing of innumerable diverse errors stifle them had a very great vitality in that rude and unsophisticated age of Thus the same mental illumination which let the ancient world. who though not belonging to the earliest age. evidently believing that this was the easiest and most indispensable mental exercise and preparation for laying hold of other more important sciences. and they its preferred to exhibit in place certain barren truths. yet lived many centuries before our own times. deductively demonstrated with show enough of ingenuity. I do not indeed imagine that they had a perfect knowledge of it. just as many inventors are known to have done in the case of their discoveries. although they — — were not yet able thoroughly to grasp these sciences. For it seems to be precisely that science known by the if barbarous name Algebra. 1 saciificia. for they plainly show how little advanced they were by the insensate rejoicings they display and the pompous thanksgivings they offer for the most trifling discoveries. I that it might display the clearness and simplicity which. in order to win from us our admiration for these achievements. Possibly they acted deplorable indeed. Possibly these machines were quite simple.e. them see that virtue was to be preferred to pleasure. and honour to utility. I Indeed seem to recognize certain traces of this true Mathematics in Pappus and Diophantus. i.

Here indeed it is not enough to look to the origin of the word for since the name Mathematics means exactly the same thing as 'scientific study these other branches could. have resolved 1 disciplina. figures.For Direction imagine. Mechanics and several others are styled parts of Mathematics. But as I considered the matter carefully it gradually came to light that all those matters only were referred to Mathematics in which order and measurement are investigated. ought to exist in a genuine Mathematics. Yet we see that almost anyone who has had the slightest schooling. but one of long standing which has passed into current use. I saw consequently that there must be some general science to explain that element as a whole which gives rise to problems about order and measurement. and had I not long since observed that the human mind passes over what it thinks it can easily accomplish. and that any difficulties it contains are found in them as well. But now how comes it that though everyone knows the name of this science and understands what is its province even without studying it attentively. Music. I. utility We on account of which the others can see how much it excels in and simplicity the sciences subordinate to it.' not a far fetched designation. I perceived. so many I people laboriously pursue the other dependent cares to master this one ? sciences. This. and why not only the above mentioned sciences. restricted as these are to no special subject matter. and hastens straight away to new and more imposing occupations. Optics. however. added to the fact that in them fresh difficulties arise due to their special subject matter which in it do not exist. reflections that recalled It 13 was these ' me from the particular studies of Arithmetic and Geometry to a general investigation of Mathematics. stars. because in this science is contained everything are called parts of Mathematics. with as much right as Geometry itself. can easily distinguish what relates to Mathematics in any question from that which belongs to the other sciences. and that it makes no difference whether it be in numbers.' called 'Universal Mathematics. and thereupon I sought to determine what precisely was universally meant by that term. ' 1 . and no one I should marvel indeed were not aware that everyone thinks it to be so very easy. but also Astronomy. by the fact that it can deal with all the objects of which they have cognizance and many more besides. be called Mathematics. . sounds or any other object that the question of measurement arises. was ' . conscious as I am of my inadequacy.

lies the sum of all human endeavour. my efforts will not be premature. and then starting with the intuitive apprehension of all those that are absolutely simple. my ability I I have made a study believe that of this universal Mathematics consequently when go on to deal in their turn with more profound sciences. the facts which in as being my previous studies have noted enfeebled. This is what many do who study Mechanics apart from Physics. why up I to the present time to the best of . they act like a man who for his should attempt to leap with one bound from the base to the summit of a house.14 Rules in Jhat my investigation into truth I shall follow obstinately such first to order as will require easiest. But before I make this transition I shall try to bring together and arrange I in an orderly manner. who. Rule Method V. that. or so little regard to order. and readily set about devising new instruments for producing motion. attention. Thus years I hope both that at a is future date. more worthy of need be. . Consequently they often investigate the most difficult questions with all. I shall. either making no account of the ladders provided It is ascent or not noticing them. expect to be able to indicate their also effects. and he who would approach the investigation of truth must hold to this rule as closely as he who enters the labyrinth must follow the thread which guided Theseus. attempt to ascend to the knowledge of all others by precisely similar steps. We shall comply with it exactly if we reduce involved and obscure propositions step by step to those that are simpler. consists entirely in the order and disposition of the objects towards which our mental vision must be directed if we would find out any truth. though in ignorance of the nature of the heavens. if when through advancing my memory this little book. and even without having made proper observations of the movements of the heavenly bodies. But many people either do not reflect on the In this alone precept at presume not to need it. as I hope to do soon. thus that all Astrologers behave. them I conveniently be able to recall them by looking in and that having now disburdened my memory of may be free to concentrate my mind on my future studies. or ignore it altogether. to my mind. me start with what is an simplest and This is and never permit me to proceed farther until in the first sphere there seems to be nothing further to be done.

since the order here required often so obscure and intricate that not everyone can make it out. like. In order to separate out what is quite simple from ivhat is complex. to notice less. Further. and in what . naturas. universal. contains. and to arrange these matters methodically. which separates all the others from Although this proposition seems to teach nothing very new. one.For Direction Along with Pallas 1 15 who. Jovis. neglecting them go also those Philosophers experience. applicable to whatever is Thus the term and will be considered as being independent. straight. and which. greater. discover the dependence in knowledge of one upon the other. the chief secret of method. but in so far as certain truths can be known from others and thus. or at least sharing in relate it to the absolute 1 in the same it to and to 2 some degree which enables us to deduce it from that by a chain of 3 Minerva. we ought. they can scarcely avoid error is unless they diligently observe proposition. for the we must note first that isolated realities purpose of our procedure. series. from the which fact is simple. But the relative is that which. and the absolute I call the simplest and the easiest of all. whenever a difficulty occurs we are able at once to perceive whether it will be profitable to examine certain others first. imagine that truth will spring from their brain like from the head of Zeus 2 it is . in the case of every series in which ive have deduced certain facts the one other. what laid down in the following •Rule VI. and to mark the interval. Now But obvious that all such people violate the present is rule. nevertheless. or a so forth cause. which does not regard things as 3 but compares them with one another in order to . all things can be said to be either absolute or relative. it or equal. this. in order to do that correctly. order. I call that absolute which contains within itself the pure and simple essence of which we are in quest. and none in the all whole of this treatise is of greater utility. or simple. . equal. while participating nature. so that we can make use of it in the solution of questions. For it tells us that facts can be arranged in certain not indeed in the sense of being referred to some ontological genus such as the categories employed by Philosophers in their classification.

and so on. we must first know the cause and not conversely. in proportion as they contain more elements of relativity subordinate the one to the other. Finally also. or an unlike. but among the various aspects of extension 2 is it length that is and so on. is is something absolute. Herein lies the secret of this whole method. These relatives are the further removed from the absolute. or not to be 1 respectus. among things that can be measured. we should diligently species relative. in any All the others can only be perceived as deduc- tions from these. but I we can know unequals only by comparing them with equals and not per contra. not as depending on any others. involves in addition something else in its concept which I call relativity 1 . These we say should be carefully noticed. but the series involved in knowing ' them. 3 for they are just those facts which we have called the simplest single series. because it depends upon individuals for its existence. but from a different standpoint are more relative. yet it can be held to be more relative than the latter. Thus relatively to individuals. Examples of effect. extension absolute. essences . Thus though the universal is more absolute than the particular because its essence is simpler. For though Philosophers make cause and effect correlative. . that traversing all the we may be able by intermediate steps to proceed from the most is remote to that which in the highest degree absolute. all — . isolation. unequal. etc. 3 naturas. many. For some things are from one point of view more absolute than others. We state in this rule that these should all be distinguished and their correlative con- nection and natural order so observed. in order to bring out more clearly that we are considering here not the nature of ^each thing taken in absolutes. oblique. particular.16 Rules operations. Secondly we must note that there are but few pure and simple which either our experiences or some sort of light innate in us enable us to behold as primary and existing per se. if we ask what the effect is. we find that here even. Certain things likewise are truly more absolute than others. Equals too mutually imply one another. is something absolute. but yet are not the most absolute of all. but contrasted with genus it So too. we have purposely enumerated cause and equality among our though the nature of these terms is really relative. this are found in whatever is said to be dependent. either immediate and proximate. that in things mark that which is most absolute. 2 extensiones. composite.

it behoves us first. in step order. twice viz. R. This done. and the order in which and this discovery embraces the sum Pure Mathematics. without making any selection. since they have not so make much to mental memory as to be detected for by a sort of we must seek it something which will so mould our I as to let it perceive these connected sequences im- mediately whenever needs to do so. But though these facts are all so clear as to seem almost childish. I am now able by attentive reflection to understand what is the form involved by all questions that can be propounded seek for the double of this. we should attentively think over the truths we have discovered and mark with diligence the reasons why we have been able to detect some more easily than others. 2 of things. viz. to those it to which every inquiry must be reduced. twice I 3. 48. perhaps 24. and hence that the numbers 3. and likewise 12 and 24. in sequence. I comes into may then ask what if it my is thought that the number 6 6. when we come to attack some definite problem we shall it be able to judge what previous questions were best to 12 settle first. not to start with the investigation of difficult matters. about the proportions or relations they should be investigated of the entire science of 1 . And so pronounced series is everywhere the inter-connection of ground and conrise. of these acts should be noted in order that The number we may perceive whether the facts are separated from the primary and simplest proposition by a greater or smaller number of steps. as between 6 and 12. and again of this. Thus I may easily deduce that there is the same proportion between 3 and 6. H. to inquire whether any others can be deduced from these. and again any others from these conclusions and so on. to assemble those truths that are obvious as they present themselves to us. which gives the objects to be examined.For attained Direction 17 save by two or three or more acts of inference. before setting out to attack any definite problem. For this purpose have found nothiDg so effectual as to accustom ourselves to turn our attention Avith a sort of penetrative insight 1 on the very minutest of the facts which Finally we have already discovered. we must in the third place note that our inquiry ought Rather. etc. But because it is not easy to a review of them be kept in the penetration. 12. . and so on. and which these are. sagacitate. 48. is For example. and besides. 2 cum quadam habitudines. 6. intelligence all. and afterwards. proceeding by step. 24. Thus. again. that can be investigated by a sure method. are in continued proportion. 2 . viz.

we can find innumerable others which have the same proportion between perceive that it them. numbers be assumed. it would have been equally easy to determine one of the two intermediate proportionals. In this case we shall say that the proposition to be discovered is But if the two numbers given are alternates. viz. directly examined. But here still another sort of difficulty arises more involved than the previous ones. and that equally in all cases. mean proportional. e. viz. But next I notice that though. 6 and 12. when given numbers. are given. and the other between 12 and 48. if two conor 6 and 12. the one much more difficult and obscure than the other. viz. because each has to be found separately and without any relation to the others. we have reduced the problem to the difficulty of the second type shown above. if three. and 24. or 12 and . secutive 3. and 24. 6. 12. viz. in we have a type to the from the former. 6. 12. equally easy. viz. for on this occasion we have to attend not to one or two things only but to three. viz. When and 12. 3 and 6. 12. when we have found a proportion between any two magnitudes. or four. new ratio . We may go still further and inquire whether if only 3 and 48 had been given it would have been still more difficult to discover one At the first of the three mean proportionals. in order to discover the fourth. comes to mind that of all These illustrations further lead me to note that the quest for knowledge about the same thing can traverse different routes. the yet not when the two extremes. but immediately afterwards if first this difficulty can be split up and lessened. blush this indeed appears to be so it .18 Rides For first I was not more difficult to discover the double of six than that of three. one viz. So too there is no increase of difficulty. our task will be easy. order to find the mean proportional.g. when the magnitudes 3 3 and 6 are given. and then seek for the other mean proportional between Thus 3 and 12. in order that we may discover the others. 6. it is clear that here for. the numbers 3 and 24 were given. or more of such magnitudes are sought for. 24. we ask only for the mean proportional between 3 and 48. we must at the same time attend two extremes and to the proportion which exists between these two in order to discover a by dividing the previous one and this is a very different thing from finding a third term in continued proportion with two I go forward likewise and examine whether. to find we look into the reason for of difficulty quite different this. Thus to find these four continued proportionals. 24. 6. 12. it is can easily find a third in continued proportion.

g. and this I would do until I had learned to pass from the first to the last so quickly. between C and D. those matters which promote the end we have in view must one and all be scrutinized by a movement of thought which is continuous and nowhere interrupted . that no stage in the process was left to the care of the before me memory. It is necessary to obey the injunctions of this rule certain truths for gain admission among the we hope to those which. 5* the route by which we have arrived at This is must be a continuous movement of thought to weakness of the memory. Thus.unless I recall them all. but I seemed to have the whole in intuition This method will both relieve the at the same time. matters that are simplest and primary. that does not entail my seeing what the relation is between A and E. keeping the imagination moving continuously in such a way that while it is intuitively perceiving each fact it why I say that make good this simultaneously passes on to the next . or 6 and if 24. 2—2 . Likewise we and 12. If we wish our science to be complete. we have if declared above. the others. then what between B and C. e. Thus I should be able to proceed further and deduce many other results from this example but these will be sufficient. other sciences by those much may be discovered in who bring to them attentive thought and a power of sagacious analysis. For this deduction frequently involves such a long series of transitions from ground to consequent that 5 when we whole of come there to the conclusion we have difficulty in recalling the it. Rule VII. then first we shall which are to lead us to the discovery of call this an indirect investigation of the are given two extremes like 3 and 24.For Direction like 3 19 and 12. if the reader follows my meaning when I say that a proposition is directly deduced. and will reflect that from a knowledge of each of these in order to find out from these the intermediates 6 . if I have first found out by separate mental operations what the relation is between the magnitudes A and B. and finally between D and E. r\ To remedy this I would run them over from time to time. mode. the investigation will be indirect and of the second mode. nor can the truths previously learnt give me a precise knowledge of it . or indirectly. they must also be included in an enumeration which is both adequate and methodical. are not immediate deductions from primary and self-evident principles.

and definitely enlarge our mental capacity. This enumeration or induction all is is thus a review or inventory of those matters that have a bearing on the problem raised. quickly and from remote principles do not trace the whole chain of intermediate conclusions with sufficient accuracy to prevent them from passing over many steps without due consideration. as often it does. is But falls to it is is certain that wherever the smallest link left out the chain broken and the whole of the certainty of the conclusion ground. if the inference was evident. the problem defies we shall at least be wiser in this respect. but enumeraresolving most problems other precepts tion alone will secure our always passing a true and certain judgment on whatsoever engages our attention by means of it nothing at all will escape us. if clearly and with confidence conclude that we have omitted nothing by mistake. But if we infer any single thing from various and disconnected facts. that w e are quite T we know of no way of resolving it.20 Rides memory. If it chance. in which case our mind should be content It is in with the certitude attaching to this operation. if we wish to make our science complete. employ induction. . are profitable. which so thorough and accurate that by its means we can it. that we have been able to scan all the routes leading to it which lie open to the human intelligence. often our intellectual capacity is not so great as to be able to all in embrace them precisely a single intuition . with the exception of But when the knowledge of some matter cannot simple intuition. viz. but one in which facts confidence should be reposed. But we must add that this movement should nowhere be interOften people who attempt to deduce a conclusion too rupted. to a true intuition. be reduced to this. they have been already reduced. Furthermore we must note that by adequate enumeration or induction is only meant that method by which we may attain surer conclusions than by any other type of proof. Consequently as often as we have employed us. the Here we maintain that an enumeration [of the steps in a proof] For is required as well. diminish the sluggishness of our thinking. step. For whenever single have been immediately deduced the one from the other. but we shall evidently have some knowledge of every . we shall be entitled certain that boldly to assert that the solution of the problem lies outside the reach of human knowledge. we must cast aside the only method left all syllogistic fetters and all us.

do not need a complete enumerabodies in certain collections it will be sufficien t to include in such a way as to be able to demonstrate that the rational soul If. all Sometimes also. For if I want to prove there are of corporeal things. and our knowledge of them all is thus only confused. often in danger of being defective because and consequently if exposed to error. in order to get thence enough to demonstrate this of by induction the same conclusion about all the others. than to scan all things in an orderly manner and also because it often happens that if each single matter which concerns the quest in hand were to be investigated separately. -iaJisJU I added also that the enumeration ought to be methodical. arranged in the best order. Further. the single steps are not distinguished from one another. yet is we omit the smallest step the chain broken and the whole of the certitude of the conclusion falls to the ground. is from tion But if in the I same way all wish to prove that the rational soul . For sometimes. This is both because we have no more serviceable remedy for the defects already instanced. even though the facts are included in an accurate enumeration. I wish to show by all enumeration that the area of a other figures whose perimeter call in circle is greater is . connection of each with that I neighbour.For Direction similar fashion that though 21 single gaze distin- we cannot with one if guish all the links of a lengthy chain. there it is is no need for me ' to review all other figures certain others in particular. unless all in I previously have become aware that I have included them I my all enumeration. or because it would chance that the same But if all these facts are things had to be repeated too often. not corporeal. while distinct. whether because they are far too many. there . they will for the most part be reduced to 1 This seems to be a different sense of the word ' inductio ' from that above. yet its we have seen the last. I shall not assert that they are just so many and no more. has nothing to do with any of these. no man's life would be long enough for the purpose. . or of those that in by enumeration how many genera any way fall under the senses. first is we shall be entitled to say we have seen how the it is connected with the have declared that this operation ought to be adequate. than the area of equal. and have distinguished them each separately the others. finally. now times when it need have neither of these should be characters it was for this reason that I said only that it adequate. are now the enumeration ought to be complete. even though in our enumeration facts we scrutinize many which are highly evident.

which the whole method Thus if you wish to construct a perfect is transposition of the letters of a name. If in tlie matters to be examined we come to a step in the series of which our understanding is not sufficiently well able to have am We must make no intuitive cognition. these three propositions should not be separated. we must stop short there. For this reason.g. if we would elaborate it in our thought with greater penetration. be split up into definite classes. play. or some one feature or certain things rather than others. In this way the task is often not tedious but merely child's However. we must remember what was said in our fifth proposition 1 . thus ice shall spare ourselves superfluous labour. advantage of this course of time so great that often many particulars first owing to a well devised arrangement. The reason for this is that in the nothing else left for conhave practically we rest of the treatise Therefore we shall then exhibit in detail what here we sideration. and all equally tend towards the perfecting of our method.22 Rules it will determinate classes. so that diately appear in which there may immeis the best hope of finding what sought. . The can. 1 Cf. nor to distinguish absolute from relative. because for the most part we have to think of them together. the disposal of in the discovery of this order. expounded them but have brought together in a general way. or at least to waste our time in we have traversing the is same ground twice. Rule VIII. Here there is no place for these operations it will adopt an order to be followed in the transpositions of the letters which we are to examine. out of which be sufficient to take one in a single case. The is total number of transpositions it should. shall never example for exact inspection. be gone over in a short space and with little trouble. p. such that the same arrangements are never handled twice over. But this order which we employ in our enumerations can for the most part be varied and depends upon each man's judgment. attempt to examine what follows. though at view the matter looked immense. There are also many of the trivial things of lies in man's devising. there anagram by the no need to pass from be sufficient to the easy to the difficult. for treating There was no great reason one before the other. . e. 14. and we have briefly here.

one who studies only Mathematics were examples. which the angles of refraction bear to the angles But because he is unable to discover this. but know only a few or a single one of them. Nor will it avail it him to try and learn . since it is is a matter not of Mathematics but of Physics. by which we pass from relative to absolute. it has no further value than to teach them how not to waste time. this from the Philosophers or to gather from experience for this . But if. though But it the present rule contributes nothing fresh it must not be thought that towards the advancement seems only to bid us refrain from further discussion. For the man who any faithfully complies with the former rules in the solution of difficulty. shows when it is wholly necessary and when it is merely useful. even though we have not clear knowledge of facts it the involves. by applying Rules V and VI. will then will enable know for certainty that no amount of application him to attain to the knowledge desired. to seek to find that curve which in dioptrics is called the anaclastic. that from which parallel rays are so refracted that after the refraction they all meet in one point. and apparently does not unfold any truth. before discussing what follows from it. many things pertain to the same step. in fact he would seem to have some mental who should extend his curiosity farther. to examine whatever constitutes a single step in that series. how in the pursuit of any science so to satisfy themselves as not to desire anything further. on the other hand. But this knowledge defect not the than that which reveals the nature of the thing itself. For beginners. and that not owing to a defect in his intelligence. Thus it is necessary followed. in this case we are not forced to apply our method of observation so strictly and rigidly. and yet by the present rule is bidden desist at a certain point. or conversely.For Direction The 23 three preceding rules prescribe and explain the order to be The present rule. it employs nearly the same arguments in doing so as it Rule But shows those who have perfectly mastered the seven preceding maxims. and II. but because the nature of the problem itself. — it will be easy to see. But what we have been saying must be illustrated by one or two If. he here forced to pause at the threshold. that the determination of this line depends upon the relation of incidence. of learning. is or the fact that he less science is human. for example. prevents him. as often happens. though it is indeed always profitable to review them in order. is This rule a necessary consequence of the reasons brought forward in support of the second. indeed. Frequently it is permissible to all proceed farther.

by a mental intuition he has will. meets with the same difficulty. at least by analogy (of which will more anon).24 Rules would be to break Rule III. he the second step he light. and will so follow out the other points methodically. to understand This done. . Though this has long defied the efforts of many inquirers. in accordance with the seventh the other natural potencies. and conjecture that this is the truest to fact for in that case he . If But us give the most splendid example of all I a man is proposes to himself the problem of examining the truths for the knowledge of which human reason suffices — and think that this life 1 by every person who seriously endeavours to attain equilibrium of thought he will. question. would be on the track not of the anaclastic. that at last he will arrive at the anaclastic itself. Again. these changes depend upon the manner in which the ray of light traverses the whole transparent body while the knowledge of the way in which the light thus passes through presupposes a knowledge of the nature of the action of light. by the rules given above. this last being the most absolute term in the whole series in . he will. he addition that this ratio between the angles of incidence and of refraction depends upon changes in their relation produced by varyAgain ing the medium. certainly discover that nothing can a task Wxiich should be undertaken once at least in his — be known prior to the understanding. to proceed backwards by the same steps. is Rule V. If. but. but merely of that curve which could be deduced from his assumption. a man who does not confine his studies to Mathematics. since the knowledge of all 1 bonam men tern. it will be vain for him to assume some relation or other as being that which prevails between such angles. I see no reason why a man who let fully carried out our method should all. fail to arrive at a convincing knowledge of the matter. he ask how the ray traverses the whole of the transparent body. in order that the knowledge of some other of them may help him. And if when he comes enumerate all unable straightway to determine the nature of rule. Furthermore this proposition is both composite and relative but in the proper place we shall show that experience is unambiguous only when dealing with the wholly simple and absolute. this. tries to discover the will find in truth on all points. in compliance with clearly comprehended the nature of this. . When. to understand which finally we must know what a natural potency is in general. therefore. however. in accordance with the first rule.

and seeing that in the strict sense truth and falsity can be a matter of the understanding alone. provided only that he gives to application. Thus if a man wished ed. we ought once in our life to inquire diligently what the thoughts are of which the human mind is capable. from the solution of which this rule prohibits him. of knowing. he will attend carefully to every source of deception in be on his guard. he will deem that he is is not the more ignorant on that account rather. he the understanding sense. But lest we should always be uncertain as to the powers of the mind. and these are only two. and that nothing at all can be known by anyone else which he is not capable fill ' . { This method of ours resembles indeed those devices ehirployed by the mechanical crafts. will abundantly satisfy his curiosity. open to us. and in order that we may not labour wrongly and at random before we set ourselves to think out things in detail. to choose the more useful. when two sets of inquiries are equally simple. order that he all may He lie will also enumerate exactly he that they cannot the ways leading to truth which follow the right way. it his utmost mental And though many problems may present themselves. in order that may all They are not so many be easily discovered and embraced in an adequate enumeration. yet because he will clearly perceive that they pass the limits of human intelligence. this very knowledge. enumerate among imagination and other things whatever instruments of thought we have other than . In order the better to attain this end we ought. devote all his viz. 1 The Amsterdam 1701 indicates an omission here. . which it will be easy for him to do he will feel assured that any absence of further knowledge is not due to lack of intelligence or of skill. that the solution can be discovered by no one. if he reasonable. when he has clearly grasped all those things which follow proximately on the will knowledge of the naked understanding. as soon as in each matter he has distinguished those cognitions and embellish the memory. but themselves supply the directions for instruments. this will And though which only seem marvellous and incredible to the inexpert. which do not need the aid of anything outside of them. He will therefore energies to the distinguishing and examining of these three modes of cognition. though often it derives its origin from the other two faculties.For Direction things else depends upon this and not conversely. from those which cause one to be deemed really more instructed. of to practise making their own any one of them. 25 Then.

since thus at the outset we have been skill. Neither is it such an immense task to attempt to grasp in thought all the objects comprised within this whole of things. and were destitute of first all instruments. why we state this very problem succinctly in the single question. discover only some rough precepts. the predicting of future events and many to do. Rules the craft of a smith. and provide himself with other such Thus equipped. serve as tongs. similar matters. and the other This example able to teaches us that. tools useful for himself. first by their help. . And. make pieces of wood tools as necessity required. once attempt to forge of iron for others to anvil. without yet having ever asked even whether solution of these problems. human reason it Neither ought is adequate to the seem such a toilsome and difficult matter to define the limits of that understanding 1 of which we are directly aware 2 as being within us. he would not then at swords or helmets or any manufactured article He would first of all fashion hammer. method of come the conduct of those But nothing seems to me more futile than who boldly dispute about the secrets of nature. which the aid of we deem should be answered at the very outset with the rules which we have already laid down. rather than the product of technical we should not forthwith attempt to settle the controversies of Philosophers. when we often have no hesitation in passing judgment even on things that are without us and quite foreign to us. take a piece of rock in place of a hammer. this since there is no reason why it should appear more are difficult to discover these than any of the answers which the \ problems propounded by Geometry or Physics or the other sciences wont to demand. or solve the puzzles of the Mathematicians. a sentinms. since in pursuing instruments of knowledge and the whole to light. Now This is no more useful inquiry can be proposed than that which seeks to determine the nature and the scope of human knowledge. as the influence of the heavens on these lower regions. tongs.g. This life investigation should be undertaken once at least in his by it anyone who has the slightest regard the true inquiry for truth. apparently the innate possession of our mind. We must all employ them for searching out with our utmost attention the other things that are more urgently required in the investigation of truth. use.26 e. he would be forced to use at as a hard stone or a rough lump of iron an anvil. in order to discover how they singly fall under our 1 ingenii.

as will be We From shown in the succeeding proposition. Of the later propositions we have the only in the case of XIX XXI. so that we may be on to the or where it may profit us. 2 — . these we destine the whole of the third 3 book. But we shall indeed attempt in the whole of this treatise to follow so accurately the paths which conduct 1 men to the knowledge titles capita.For Direction mental scrutiny. known : and these two it is factors we discuss In ourselves we notice that while it the understanding alone which is capable of knowing. but there are which puts together. namely imagination. This first part of our problem will accordingly be discussed with the aid of a sufficient enumeration. of which we shall treat in the whole of the succeeding book 2 and into those which presuppose the existence of others which the facts themselves show us to be composite. We must therefore examine these faculties in order. while the last three are entirely lacking. may prove to be an impediment. sense. 27 For nothing can prove to be so complex or so efforts of the method of enumeration above described. directed towards restraining it within certain limits or vague as to defeat the arranging it under certain categories 1 . All these matters will be expounded at greater length in the twelfth proposition. or to the things themselves which can be separately. yet is either helped or hindered by three other faculties. come secondly to the things themselves which must be conview we divide them into the class (1) of those of the extremest simplicity and (2) of the complex sidered only in so far as they are the objects of the understanding. This is why we further subdivide these into the class of those which are deducible from natures which are of the maximum simplicity and are known per se. we . But to put this to the test in the matter of the question above propounded. and memory. XIII. This begins at Prop. where it will be shown that there can be no falsity save in the last class that of the compounds made by the understanding itself. To the exposition of — . this point of is whose nature and composite. 3 Apparently not even begun. first of all divide the whole problem relative to either to relate to us it into two parts for it ought who are capable of knowledge. Simple natures must be either spiritual or corporeal or at once spiritual and corporeal. Finally among the composites there are some which the understanding realises to be complex before it judges that also others it can determine anything about them it itself . so that we may use the resources of these powers. with a view to finding out where each our guard full .

by practice glance. to wit perspicacity. sees who attempts none of them distinctly have acquired a capacity ness for distinguishing objects of extreme minute- and subtletyj. he either be entirely successful. of But as often as he applies his will mind to the understanding some matter. T Truly we shall learn how to employ our mental intuition from it comparing For he and the same and similarly the man who is wont to attend to many things at the same time by means of a single act of thought is confused in mind. and in that case he will not blame his mental capacity although he is Or finally he of is may show that the knowledge desired wholly exceeds the limits the human intelligence and consequently he will believe that he . For to have discovered knowledge in no less degree than the knowledge of anything Rule IX. on which alone we have said we must rely in the acquisition of knowledge. by viewing r single objects distinctly.28 of the truth Rides and to make them so easy. none the more ignorant on that account. and that his ignorance in his capacity nor to his due neither to a deficiency method of procedure. be his talent. to view a multitude of objects with one . Let us therefore in this and in the following proposition proceed to explain how we can render ourselves more skilful in employing them. and at the same time cultivate the intuition tw o principal faculties of the mind. We have now indicated the two operations of our understanding. and sagacity. ] and deduction. or he will is realise that success depends upon a certain experiment which he compelled to stop short there. But just as workmen. who are employed in very fine and delicate operations and are accustomed to direct their eyesight attentively to separate points. unable to perform. with the way in which we employ our eyes. to the We ought to give the whole of our attention most insignifi- cant and most easily mastered facts. that anyone who has perfectly learned the whole of this method. so likewise do people thought to be distracted who do not allow their by various objects at the same time. but . by the skilful deduction of certain facts ( from others. this is else. and remain a long time in contemplation of them until we are accustomed clearly to behold the truth and distinctly. may see that else is from which everyone is however moderate may no avenue to the truth is closed to him not also excluded.

notable that those who have knowledge it discern the truth with equal facility whether they evolve from they grasp each fact by an and distinct. not even the speed of light. single. that he shall never believe that he has knowledge of anything which he does not mentally behold with a distinctness equal to that of the objects which he knows most distinctly of all. after they have The whole of the difference once arrived at the point in question. should rather bethink myself of the spatial motions of bodies. but the mind can be made much more expert at such But there is one fact which I should here and that is that everyone should firmly all others persuade himself that none of the sciences. between the apprehension of the simple and of the obscure lies in the matter that simple or that is obscure .For. . actions such as these occur instantaneously this question I for the solution of would be more difficult than the problem proposed. For example if I wish to examine whether it is possible for a natural force to pass at one and the same moment to a spot at a distance and yet to traverse the whole space in between. I shall not begin to study the force of magnetism or the influence of the exercise. I shall another place in one and the same moment. yet . in order to discover whether . but that they all proceed only from what is easy and more readily understood. work by art and emphasize above stars. while at the admiration of certain sublime and for the profound philosophical explanations. But it is . Everyone ought therefore to accustom himself to grasp in his thought at the same time facts that are at once so few and so simple. are clear-headed. act of thought that is similar. even though these most foundations which no one has adequately surveyed — a mental disorder which prizes the But is it is darkness higher than real the light. which certainly ought to be longer if it conducts us is from our initial and most absolute principles to a truth that somewhat remote. It is true that some men are born with a much greater aptitude for such discernment than others. because a body. a common failing of mortals to deem the more difficult the fairer and they often think that they have learned nothing clear lost when they see a very same time they are part are based upon and simple cause in for a fact.Direction always concentrate it 29 in attending to the simplest and easiest particulars. observe that while a stone cannot pass to it is because nothing in the sphere of motion can be found more obvious to sense than this. is to be deduced from lofty and obscure matters. route taken. however abstruse.

shall not cite the drugs of the doctors which expel certain humours and romance about the moon's power of warming with its light and chilling by means of some occult power. 2 sagacitatem. I if it 1 passes unencumbered from one object to For instance. I shall rather cast my eyes upon the balance in which the same weight raises one arm at the same time as it depresses the other. retain others . no longer came upon the truth by proceeding as others commonly by pursuing vague and blind inquiries and relying more on skill. because then the force passes unencumbered and e. to yield me the highest intel- lectual satisfaction. I promised some new discovery. nor shall I Rule In order that it X. is confess that my natural disposition such that I have always found. way if I wish to understand how one and the same I simple cause can produce contrary effects at the same time. In the same moved. before I tried whether could achieve something similar by means of invention 2 . or take some other familiar instance. viz. is though those be preferred in which order I explained or implied. but the discovery of reasons by my own proper It efforts. used afterwards in resolving many diligently elaborated the whole of this 1 Thus it was method and came to nuda. length.g. may it acquire sagacity the mind should be exercised in pursuing just those inquiries of which the solution has already been found by the others . I was this alone that attracted me. to the study of science. a stone. I me of this harmless I successful that at length perceived that do. . not the following of the arguments of others. and ought to traverse in a systematic way even ought to most trifling of men's inventions. its title And whenever read any book by further. and difficulties. which bears it along. when I was still a young man.30 Bides a force similar to that which moves the stone can only be communicated instantaneously another. good fortune than on which that I I I saw that by long experience little I had dis- covered certain rules which are of no help in this inquiry. of some inborn faculty So often was I and I was careful lest a premature perusal of the book might deprive pleasure. easily if I move one end of a stick of whatever form a notion of the power by which both that part all its of the stick sarily and other parts are at the same moment necesis not imprisoned in any body.

yet such procedure faculties childish. incapable of penetrating But meanwhile we must not solely to fall into the error of those who. We must principally beware of wasting our time in such cases by proceeding at random and unmethodically. and they are wholly adjusted to the capacity of human cognition. and the like. It is wonderful how all these studies discipline our mental solutions from others. is likely to and to make people accustomed to the trifling and the so that for the future their minds will stick on the surface beyond it. and those above all in which order most prevails. . With these are ranked all play with numbers and everything that belongs to Arithmetic. or of women who embroider or use in the same work threads with all most fruitful of all. but powers. of things. or we may make about single letters. For since nothing in these arts remains hidden.For Direction the conclusion that I 31 had followed that plan of study which was the minds are so much inclined to puzzle things out unaided. and in order to arrange them so that when we sum them up we shall be able to tell all the inferences that we can deduce from them. order consists the whole of It human was for this reason that we insisted that method must be employed in studying those matters and this in those arts of less . the meaning is disguised by the use of a cypher. all different from each other. But because not infinite modification of texture. they reveal to us with the greatest distinctness innumer- able orderly systems. find that after many years of 1 artes. and by lucky people enfeeble the sometimes quicker. words or sentences. whether that be an order exist- due to subtle human devising. for even though the conjectures solution can often be found without method. though the order here fails to present itself. Such are the arts of the craftsmen who weave webs and tapestry. for the purpose both of testing all the ing in the thing itself. in the" proper observance of which systems of sagacity. but none the less conforming to rule. provided that we do not know the invent them ourselves. having devoted themselves is what lofty and serious. this proposition announces that we ought not immediately to occupy ourselves with the more difficult and arduous 1 problems. importance consists wholly in the close observation of the order which is found in the object studied. Thus if we wish to make out some writing in which. but first should discuss those disciplines which are easiest and simplest. we yet make up an imaginary one.

but only mental confusion. we must note that the Dialecticians are unable to devise any syllogism which has a true conclusion. They prescribe certain formulae of argument. that may appear still argument contributes nothing at all to the discovery of the truth. Wherefore as we wish here to be particularly careful lest our reason should go on holiday while we are examining the truth of any matter. capture it remain entangled in them. unless they have first secured the material out of which to construct it. . even its interest though at the it slackens and no longer pays a heedful and close attention to the very proposition inferred. first in Hence we must give ourselves practice those easier disciplines. it can nevertheless same time come to a sure conclusion by virtue of the form of Exactly so the fact is that frequently we the argument alone. only . to say a few and look out rather kept attentive. Other people are not so frequently entrapped and it is a matter of experience that the most ingenious sophisms hardly ever impose on anyone who uses his unaided reason. how to improve our power of deducing one truth from all we have omitted the precepts of the dialecticians. while they are wont to deceive the sophists themselves. words more. notice that often the truth escapes away out of these imprisoning bonds. but methodically. we reject those formulae as being for all the aids opposed to our project. and hence the ordinary Dialectic is quite valueIts who desire to investigate the truth of tilings. so that by open and familiar ways we may ceaselessly accustom ourselves to penetrate as easily as though we were at play into the very heart of these subjects. by which they think to control the human reason. i. which lead to a conclusion with such necessity that. if the reason commits itself to their trust. Whence it is clear that from a formula of tins kind they can gather is nothing that less for those new.32 toil Rules they have acquired. may perhaps strike some with surprise that here. For by this means we shall afterwards gradually feel (and in a space of time shorter than we could at all hope for) that we are in a position with equal facility to deduce from evident first principles many propositions which at first sight are highly intricate It and difficult. not the profound knowledge they hoped for.e. where we are discussing another. But. unless they have already ascertained the very truth which is deduced in that syllogism. as by which our thought may be more evident that this style of will it be shown in the sequel. while the people themselves who have used them in order to .

we said in the same passage 4 was effected by intuition. 20. in which our judgments about the various matters enumerated must be retained. because it cannot then be grasped as a whole at the same time by the mind. :i Cf. 7. then no longer designates a movement. 4 Cf. XI. we wish to draw any inference from them. 5. 2 Cf. if we are thinking of how the process works.For Direction possible use is 33 to serve to explain at times . p. Of. as distinguishing deduction in that rule from to consider deduction as But if we wish we did in what we an accomplished it said relatively to the seventh rule. and of greatly increasing the power of the mind. Eirstl^LJih^proposition intuited must be clear and distinct. it is usefid to run them over in a continuous and uninterrupted act of thought. secondly it must be grasped in its totality at the same timej in^ not s"^ aggi'v o1 y As for deduction. pp. but not when it is complex and involved. Rule If. p. because two things are requisi te for nmrtaLin tu itiou. as we were in Rule III. and to grasp together distinctly a number of these propositions so Jar as is possible at the same time. which we defined as an inference drawn from man)^ and diverse things 3 But the simple deduction of one thing from another. . and its certainty depends to some extent on the memory. but rather the completion of a movement. after Here we have an opportunity of expounding more rules 1 clearly what has been already said of mental intuition in the third and seventh . while in the we distinguished it from enumeration only. it appears not to occur all at the same time. to reflect upon their relations to one another. It wa s necessary to do this. For this is a way of making oar knowledge much more certain. 19. H. and therefore we suppose that it is presented to us by intuition when it is simple and clear. but involves a sort of movement on the part of our mind when it infers one thing from another. fact. 3 . we have recognized intuitively a number of simple truths. p. more it easily to others the truths we have already ascertained hence should be transferred from Philosophy to Rhetoric. K. 8. When this is the case we give it the name of enumeration or induction. We were other . In one passage 2 we opposed it to deduction. if from their assemblage a single fact 1 is to be inferred. — justified therefore in intuition.

me to know what is the relation between a first and a second magnitude. and so on it is while more difficult for me to conceive second to the first and to the third at what the relation of the the same time. and much more nn. and finally the fourth and a fifth. second. difficult still to tell its relation to the first and fourth. made doing so they seem to grow into a single process by virtue of a sort of motion of thought which has an attentive and vision-like know-i ledge of one fact and yet can pass at the very same another. the first and so and . Everyone must see that this plan does much to counteract the slowness of the mind and to enlarge its capacity. third and fourth. and seem to view the whole all at the same time. until I pass so quickly from the to the to the last that practically no step is left memory. certain knowledge of the conclusion with which and secondly it makes the mind readier to discover In fact the memory.34 Rtdes All these distinctions had to be we were to elucidate We treated of mental intuition solely in Rule IX the this rule. and what the steps are by which a relative For example. we them first I all repeatedly in my mind. but now the present rule tenth dealt with enumeration alone In explains how these two operations aid and complete each other. viz. the second and third. greatest advantage of this rule consists in the fact that. next between the second and a third. more difficult in grasp the relation between the first which and the . I shall upon all the following facts : that the mental act is entirely similar another yet —by is — and I not easier in the one case. Firstly promotes a more are concerned. that need not lead me to see what is the relation between the first and the fifth. if I related to something absolute. unless I remember Hence what I have to do is to run over all the other relations. if These considerations then lead me to sec why. by reflecting on the mutual dependence of two pro- more fact or is we acquire the habit of distinguishing at a glance what is less relative. the certainty of the conclusions which embrace more than we can grasp in a single act of intuition. can be renewed and made stronger by this continuous and constantly Thus if diverse mental acts have led repeated process of thought. . though weak and liable to fail us. on which we have said depends fresh truths. then between the third and a fourth. if . nor can I deduce it from what I already know. run over a number reflect of magnitudes that are in continued proportion. But in addition we must note that the positions. moment to Now to it this co-operation we assign a two-fold advantage.

first for the purpose of having a distinct ought to intuition of simple propositions . and so on. and the fourth present to magnitudes alone are given. can use for this purpose. in simultaneously. In the matter of the cognition of facts two things alone have to be considered. as often at once one recognizes what produces its special difficulty. all cases and what is the simplest method of dealing with and to be able to do so is a valuable aid to the discovery of the truth. then the second from the self to reflect arises. the others . in this shows in general outline what had to be explained in wise. and the reason being that this process requires only single and distinct acts of thought. employ all the aids of understanding. sense and is memory. lest perchance we omit any expedient that lies within our power. Rule Finally ive XII. imagination. For Direction I 35 all can easily find the third and fourth. even though here four mental acts come together they can yet be disjoined. because this can If the first only be accomplished by means of a mental operation in which two of the previous acts are involved. If one) on these and similar problems. and detail. would seem fifth. understanding. so that we may partly also in order to discover the which should be compared with each other so that nothing may be left lacking on which human industry may exercise itself This rule states the conclusion of all that we said before. sense and memory. ourselves who know and the objects themselves which Within us there are four faculties only which we are to be known. The understanding it indeed alone capable of perceiving ought to be aided by imagination. because here three acts of thought come consequence that it would be even more difficult to discover the three means between the first and the fifth. accustoms one's as a new question . since four can be divided by another number. . viz. Thus I can discover the third by itself from the first and likely as a . it is But if only the first and the third are given. partly also in order to compare the propositions to be proved with those ive be able to recognize their truth truths. On the side of the facts to be known it is enough to the truth. It it is still more difficult to ourselves the two means. first and third. The reason why this is not so is due to a fresh fact viz. but yet 3—2 . imagination.« second alone are given. not so easy to recognize the mean. know already. sense and memory.

You need not believe that the facts are so unless you ing these suppositions. hardness. and how it is 'informed' by mind what the faculties in the complex whole are which serve the attainment of knowledge. and what body. viz. j 1 For my I desire is in all that I write to assert nothing controversial unless have already stated the very reasons which have brought me to that conclusion. point what the human mind is. . This enumeration appears to to which our I me human powers can to be complete. it will me to explain as briefly as possible that mode of viewing everything within us which truth. a movement in space. just in the way that wax receives an impression from a seal. and despite the fact precisely the that we direct them towards objects. though often our experience of its nature in Physics makes us judge of it quite otherwise. but only render But what prevents us followit appears that they do no harm to the In Geometry you do all much clearer? like. nevertheless properly speaking perceive in virtue 2 of passivity alone.36 examine three things secondly . is added in another hand in the Hanover ms. in so far as they are part of the body. And it should not be thought that all we mean to assert is an analogy between the two. Rules first that which presents itself spontaneously. and to omit nothing apply. We ought to believe that the same in which the exterior figure of the sentient body is really modified by the object. body which we perceive by touch. and what the agency of each is. way is entirely the admitted not only in the case of the of a figure. But this place seems hardly to give me sufficient room to take in all the matters which must be premised before the truth in this subject can become clear to all. But because at present suffice am is prevented from doing this. roughness. and by which I I think that others also may be convinced. same thing when you make certain assumptions about a quantity which do not in any way weaken the force of your arguments. how we learn one thing by means of another. Let us then conceive of the matter as follows :— all our external senses. etc. which directed towards the discovery of most promotes if it my purpose. first should have liked therefore to have turned to the to have explained in this passage. as that in which the shape of This has to be the surface of the wax is altered by the seal. truth. and thirdly is the precise fact with which each conclusion connected. but even when we are aware 1 2 < locus > figuram. so manifesting activity.

or rashly to imagine that it exists. 37 and the like qualities. and not denying indeed the beliefs of others concerning colour.For Direction of heat. as being like the difference between the . for more readily under sense than figure. following similar figures The same argument applies to all cases for it is certain that the infinitude of figures suffices to express all the differences in sensible things. but nothing merely abstracting from every other feature except that the nature of figure. as the case It is may exceedingly helpful to conceive falls all those matters thus. cutem. 1 2 3 This theory is indistinguishable from one interpretation of the Aristotelian doctrine of a central sense with a central organ in the body. cold. which can be touched and seen. it possesses we conceive the ? diversity existing between and red. and the savour. that part called the 3 common sense in the very same instant and without the passage . the figure which carried off to is is is conveyed to it some other part of the body. movetur. the further passage of the object. if. the nose. The first opaque structure in the eye receives the figure impressed upon it by the light with its various colours and the 1 first membrane in the ears. is proved by the fact that the concept of figure is so common and simple that it is involved in every object of sense. blue.. . white. Is there then any disadvantage. etc. thus also acquires a new figure be. while taking care not to admit any new entity uselessly. from the sound. Secondly we must believe that while the external sense stimulated 2 by the object. and the tongue that resists . Moreover that nothing false issues from this supposition more than from any other. It is likewise with the other senses. Thus whatever you suppose colour to be. sensus communis. you cannot deny that it is extended and in consequence possessed of figure. the odour.

just as the external senses act on the common sense. possessing only certain other images from which these latter follow. however. although I do not conceive of anything real passing from the one extremity to the other. In the fourth place we must conceive that the motor force or the nerves themselves derive their origin from the brain. In the latter case we give the faculty the name of memory. but every motion in is simultaneously shared by the whole pen. and what simpler way of expressing this could be found '? Thirdly we must believe that the like that of a seal. Finally and in the fifth place. We can explain also how in ourselves those operations occur which we perform without any aid from the reason. in which the fancy is located. is purely spiritual. All these in diverse motions are traced by the upper end of the pen likewise the air. we must think that that power by which we are properly said to know things. but only fancy of a purely corporeal kind. those very figures and ideas which come uncontaminated and without bodily admixture from the external senses. common sense has a function and impresses on the fancy or imagination. lets us understand how all the motions of the ascribe to other animals can come about. . Now who imagines that the con- nection between the different parts of the human body is slighter than that between the ends of a pen. though we can all them no knowledge at all. or the lower extremity of the pen moves the whole pen. not only that part is the lower end of the pen moved. of the other. Just so the whole pen does not move exactly its way in which This lower end does is to have a motion that nay the greater part seems quite different from and contrary to that . It is a single agency. as though on wax. and not less distinct from every part of the body than blood from bone.38 Rules It is in exactly the same manner that now when I write I recognize that at the very moment when the separate characters are being written down on the paper. whether it receives impressions from the common sense simultaneously with the fancy. motions of which. But this fancy is a genuine part of the body. of any real entity from one to the other. of sufficient size to allow its different parts to assume various figures in distinctness from each other and to let those parts acquire the practice of retaining the impressions for some time. This example also in the shows how the fancy can be the cause of nerves. and that the fancy moves them in various ways. it many motions does not have the images stamped upon in the it. or hand from eye.

it is endowed with diverse said to remember is . common sense. memory. or attends to those already formed. finally if it it is said to imagine or conceive act alone it said to understand. if it turn to the imagination in . these operations power resembles now the seal at one time passive.For Direction or applies itself to those that are preserved in the HO memory. but that. It is properly called mind when it either forms new ideas in the fancy. on the contrary. at another active. . touch. 1 memory. and discover how far human effort can avail to supplement the deficiencies of our mental powers. by the imagina- and seeing that the imagination tion. is said to see. order to create fresh impressions. for among corporeal things It is there is nothing wholly similar to this faculty. or on the contrary act on it can act on the senses by means of the motor power applying them to objects. when applying to the along with the imagination . and and now the wax. or imagination. But if the understanding proposes to examine something that can 1 ingenium. or to transfer befitting its purely this cognitive them is to the motor mechanism In all in the corporeal character. and this distinction between those terms must in the sequel be borne in mind. it is Often the imagination is so beset by these impressions unable at the same time to receive ideas from the common way sense. to prevent their hampering] it. it cannot be helped by those faculties. while they on the contrary can act on it. But the resemblance on this occasion is only one of analogy. or sense. For. But after having grasped these facts the attentive reader will gather what help is to be expected from each particular faculty. since the understanding can be stimulated . itself one and the itself to same agency which. brutes. etc. I shall explain at greater length in the proper Now it is the same faculty that in correspondence with those is various functions or called either pure understanding. is if applying the imagination alone in so far as that impressions. the senses must be banished and the imagination as far as possible divested of every distinct impression. How this latter function takes place place. if the understanding deal with matters in which there is nothing corporeal or similar to the corporeal. depicting on it considering on the other hand that the the images of bodies . is at least that in which is corporeal and similar to that of the . We consider it as capable of the above various operations. no respect distinct from the imagination we come to the sure conclusion that. or forms new that ones.

certain It assumptions which little. provided they guard the memory handier the shorter they mendations. we must make all. and in order to effect this is with greater ease. Hence here we shall each other. in order that the remainder be the more readily retained in memory. if we consider a body as having extension and we shall indeed it is it thing itself admit that from the point of view of the one and simple. But here. But wishes to deduce one thing from a number of objects. figure. the thing itself which this idea to represent must be exhibited to the external senses. extension and these elements have never existed in isolation from But relatively to our understanding we call it a compound constructed out of these three natures. For we cannot from that point of view regard figure. in my opinion. provided that you employ them to aid you in discerning in each particular case what sort of knowledge is true and what false. In the same may not way it is on those occasions that the objects themselves ought to be presented to the external senses. Now we must approach the second part of our task. Now when if it the under- standing wishes to have a distinct intuition of particular facts a multitude of objects is of no use to it. though they are not believed to be more real than those imaginary circles by means of which Astronomers describe their phenomena. we assert that relatively to our knowledge single things should be taken in an order different from that in which we should regard them when considered in their more real nature. but rather certain compendious abbreviations against lapse. as often has to be done. That was to distinguish accurately the notions of simple things from those which are built up out of them to see in both cases where falsity might come in.40 Rules be referred to the body. Finally. Whosoever observes these recom- will. attention to those matters only in which certainty was possible. Thus. so that we might be on our guard and give our . we must form the idea of that thing as distinctly as possible in the imagination . omit nothing that relates to the part of our rule. first are. as before. we must banish from the ideas of the objects presented whatsoever does not require present attention. and shall call those only simple. are the all which. the cognition of which is so . 7 treat of things only in relation to our understanding's awareness of them. probably are not agreed on by matters however. then. since as compounded of corporeal nature. for example. because w e have thought of them separately before we were able to judge that all three were found in one and the same subject.

bonds for connecting together the other simple natures. things which are wholly different . and on whose evidence all the inferences which we obtain by reasoning things that are the same as depend. motion. are either purely intellectual 2 or purely material. figure. image. So too do not bear the same relation to a third thing. a limit of motion. for then. now to distinction. nevertheless it should not for that reason seem simpler than figure. since it is predicated of other things. be extension. 41 distinct that they cannot be analysed by the mind into ' distinctly known. J that those things which relatively to our to intellect understanding are called simple.g. . etc. be in some way compounded out of these. etc. what ignorance. what doubt is. and without the aid of any corporeal That a number of such things exist is certain. and so on. . To this group also we must ascribe those common notions which are. when figure is the limit of from the simple natures themselves. duration and the like. The following are examples things which a third thing are the same as one another. of which Our ^second assertion 1 can be onty ambiguously predicated. have some diversity : — : — 1 intellectus. conceiving by the term limit something more universal than by the term figure. which are ascribed now to corporeal things. unity. and know them so easily that in order to Those recognize them it is enough to be endowed with reason. ledge of all these things. as for example of the extreme bounds of a space of time or of a motion. Rather. things are purely material which we discern only in bodies Finally those must styled common motion. extension. we say that since an extended thing. or else common both and 1 to matter. even though we find the meaning of limit by abstracting it from figure. e. it sequently it is must be abstracted from those natures also con-* something compounded out of a number of natures it is wholly diverse. . and likewise what the action of the will is which it is possible to term Yet we have a genuine knowvolition. and it is impossible to construct any corporeal idea which shall represent to us what the act of knowing is. and so with other things. This principle must be taken so universally as not even to leave out those objects which we sometimes obtain by abstraction This we do. for example. But our contention is right. without Such are existence. we can talk of a limit of duration.. Those are purely intellectual which our understanding apprehends by means of a certain inborn light. to all others we conceive Such are figure. spirits. 2 intellectuals. as it were. from figure.For Direction and so others more clear etc.

etc. assigns them separateness from each conjoined with extension. For we may imagine ourselves to be ignorant of things which we really know. if our thought other. there is something else hidden from us. Rides As a matter of fact these common l notions it is can be discerned by the understanding either unaided or when aware of the images of material things. or motion. over and above what we have present to us or attain to by thinking. This w ay of viewing the matter will be helpful in enabling the rest of what us henceforth to say that we know is formed by if composition out of these simple natures. but must be complex a compound of that which is present in our perception of it. or lapse all instant. I shall 2 say that in a certain sense my idea is a complex of figure and rest. or an know what existence is. for example on such occasions as when we believe that in such things. 1 ' Thus likewise if say puro. I Thus. provided we distinguish that faculty of our understanding by which it has itituitive awareness of things and knows them. or of time. 2 eogitatio. /—Thirdly we assert that all these simple natures are known per se~\ and are wholly free from falsity. and so on. It is necessary when one is so implied in the concept of another in a confused sort of — way that we cannot conceive to either distinctly. pronounce the judgment that some figure is not moving. us. But among these simple natures we must rank the privative and negative terms corresponding to them in so far as our intelligence grasps them. and when this if belief of ours is false. from that by which it judges. making use of affirmation and denial. as must be the it. judgment on completely. as that by which r what nothing is. I because it is impossible to conceive of a figure that has no extension. for example. and so in other cases. nor of a motion that has no duration. . this fact we are assumed to pass some alone makes us infer that we know it since it For otherwise could not be said to be simple. For it is quite as genuinely an act of knowledge by which I am intuitively aware of I 7 rest. and that of which we think we are ignorant. It will be easy to show this. For if our mind attains to the least acquaintance case. motion with duration or Thus figure is time.42 from each other. In the fourth place we point out that the union of these things one with another is either necessary or contingent. Whence it is evident that we are in error we judge that any one of these simple natures is not completely known by with it.

The conclusion necessary also in such a case it — If Socrates says he doubts everything.For Direction 'four 43 For we do not and three are seven. false. Finally we must note that very connected. etc. there- have a mind distinct from my body. As example. though I have never thought that in line. a the number natures. therefore God exists give the also I know. propositions fore I — 'I exist. we say that those natures which we call composite are known by us. etc. Sixthly. this necessity is not is restricted to the field of sensible matters alone. however. number seven distinctly unless we include in it the numbers three and four in some confused way. such as the magnitude of the angles. Thus when we say a body is man is clothed. though most people. animate. which are equal to two right angles. than to separate one of able to them from the others. either because experience shows us what they are. for all those consequences necessarily attach to the nature of The union. three. or because we ourselves are responsible for their composition. Likewise many among ' things are often necessarily united with one another. and so on.' this union is necessary. or the size of the area. figure. etc. For. many necessary propositions become contingent when Thus though from the fact that I exist I may infallibly conclude that God exists. a is contingent in those cases where the things are conjoined by no inseparable bond. that knowledge was contained the knowledge of an angle. follows necessarily that he knows this at least — that he doubts. Further. from saying that the nature of the triangle But that does not prevent me is composed of all these and that they are better known than the triangle since they are the elements which we comprehend in it It is possible also . what we Hear . not noticing are what : their true relation is. we remark that no knowledge is at any time possible of* anything beyond those simple natures and what may be called their intermixture or combination with each other^ easier to be Indeed it is often * aware of several of them in union with each other. reckons them I ' : those that following contingently connected. Likewise he knows that something can be either true or doubt. I am know what a triangle is. the that in triangle many other features are involved which escape our notice. to illustrate.' etc. extension. Matter Jf of experience consists of what we perceive by sense. In the same way whatever is demonstrated of figures or numbers is necessarily united conceive the with that of which it is affirmed. and the innumerable relations which exist between the sides and the angles. it is not for that reason allowable to affirm that because Fifthly God exists I also exist.

any alteration from the external world and from his senses to his imagination. The Latin might at least equally well 'which our mind perceives immediately without any experience. thought of his will be composite. Thus if a man suffering from jaundice persuades himself that the things he sees are yellow.. unless he has some previous ground for believing this. too. when we believe as fact what is merely a story that someone has told us or when one who is ill with jaundice . Seventhly. namely by impulse. when the imagination is diseased. or by 1 their own free will. consisting partly of what his imagination represents to him./ moreover refrain from judging that the imagination faithfully i/*^ reports the objects of the senses. or by their fanciful prout illam habet vel in se ipso. Impulse sways the formation of judgments about things on the part of those whom their own initiative constrains to believe something. This happens. and a represent real things. This translation is doubtful. though they can assign no reason for their belief. Whence things the conclusion comes that we can go wrong only believe are in when the we some way compounded by ourselves.44 from the Rules lips of others. as in cases of So finally. but are merely determined either by some higher Power. and partly of what he assumes on his own account. and generally whatever reaches our understanding either from external sources or from that contemplation which our mind directs backwards on itself. man thinks that his own disorderly fancies will But the understanding of a wise man is not be deceived by these fancies. but yet never assert that the object has passed complete and without to his senses. melancholia. since he will judge that whatever comes to him from his imagination will really depicted in it. but because the things he sees really are yellow. or that the senses take on the true/ forms of things. or in fine that external things always are as they appear to be judgments we are exposed to error. or by deduction.' 2 mean . just as given to it either at firsthand 1 or by means of an image. Moreover we ourselves are responsible for the composition of the things present to our understanding when we believe that there is something in them which our mind never experiences direct when this exercising perception 2 . this compounding can come about in other ways. for in all these . for example. by conjecture. and. judges everything to be yellow because his eye is tinged with yellow. Here it must be noted that no direct experience can ever deceive the understanding if it restrict its attention accurately to the object presented to it is if it it. namely that the colour looks yellow not owing to the defect in his eye.

which is we construct in be probable and never instructed. this way really deceives us. for ex- ample. however. if. it But a consideration of the does not fall is first does not concern us here because of within the province human 1 skill . that we have shown what those simple It is also natures are of which we spoke in the eighth proposition. for example. we never interconnect any objects unless we are directly aware that the conjunction of the one with the other is wholly necessary. or any other sense. save those of self-evident intuition and necessary deduction. But it is within our power to avoid this error. touch. Our second conclusion 1 is that in order to know these simple artem. - in se ipso. is centre of the globe than earth. much rarer than air itself. we are in error. the second rarely. in this : at a greater distance from the likewise less dense substance. nothing to be perceived either by sight. in this space of air. we conclude that the space is empty. quite clear that this mental vision extends both to all those simple — and to the knowledge of the necessary connections between them. likewise the air which is and above the water. Moreover nothing that if in fact it we merely judge it to makes us better Deduction is thus left to us as the only means of putting things together so as to be sure of their truth. Yet which in it too there is full may be there is many defects.For Direction disposition. This is the result as often as we judge that we can deduce anything universal and necessary from a particular or contingent fact. still rarer j hence we hazard the guess that above the air nothing exists but a very pure aether. Thus if. . From all these considerations we conclude firstly that we have shown distinctly and. Deduction. The working of conjecture water which is is shown. affirm it to be true . This was that mankind has no road towards certain knowledge open to it. what we were originally able to express only confusedly and in a rough and ready way. and our synthesis of the nature of a vacuum with that of this space is wrong. natures. will be further treated in what follows. from the fact that figure and extension are necessarily conjoined. by an adequate enumeration. and finally to everything else which the understanding 2 accurately experiences either at first hand or in the imagination. further. 45 The first cause is never a source of error. Thus we are justified if we deduce that nothing can have figure which has not extension. as we judge. the third almost always.

and known by the simplest peasant. does not perfectly see what that whatsoever may be. place. Cf . so far as it is potential! Now who understands these words? And who at the same time does not know what ? motion is ? Will not everyone admit that those philosophers have been trying to find a knot in a bulrush kind lest We must therefore main- tain that no definitions are to be used in explaining things of this what is simple. it can so move along I me that.46 Rules natures no pains need be taken. perceive is them separately with is steadfast There is that when he standing. and to give them. in respect of 2 which alteration occurs when we change position ? But is there anyone who would grasp that very thing when he was told that 2 place' is the surface of the body surrounding us J This would be strange seeing that that surface can change though I stay still and do ? 8 not change with less my place. a fact with which of human apprehension ? fPhey is everyone quite familiar. . Obj. am neverthe- no longer in the same Do not these people really seem to use magic words which have a hidden force that eludes the grasp define motion. fThis happens when they try to explain by something more evident in their those things that are self-evident. is either to nothing at is. as the actualisation of what exists in in potentiality. - locum. 1 situs. Who. because they are of themselves sufficiently well known. able to assert that in this case nothingit is . studying them with that degree of mental illumination which each of us possesses. J Our third conclusion is that the whole of human knowledge consists in a distinct perception of the way in which those simple natures combine in order to build up other objects. although continues to surround me. :. explain something else. our individual attention. it on the contrary. each of us. . It is important to note this because whenever some difficulty is brought forward is we should take what complex in place of We must be content to isolate them from each other. it for instance. or that. is no one whose seated he in some way 1 intelligence so dull as not to differs from what he distinct- when But not everyone separates with equal is ness the nature of position from the other elements contained in the cognition in question. Now not without reason that we call attention to the above doctrine for the learned have a way of being so clever as to contrive to render themselves blind to things that are own nature evident. or alters save the position. ^7). or For what they do all. Application comes in only in isolating scrutinizing them from each other and mental gaze. reply to VI.

most difficult. almost everyone is brought to a standstill at the for very outset. and dismissing from mind every well-known fact. since all knowledge is of the same nature throughout. life. being in doubt as to the nature of the notions he ought to call to mind. On the other hand more diffident people often refrain from many degree investigations that are quite easy and are in the first necessary to the task. and believing that he has to search Thus. indeed. allow themselves to uphold their private conjectures as though the} were sound demonstrations. kind of fact previously unknown to him. if 1 ' some new is. This is a fact recognized by very few. and embrace the opinion of those in whose authority they have most confidence. fasten on whatsoever fruitless fresh. We assert fifthly that by deduction we can get only things from ' 1 So Leibniz's ms. The Amsterdam edition has eighthly which carries on the previous list of assertions. and from these will next try to deduce the character of that inter-mixture of is simple natures which necessary to produce all those effects which he has seen to take place in connection with the magnet. of the This achieved. merely because they think themselves unequal to They believe that these matters can be discovered by others who are endowed with better mental faculties. and in matters of which they are wholly ignorant feel premonitions of the vision of truths which seem to present themselves through a cloud. it follows fourthly from what has been said that we must not fancy that one kind of knowledge is more obscure than another.For Directum for \7 examination. and consists solely in combining what is self-evident. ' the question what is the nature of the magnet people like that at once pro- gnosticate difficulty and toil in the inquiry. He first observations with which experience can supply him about this stone. but which in reality neither they nor their audience understand. Finally. . hoping that by ranging over the causes lie. These they have no hesitation in propounding. he can boldly assert that he has discovered the real nature magnet in so far as human intelligence and the given experimental observations can supply him with this knowledge. will have no doubt how he to proceed. attaching to their concepts certain words by means of which they are wont to carry on long and reasoned out discus7 sions. and the more bold among them. vaguely field where multifarious is they will find something there can be nothing to know will in But he who reflects that the magnet which does not consist collect all the of certain simple natures evident in themselves. People have their minds already occupied by the contrary opinion.

but of disentangling so skilfully we can do this without the some one fact that is involve one another. but present themselves to us spontaneously. and the only will thing remaining to be shown be how to discover the conclusion. . and occurring almost exclusively in Arithmetic and Geometry. Among the ' questions we must to begin with note that we we perceive three things distinctly to wit. the marks by which we can identify what we are looking for when it occurs what precisely the fact is from which our answer ought to be deduced and how it is to be proved that these (the ground and its consequence) so depend one on another that it is whose meaning is quite plain. This part of our task we have undertaken in the first twelve rules. parts For the rest. or effect from cause. . is im- . or words. and scrutinizing them with keen intelligence. in order that there may be no want of coherence in our series of precepts. like from or the whole itself from the parts l . since propositions of this type do not arise as the result of inquiry. we have displayed everything which. seem to the inexperienced 1 There seems to be a break here. both in order to avoid mentioning anything which presupposes an acquaintance with what follows. cause from effect. even though we are ignorant of their next twelve clear. and also for the purpose of unfolding first what we feel to be most important first to ' inculcate in cultivating the mental powers. . being highly abstract making the simplest inference. we divide the whole matter of knowledge into 2 In connection with simple simple propositions and 'questions' . whatsoever they are. This will not be a matter of deducing some one fact from a single simple matter (we have already said that help of rules). 51. place those only in which . For a continuation of the doctrine it cf. these we shall by themselves Finally there are others. p. in which. that call conditioned by a number of others which in recognizing it all there shall be no need to upon a higher degree ' of mental ' power than in Questions of this kind. Inverted commas have been employed wherever portant to remember Descartes' special technical of this term.' propositions the only precepts cognitive faculties for we give are those which prepare our fixing distinctly before them any objects. whose meaning for the last twelve. solution rules. In this way we shall have all the premisses we require. we believe. But as treat to ' questions ' some of them can be in the is perfectly well comprehended. can facilitate the exercise of our reason. not quite and these we reserve This division has been made advisedly. 2 Quaestioues. in our opinion.48 Rvh* like. impossible for either to change while the other remains unchanged.

in every 'question' there must be something of which we are ignorant. R. in which other types of 'question' are treated. the Rule Once a 'question and. though twice as thick as A. split it up beyond which analysis cannot go in minuteness. W. so also we on this occasion lay it down as a prerequisite that But we do not. 49 But I warn them that people ought to busy and exercise themselves a long time in learning this art. be So again the question may be. this very . . matter must be designated in some way or other otherwise there it would be nothing to determine us to investigate anything else. assume that the terms or matter of their syllogisms are already known. what my conclusion is as to the nature of sound. and so on. so that we shall have nothing more to seek for than what can be inferred from the data. The following is the way in which we look at the whole matter. the question to be solved should be perfectly understood. presumably the English physicist (1600). into the carious an enumeration. who desire to all master the subsequent portions of this method. we already know what is meant by the two words 'magnet' and nature. Thus if the problem be the nature of the magnet. 1 Gilbertus. and C give out an identical 2 sound. Firstly. state in its simplest terms. if the question is to be perfectly stated. distinguish two extremes and a middle term. is kept in tension by a weight that is they trustworthy or not. is perfectly understood. 4 . H. in teaching their doctrine of the forms of syllogism. Secondly. what is to be inferred about the nature of the magnet from that set of realised even in questions that are not fully understood.' and this knowledge determines us to seek one sort of answer rather than another.For Direction of little value. its we must free it it of every conception superfluous to to meaning. ' experiments precisely which Gilbert 1 asserts he has performed. it can only be so designated by the aid of All three conditions are something else which is already known. but not longer. But over and above this. otherwise there is no use asking the question. having recourse sections ' XIII. For example some one might set me the question. founding my judgment merely on the precise fact that the three strings A B. Gilbert 1540-1603 author of Be Magneto 2 aequalem. we require that it should be wholly determinate. is This the only respect in which we imitate the Dialecticians just as they. when by hypothesis B. rather than Thirdly. as they.

50 Rales . this rule in divesting We see also how and it is possible to follow any difficulty. and so that afterwards my enumeration of results may be sufficient. presented a subject of inquiry to it Socrates 1 when first he began to study edit. more correctly his Neither do we limit the to those questions which are set us by other people. His own ignorance. taking each by itself. and 'componendas. or to inquire whether it own doubt. as heavy. falsity in the mere whether they are simple or united together. and may embrace every case. 'Amsterdam dit'licultatem. then that between A and C. though no thicker than A. Thus Again if I experiments in investigating the magnet.' but they acquire We have already said that there can be no intuition of things. We add also that the problem ought to be reduced to its simplest statement in accordance with Rules V and VI. magnitudes which have to be after Thus. I I if employ a number of shall run them over my inquiry is about so on. sound. as in the case above. 'compared with one another. part of this Treatise will show us more clearly how to apply them. and resolved into parts in accordance with Rule VII. of every superfluous conception. and we must enumerate the different types of question in order to determine what we are able to accomplish ' ' in each case. it in which we no longer deem that we are treating of this or that special matter. where the problem in reducing properly to a form realised. but are dealing only in a general way with certain fitted together 1 . there difficulty in dismissing no from view 2 all other aspects of the case. that designation so soon as we prepare to pass some determinate title judgment about them. as I shall may be reduced whose meaning show at greater is length in the proper place. but they make it quite clear to others how all imperfectly expressed 'questions' is quite clear. - .. but merely nevertheless kept in tension by a weight four times all Other illustrations might be given. is while C. twice as heavy twice as long. So conceived these are not called 'questions. to illustrate. shall separately consider the relation between strings A and B.. These three rules are the only ones which the pure understanding need observe in dealing with the terms of any proposition before approaching its ultimate solution. successively.' Leibniz's MS. Further by a 'question' we understand everything in which either truth or falsity is found. though The third that requires us to employ the following eleven rules. of this or is we have limited ourselves to the consideration that set of experiments merely relative to the magnet.

There is obviously a lacuna here. thing is This consists wholly in a certain relation of the thing said to be in the place towards the parts of the and is a feature which certain writers. whether Since. or the whole or other parts from parts.For Direction 51 was true that he doubted everything. Cf. refer firstly all riddles. is then twothat of the and finally three-footed. We seek to derive causes from effects it when we ask concerning 2 . for this to derive things it from words. 470 sqq. or causes from effects.. exists or ' what ' it is is . Thus when people is call place the surface of the . that almost all controversy would be removed from among Philosophers. however. pp.. So it in other cases . the question is almost always one of names. Moreover in our 'questions' we seek to derive either things from words. but on the other hand had those which they had not yet been able to catch. and T. We ought not to judge so fit ill our great thinkers as to imagine that they conceive the objects themselves wrongly. etc. or to infer several of these simultaneously. or to determine whether the problem effects. and maintained that such was indeed the case. 3 4—2 . there no real error in their conception merely employ wrongly the word place. like that of the is this class we Sphinx about the animal which to begin with footed. when a question is propounded its for solution we are frequently unable at once to discern type. The lost MS. So in other cases . but besides these. We To are said to seek to derive things from words when the difficulty consists merely in the obscurity of the language employed. if they were always to agree as to the meaning of words. body. or causes from occupy less reason seems to be superfluous to say more It will here in detail about these matters. said that they no longer possessed those creatures which they had caught. have improperly called the thing's intrinsic position 1 is . seems to have contained matter which is partly reproduced in a passage by Arnauld in the 2nd edition of the Port-Royal Logic. surrounding body. standing on the bank with rods and hooks ready for the capture of fish. in cases where they do not employ in explaining words they use them.. fishers four-footed. seeing that the name place was reserved for the surface of the surroundingspace external to it. 1 space and ubi intrinsecum. x. A similar instance who. anything. indeed these verbal questions are of such frequent occurrence. A. or effects from causes. in of the majority of matters on which the learned dispute. which by signifies common that simple and self-evident nature in virtue of which a said to be here or there.

We must take care us. should be so eager to obey as to run off without having received his orders or knowing where to go. We shall succeed in this if we so direct our mental vision as to have a distinct and intuitive presentation of each by itself. on the other hand. we must strive to understand distinctly what the inquiry is about. the term cannot be transferred to other things. at the For frequently people are in such a hurry in their investigations. otherwise there is no need to raise it. such as we . we maintain. data furnish assume neither more nor less than our This applies chiefly to riddles and other problems to skill employed is to try to puzzle people's But frequently also we must bear it in mind in other 'questions. in the riddle put by the Sphinx. in the fishermen's staff. if same time we go over in order all the steps which must be followed if we are to solve a problem of any sort. when it appears as though we could assume as true for the purpose of their solution a certain matter which we have accepted. we should nevertheless so ' define this unknown element by means of specific conditions that we shall be determined towards the investigation of one thing rather than another. So again. leaves something out. to the hands of an infant. for example. However. when any 'question' is set. For the human mind is wont to fall into error in two ways here it either assumes more than is really given in determining the question. but merely because we had always believed it. as it happens. attention These are conditions to which. Thus. because in thought of fish employed as feet are in walking. as it may be. though in every question' something must be unknown. and inquire diligently how far the unknown fact for which we are in search is limited by each. that they bring only a blank understanding to their solution. or.52 will Rales be more convenient. not because we had a good reason for doing so. must be paid at the very outset. or an old man's either case these accessories are too. So conundrum. a proceeding as foolish as that of a boy. we must be on our guard when inquiring into the construction of a vessel. and fling away from them when caught. it is not necessary to believe that the word 'foot' refers merely to the real foot of an animal we must inquire also whether where the object of the wits. . sent on an errand by his master. if it chance to occur. After that. without having settled what the marks are by which they are to recognize This is the fact of which they are in search. who. we must beware of letting the occupy our minds to the exclusion of those creatures which the poor so often carry about with them unwillingly.

but as soon as it touched the unhappy man's lips the whole of it at once flowed out and escaped. just as he were to station a wheel in the current of a river so as to secure his procedure an unceasing motion on its part. Numbers of people have believed this to be possible. arrived at a certain height. this. So in other cases. immoveable and established Ancients would have to be so. 1 have once adequately grasped the meaning of a question/ we ought to try and see exactly wherein the difficulty When we . their idea being that the earth is in perpetual motion in a circle round its own axis. while again the magnet retains all the properties of the earth. perpetual motion. he did would be to motion. in order afterwards is examine what certainty there in this matter to which we are able to attain. Water when poured as long as it into the vessel remained within without leaking was not high enough to enter the mouth of Tantalus. we seek it is to extract from the recorded observations of the stars an answer to the question as to what we can assert about not to be gratuitously assumed that the earth in the is their motions. to it. which we do not This may happen in an inquiry into the subject of bear in mind. On the other hand we sin by omission when there requisite it is some condition to the determination of the question either some way to be understood. in the midst of which stood a column and upon that a figure of Tantalus in the attitude of a to drink. midst of the universe. not as we meet with it in nature in the movements of the stars and the flowing of springs. Now at the first blush it seems as if the whole of the ingenuity consisted in the construction of this figure of Tantalus. or at least that it communicated its own motion expressed in or in along with its other properties to a piece of iron.For Direction man who wants 53 once saw. all it Now although a natural he were to succeed in artificially would not be a perpetual motion utilize contrived if . of the fact requiring explanation. as the it because from our earliest years appears We ought to regard this as dubious. A man might then believe that he would discover a perpetual motion if he so contrived it that a magnet should revolve in a circle. whereas before none escaped. if let out the whole of how the vessel the water when that Finally. and in no way conditions For the whole difficulty consists solely in the problem of was constructed so as to likewise. Thus in he would have omitted a condition requisite for the resolution of his problem. whereas in reality this is a mere accompaniment it. but as a motion contrived by human industry.

it. — Rule XIV.' 2 Clearly the sense is continuous with that of the last paragraph in the exposition of the previous rule. But over and above this we must attend to the various separate problems involved in it. flows out. it is indeed quite easy to see how the vessel should be made a column must be fixed in its centre. The same rule is to be applied also to the real extension of bodies. be able by any train of reasoning to make him perceive the true we have derived from our But if a man 1 has indeed once perceived the primary colours. But 2 in proposing to make is use of the imagination as an aid to is our thinking. only that we are still in ignorance. in order that. when these are removed. It must be set before the imagination by means of mere figures. For example a man has been blind from his birth ideas of the colours which it is not to be expected that we shall senses. vessel. to retain what is necessarily bound up with the problem. But all . for this is the best way to make it clear to the understanding. we must note that whenever one unknown fact deduced from another that that we discover any already known. The formulated rule has in this case at least been inserted later. though ho tints. Here therefore we maintain that what is worth while doing is simply this to explore in an orderly way all the data furnished by the proposition. Rnles by separating it out from all complicating circumstances. It is for this that we have to seek a reason. it is possible for ' ' has never seen the intermediate or mixed ' ' Leibniz's us. we may solve it the more easily. after reaching a certain which had previously remained in the height. 'a valve . to set aside everything which we see is clearly immaterial. these things will be set aside as not touching the essential point difficulty thus we are left with the consisting in the fact that the whole of the water. that does not show of entity. has axis and Garnier conjectures fingenda Translate must be fitted in it. but merely that this whole in new kind extended mass of knowledge is such a way that we perceive that the matter sought for participates in one way or another in the if nature of the data given in the proposition. a . Thus in remain of which that instance of the vessel which will was described a short time ago. bird 1 must be painted on by itself. and to reserve what is doubtful for a more careful examination.54 consists. in order that if there are any which are easy to resolve we may omit them.

by a sort of deduction. A and C. with each others In fact practically the whole of the task set human reason consists in preparing for this operation art. it . motion and the the enumeration of which does not belong to this place. are recognized by means of an idea which is one and the same in the various subject matters.For Direction hfm to construct the 55 images of those which he has not seen from their likeness to the others. . Further this common idea is transferred from one subject to another. it will be for the reader's profit to reject — them altogether and to conceive that all knowledge whatsoever. is just the same as that of one that is golden. as we have often announced. known entities. comparison gives must further mark that comparison should be simple and open. Here we compare with one another a quaesitum and a datum. if we discern with all possible distinctness that mixture of entities or natures already just those effects which known which producer we notice in the magnet. extension. we need no aid from but are bound to rely upon the light of nature alone. But because. is hopeless to expect that reasoning will to be furnished either with 2 . all B is C. or identical with. for when which it is open and simple. or equal to a particular datum. figure. knowledge of the truth. 1 Similarly if in the magnet there be any sort of nature the like of which our mind has never yet known. Note that the only reason why preparation is required for comparison that We the common is not of this nature is the fact that nature we spoke of does not exist equally in both. 2 mente. but 1 entis. The figure of a silver crown which we imagine. merely by means of the simple comparison by which we affirm that the object sought for is in this or that respect like. the syllogistic forms are of no aid in perceiving the truth about objects. and so on. in respect of the fact that each is B. other than that which consists in the simple and naked intuition of single independent objects. viz. in beholding the truth us. therefore all A is C. . make some new ever us grasp it we should have sense or with a divine intellect' But we shall believe ourselves to have attained whatever in this matter can be achieved by our human faculties. the is a matter of the comparison of two things or more. viz. reasoning it is Consequently in every train of^ by comparison merely that we attain to a precise : Here is an example all A is B. only as often as quaesitum and datum participate equally in a certain nature. Indeed all these previously like.

. This will teach us even then to make use of our imagination etc' 4 in proportionibus in aequalitates evolvendis. or three to one. and T. such matter is included under the term magnitude.' conj. unless we treat the quantity as being in a certain way analogous it to the extension of a body possessing figure. ' . Next we must mark that nothing can be reduced to this uniformity save that which admits of a greater and a less. etc.. can be easily. all we have left to deal with consists of magnitudes We shall. or a sound sharper or flatter. and ought to be. 1 3 An We ' ' . also be ascribed to by Finally we must note that nothing can be asserted of magnitudes in general that cannot any particular instance 3 . even in this case make use of our imagination. is The chief part of our ratios as to for human show industry consists merely in so transmuting these 1 clearly a uniformity between the matter sought and something else already known. Let us agree too that everything which we discover precisely this difficulty. it is yet for in that place impossible to determine exactly whether the greater exceeds the less in the proportion two to one. 'in aequalitatibus. and so on. Consequently when. alternative way of translating this paragraph would be to make the previous sentence follow the present one. aequalitas. however. intellect as aided employing not the naked understanding but the images of particulars. viz. This is also itself evident for no other subject displays more distinctly differences in ratio of whatsoever kind.' Leibniz's ms. else except the fact that it we represented the imagination itself along with the ideas it contains as nothing more than a really material body possessing extension and figure. This lets us easily conclude that there will be no slight profit in transferring whatsoever we find asserted of magnitudes in general to that particular species of magnitude which is most easily and distinctly depicted in our imagination.56 Hides complicated with certain other relations or ratios. we have freed the terms of the problem from any reference to a particular subject. ' speciebus. we shall in discover that general. in conformity with the previous rule.depicted on the fancy.. should then have to begin it differently. and that all 1 ." Amsterdam ed. Let us then take as fixed and certain that perfectly definite 'questions' are almost free from difficulty other than that of transmuting ratios so that they may show in a unifor- mity of type 4 . A. inaequalitatis. stated about the twelfth rule that this But it follows from what we must be the real extension of has body abstracted from everything figure . Though one thing can be said to be more or less white than another.

this conception of his 2 . rather than to be an For the employment of the rules which I is much easier in the study of Arithmetic is and Geometry (and it is all that inquiries of any other kind. .57 disengaged from reference to every other subject. But the way in which people ordinarily think about them. yet obscures our knowledge with many ambiguous and ill-conceived principles. 1 persuade himself. that would not prevent extension in itself alone existing. and immediately stated in terms of extension and figure. and it depth. By does it extension we understand whatever has length. presume no knowledge of anything in mathematics except perhaps such facts as are self-evident and obvious to everyone. For even though someone could . It is about these alone that to we shall for this reason henceforth treat. 2 idea. up and as far as the twenty-fifth rule.For Direction . nor appear to require further explanation. He will admit this himself. as will then 1 philosophiea. that this part have no hesitation in saying that our method was it was not the case that of invented for the purpose of dealing with mathematical problems. omitting the consideration of everything else. if he reflect attentively on this very image of extension when. would not involve the use of any corporeal image but would be based on a false judgment of the intellect working by itself. which we shall try I shall incidentally to correct in the following pages. arts. I needed in learning them) than in Further its usefulness as a means is towards the attainment of a profounder knowledge so great. M}' desire is that here I may find a reader who I is an eager student of Arithmetic and Geometry. not inquiring whether be a real body or merely space is . though indeed should prefer him to have had no practice in these here unfold adept after the ordinary standard. Hence we announce that by extension we do not here mean anything distinct and separate from the extended object itself and we make it a rule not to recognize those metaphysical entities which really cannot be presented to the imagination. even though not vitiated by any glaring errors. for example. and even those matters of which no peasant is ever in doubt become invested in obscurity. that supposing every extended object in the universe were annihilated. but rather that mathematics should be studied almost solely for the purpose of training us in this method. breadth. since there nothing- more easily perceived by our imagination. Yet the learned frequently employ distinctions so subtle that the light of nature is dissipated in attending to them.

or better. but that his imagination of his quite different from judgment about it. if my I I idea of Peter is quite different from that of wealth. in order to avoid occupies place. the extended is This a peculiarity of those entities which have their being merely in something else. that a subject occupies place owing to the fact that extended. if I my tin- should have said extensio. as when I say that which is extended Yet that is no reason why. How different is it with those matters which arc If. and extension is not body. For he will notice that. Let us now take up these words the meaning of extension is : body possesses extension. image is So quite different from that which 1 say Paul is ivealthii. I example. ' the conception of the two. Here not identical with that of body. and from the point of view of the thing said : it is exactly as extended. whatever our understanding may believe as to the truth of the matter. really distinct from the subjects of which they are predicated. the other of extension. body possesses extension. it should be better to use the term that which is extended .' although we believe that there is no difference in . Rides it in his imagination. it will be worth our while to distinguish carefully the ideas which in each separate case are to convey to the underTo this end we standing the meaning of the words we employ. - extensum. as he perceives it is not divested of a reference to it is every object. which it is is. But since henceforth we are to attempt nothing without the aid of the imagination. he tries to construct it. and can never be conceived without the subject in which they for exist. My conception entirely the same if say extension occupies place. that which if Someone might interpret the expression is I to mean merely extended is an object occupying place. ambiguity. yet we do not construct two distinct ideas in our imagination. just in the same way as 1 had said that which is animate occupies place. The I first statement shows how extension is may is be substituted for that which extended. but merely a single image of extended body . say Peter has wealth. This explains why we announced that here we would treat of extension preferring that 2 to the extended . . for that does not indicate so distinctly our precise meaning. extension submit for consideration these three forms of expression : occupies place. Consequently. those abstract entities are never given to our imagination as separate from the objects in which they inhere. if I had i> body is extended.58 happen. one of body.

are used in so restricted a way as to exclude matters from which they are not really distinct. a surface. . in the same way : as Paul's wealth is something- different from Paul himself. number. which alone has the power of separating out abstract entities of this type. represent a genuine image. unity is not a quantity. point. cannot be to themselves by means of is Now such an idea necessarily involves the concept not body. it is both possible and necessary to use the imagination as an aid. In fact this entire assertion the work of the naked understanding. etc. term extension give it this is taken quite otherwise than as above. do not exclude or deny anything from which they are not really distinct. and may never imprudently believe that they have been excluded. propositions the limit of etc. Thus. the line point of a line . Consequently we shall not discuss them in the sequel. in order that the very understanding itself may be able to fix upon other features belonging to it that are not expressed by the name in question. whenever there is occasion to do so. it so taken. a supertheir heedlessness involves : ficies is ths boundary of a body. and if they say that extension so conceived them in the contradiction of saying that the same thing is at the same time body and not body. take the expression not body. is Failure to distinguish the diversity between these two cases the cause of the error of those numerous people who believe that extension contains something distinct from that is which extended. But we should carefully note that in all other propositions in which these terms. superficies. . It is likewise of great moment to distinguish the meaning of the enunciations in which such names as extension. who. if they are to be true. Thus when we say extension or figure is not body . though retaining the same signification and employed in abstraction from their subject matter. of body.For Direction wealthy 59 man is wealthy. is Here the When we to it iu meaning there no special idea corresponding is the imagination. if number be the 1 1 ideam. not perceiving that extension grasped by the imagination. the imagination nevertheless ought to fashion a correct image of the object. line. unity. The reason is that even though the understanding in the strict sense attends merely to what is signified by the name. the all these and similar must be taken altogether outside the bounds of the imagination. figure. extension is Finally. But this is a stumbling-block for many. number is not the thing that is counted .

let us remember that we are concerned with an extended subject. though still the same.60 question. In the same way. empty inanities in which that the object which they certainly would not believe so strongly. is conceived But. But this is what those people do who ascribe mysterious properties to number. notwithstanding the length of my discourse. yet he subsequently wishes to generate the one out of the other. the movement . not to create a surface. all though the most certain of astray here. without denying it. ing to confine Now though attention for the present solely to the multiplicity displayed by the object. while in the case of the point the object. it to take more time in going over these matters.'s conjecture of ' idem ' • item. I fear that men's minds are so dominated by prejudice that very few are free from the danger of losing their way here. is merely a mode of body. not noticing that a line. and we shall leave out the element of The line will be considered as having depth. and T. object let us reflect that we are dealing with the very same thing. In spite of the way in which I have dwelt on this topic. unless they conceived number was something distinct from the things we number. line is really a body or that. though we restrict ourselves When body is the to conceiving it merely as possessing figure. Those very disciplines Arithmetic and Geometry. comes in. will be more expeditious for us to expound the way in which we assume our for 1 Adopting A. Rules we imagine an its object which it is we can measure by summing allowable for the understand- a plurality of units. we must be on our guard nevertheless not on that account afterwards to come to any conclusion which implies we have described numerically has been excluded from our concept. and that. the which has no breadth. that 1 length merely.' . will be divested in our thought of every characteristic save that of being something existent. if we are dealing with figure. our object will still be the same though we conceive it as having length and breadth. on the other hand. surfaces of which no depth . the sciences. breadth and depth. Where superficies taken as possessing length. but are Does not your Geomereally distinct objects of the imagination ? trician obscure the clearness of his subject by employing irreconcile- able principles ? He tells you that lines have no breadth. nevertheless lead us For is there a single Arithmetician who does not believe that the numbers with which he deals are not merely held in abstraction from any subject matter by the understanding. I shall be found to have explained myself too briefly.

considering nothing at all involved in it save extension. Thus we measure centuries by days. in order that 61 easily give a we may most proof of whatsoever is true in Arithmetic and Geometry. . gives us exactly that dimension in terms of which we apply number to objects. whether it exist in the real order of things or be merely the work of the understanding. too. It clearly follows that there may be an infinite number of dimensions in the same subject. We assume such a simplification of our problems as to leave nothing else to be inquired about except the determination of a certain extension by comparing of fact it with a certain other extension that is already deter- minately known. is ever so such that we may discover some uniformity 1 is so. we shall finish with a total of centuries. quod est iguotum. the operation then said to be counting. viz. . Here therefore we deal with an extended object. and figure. a dimension of motion. sions but weight also is is a dimension in terms of which the heaviness So. unity consider everything that can aid us in setting out differences in but there are only three such features. and hours. Thus not merely the case that length. By dimension it is I understand not precisely the mode and aspect is according to which a subject considered to be measurable. stitutes there terms. while if we count up moments. whereas if we look upon the whole as something split up into parts. between what it is unknown and something known. hours moments. and purposely refraining from using the word quantity. For here we do not look to discover any new sort we merely wish to make a simplification of ratios. For that very division of the whole into a number of parts of identical nature. extension itself we dimension. breadth and depth are dimen. it is an object which we measure. aequale euidam cognito reperiatur. because there are certain Philosophers so subtle as to distinguish it also from extension. is sufficiently served if in more extensions. is Again that mode which connumber is properly said to be a species of dimension.For Direction object should be taken. years. days and years. and there are an infinite number of similar instances. be they involved. which make no addition at all to the conversely 1 ut illud. though not an absolute identity between the meaning of the two For if we proceed by taking part after part until we reach is the whole. Since this in certain that whatsoever differences in ratio exist these subjects can be found to prevail also between two or Hence our purpose ratio . speed is of objects estimated.

noted. all and area. Yet all these subdivisions are exactly similar if considered merely from the point of view of dimension. Similarly in a trapezium five facts have to be so on. And though these three dimensions have a real basis in every extended object qua extended. own mind. as we ought to regard them both here and in the science of Mathematics. viz. that science almost everyone goes wrong in conceiving that quantity line. from taking any of the extensions it presents as the length. Now if these can be styled dimensions. the other. since in solid. in a tetrahedron six. breadth and depth. the superficies. are only in name in distinct from one another. we attend to only a few we shall yet cover them all in time. length. so that though in distinguishing as many elements simultaneously. and any so on. For the art of our method consists as possible. the much light on Geometry. and the line But we are have already stated that the another. For example in the case of the triangle. or are the arbitrary inventions of our real existing in a body. But it is otherwise with the division of the day into hours and moments. etc. Weight indeed something and the speed of motion is a reality. and the superficies not conceived as being really distinct from solid body. which are either mental creations or have some other ground in objects. or from one Moreover if they are taken in their bare essence as abstractions of the understanding. even though we know that in the matter set before us with which we are dealing several others are involved. or any other as its depth. Incidentally also we have to note that the three dimensions of body. and and so forth. solid For there is nothing to prevent us.62 Rules same meaning whether is objects which possess them. they are no more diverse ' species of quantity than the ' animal ' and ' living creature in man are diverse species of substance. to inquire It falls rather to Physics whether they are founded on anything real. we must acquaint its ourselves with three features of its existence. Recognition of this fact throws has three species. or two sides or two angles and an angle. either its three sides. we have nevertheless no special concern in this science with them more than with countless others. it if we wish to measure exactly. but have the they are based on anything real in the objects themselves. taking one after . But we wish to choose here those dimensions which shall give most aid to our imagination. body with which we are dealing. Ave shall never attend at the same time to more than one or two of those depicted in our imagination. and so with the division of a century into years and days.

its considered as generating a line by movement . or (3) as a square. etc. 6. or by any other of all the magnitude we others. Previous versions give 'triangulorum. means of which these For example we have the points Now may be 2 which represent a triangular number. 1 Now these are figures designed to express multitudines. we can represent it by une of the magnitudes already presented to us. 3.' conjecture. viz. that of the innumerable diverse species of we shall employ only those which most readily express differences of relation or proportion. in this place.. If this be not already settled in our problems. and thus can be constructed from any number n according to the formula n (n + 1) 2 2 * . and it will be the it common measure We shall understand that in there exists every dimension fouud in those very widely sundered facts which are to be compared with each other. It remains to give notice figure. we is shall as a line. 1. and T. sorts of objects only 1 which are compared numerical assemblages and magnitudes.For Direction The unit all is 63 above remarked. we have already shown above how it alone that give us a means of constructing the images of all To come they objects whatsoever. 10. to figures. there are also two sorts of figures by presented to our conception. omitting every other it either (1) merely deter- more precise or (2) mination conceive — and then it it will be identical with the point of Geometry. or again the 'tree' which illustrates genealogical relation as in such a case Father Sou Daughter So in similar instances. Moreover there are two with each other. as the things compared with each other should equally participate. viz.' 'Triangular' numbers are the sums of the natural numbers. A. 'triangularis. that common element in which. like. and we shall conceive as something extended.

by the help of the unit we have assumed. either to order or to measurement. But I can recognize the ratio of the magnitude of two to that of three. if we are to compare two diverse things Finally 1 ' pertinebat. viz. and T. without considering anything except these two — the extreme terms of the relation. ought to be known that the relations which can exist between things of this kind. and that we ought not to attend to more than these two simultaneously in the same figure. ' pertineat. only by considering some third thing.' . which makes this practically its sole subject. and that this can always be partly realised.. Further it is possible to arrange our assemblage of 1 units in such an order that the problem which previously was one question in measurement. as is the case in measurement. now a Now our method is helps us greatly in making the progress which this transformation effects.' conj. divided like the triangle. namely unity. must be referred to two heads. and not requiring mediation by means of a third term. and ms. A. continuous magnitudes can sometimes be reduced in their entirety to numerical expressions. For I recognize the order in which A and H stand. We must likewise bear in mind that.64 numerical assemblages . which is the common measure of both. remember that of the dimensions of continuous magnitude none are more distinctly conceived than length and breadth. yet once the order has been disrule no difficulty at all in knowing it. for the reason that in this class of relation the bond between the terms is a direct one involving nothing but the terms themselves. We must further realise that while the discovery of an order is no light task. But in order that it we may point out which of all these figures all we are going to use. as covered there is may be seen throughout this treatise. edd. Rides but those which are continuous and unetc. the square. The unfolding of relations of measurement will therefore be all that we shall treat of here. requiring the solution of a matter merely involving an inspection of order. The seventh shows us how we may easily review in sequence mentally the separate elements which have been arranged in order. explain the nature of magnitudes. .

So also the terms of our proposition. viz. in order thus to facilitate the continued fixation of our attention. To begin D. we shall always remember that the unit is an object extended in every direction. H. our method consists in reviewing them successively and attending only to two of them at the same time. or secondly by line. The reason that Observation of these facts leads us easily to our conclusion. again a plurality of units or number also. the images distinctly formed in our imagination is may be the more quite self-evident. which actually has extension. Human ingenuity can devise nothing simpler for the complete expression of differences of relation. But however it is depicted and conceived. • . is that there is no less reason for abstracting our propositions from those figures of which Geometry treats.' A by Gamier. 1 "Where they are incommensurable with our unit we shall employ the following figure. or lastly by a it is point. in cases where we have to attend at the same time to two different magnitudes belonging to them. Finally those same figures have to represent for us now continuous magnitudes. will be represented by a rectangle whose two sides will be the two magnitudes in question. . 65 when we have more than two diverse things to compare with each other. if we take it merely as having length. It is likewise very often helpful to draw these figures and display them to the external senses. Rule XV. with we represent unity in three ways. if we think only of the fact that that by aid of which we construct a numerical assemblage. as we have already said. if we consider our unit as having length and breadth. The way in which these figures should be depicted so that. . than from any other subject matter. and Leibniz's R. or else straight lines. a by a square. in doing so we need retain nothing but rectilinear and rectangular which we also call figures. in being displayed before our eyes. and admitting of countless dimensions. have ' commensurabiles. Further. because they serve quite as well as surfaces in aiding us to imagine an object superficies. The Amsterdam ed. if the inquiry is one This involving them. 1 correction first made ms. is.For Direction with each other.

. is But 3 because our maxim that not more than two different dimensions out of the countless number that can be depicted in our imagination ought to be the object either of our bodily or of our mental vision. rather than by complete figures. it is of importance so to retain all those outside the range of present attention that they as need requires.66 Rules 1 but where they are commensurable we shall use this or this and nothing more is needed save where Finally if it is a question of a to one of numerical assemblage of units. 2 It is not clear whether this means incommensurable with the standard unit of length or incommensurable with a surface. we shall portray that either as a rectangle. we attend only the magnitudes of the terms employed. note on Rule XIV. represent them by highly abbreviated symbols.' omitting what ' follows the figures. prevents that distractio?i of thought which an effort to keep those matters in mind while attending to other inferences would cause. . may easily come up to mind as often Now memory seems to be a faculty created by But since it is liable nature for this very purpose. in this fashion. Or we take it as be a number. and need of expending any part of our attention If we adopt a 'and it is different punctuation of the text. on the other. ad init. of which one side is the magnitude considered and the other is unity. if an incommensurable 2 length or thus. . When we come attention.' ' ' 3 Cf. and. even though they are necessary to our conclusion. if it surface. Rule XVI. the sentence will continue only a question of a numerical assemblage of units. This guards against error due to defect of memory on the one hand. in order to obviate the 1 to fail us. to across matters which do not require our present it is better. thus \_ _J — and this will happen whenever the magnitude has to be compared with some we shall employ a line alone.

2. for the purpose of making to But make things easier we shall number. by requiring the mind to grasp a number of things at the same time. To these we shall often prefix the numerical symbols. and A. employ the characters a. C. Relying on the help this gives us. art has most opportunely invented the device of writing.. symbolised by the letter relations. to traverse them as all with an extremely rapid motion of our thought and include as possible in a single intuitive glance. in order that. or anything to exercise our mental powers to no purpose. it is which the chief thing. for symbolising those that are unknown. etc. b. display the terms of our problem in so such a detached and unencumbered way that. but chiefly that those portions of the matter considered which are relevant to the problem may always remain distinct. therefore. i. or else by some number. after distinctly examining each point in accordance with Rule IX. In doing so we employ the very briefest symbols.' By is this and which contains three device not only shall we economize our words. and again we shall append those symbols to the former when we want to indicate the number of the relations which 3 are to be remarked in them. and set down on paper whatever ought to be preserved. we must that while Arithmeticians have been wont to designate undivided magnitudes by groups of units. 1. B. even though full as to omit nothing. is many Everything.For Direction in refreshing it. there will nevertheless be nothing superfluous to be discovered in our symbols. and all. we may be able. may not be Thus if entangled with numbers are trying to find the 12. 15. we leave nothing whatsoever to memory. 67 while we are engaged with other thoughts. etc. But we shall 5—2 . may be more clearly understood. all this In order that note first. will be represented by a single symbol which can be constructed in any way we please. Our reason for doing this is partly to avoid the tedium of a long and superfluous calculation. etc. a. 3.e. that are of no help to us at we hypotenuse of the right-angled triangle whose sides are 9 and the Arithmetician will tell us that it is J225. Thus if I employ the formula 2a that clear their will be the equivalent of the words 'the double of the magnitude is which but. as we did little time ago. c. but keep our imagination wholly free to receive the ideas which are immediately occupying us. which to be looked upon as single from the point of view of the solution of our problem. for expressing magnitudes already known. as Rule XI bids us do. we on the other hand abstract at this point from numbers themselves no a less than from Geometrical figures or anything else. 4.

Therefore we single ratio. in accordance with the previous rule. has a triple relation to the standard unit. are merely magnitudes in continued proportion. I saw that this whole nomenclature must be abandoned. is nevertheless never to be presented to the imagination otherwise than as a line or a surface. express due to the double function of which use the same symbols to is now order.. after testing the matter well. in order to see whether . the square.68 write a Rides and b in place of 9 and 12. being mediated by the first and second. For. which in Algebra is styled the shall radix. which always imply the previous assumption of that arbitrarily chosen unit of which we spoke above. This numbers. after seeking a solution we ought to transform its terms by them the given numbers. Now the first proportional is related to this unit directly and by a But the second proportional requires the mediation of the first. if our conceptions are not to become confused for that very magnitude which goes by I confess that for a long time I myself was imposed . after the straight line and the square there was nothing which seemed to be capable of being placed more clearly before my imagination than the cube and the other figures of the same type and with their aid I succeeded in solving not a few difficulties. we abstract the terms involved from certain numerical complications. the first proportional. But at last. Hence. clear We must therefore be very about the fact that the radix. substituting for and now measure. and shall find the hypotenuse to be 2 and the two members of the expression a and b 2 will remain distinct. already pointed out. and so on. it yet often happens that a Finally simpler solution will be found by employing the given numbers than if we abstract from them. The third. the cube. etc. the second the square. shall henceforth call that magnitude. it must be noticed that even though here. such the Algebra now in vogue attempts to express by sundry dimenI sions and figures. It calls the first of these the radix. and so on. the fourth the biquadratic. in general terms for our problem. quantity as mean a sequence of ratios in continued proportion. the name of the cube or the biquadratic. that called the square we term the second proportional. upon by these names. Note further that by the number of relations attaching to a 2 Ja + b 2 . in order to examine the nature of a difficulty. and consequently is related to the unit by a pair of ratios. and so in other cases. the third the cube. whereas the number confuses them altogether. I discovered that I had never found out anything by their means which I could not have recognized more easily and distinctly without employing their aid.

What 1 should write therefore would be something like this: In the right-angled triangle ABC to find the hypotenuse AC (stating the problem abstractly. is Then we should state the way in which the to be made and the symbols to be employed. insist on all those distinctions. to be is committed to memory. evident and distinct. This will let us see that a hypotenuse whose length is 15 is commensurable with sides whose lengths are 9 and 12. the root of which. . are quite content even though they do not perceive how this it depends upon the data. quite apart from the general law that it is the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle whose sides are as 3 to 4. must be observed if that. or mean proportional between unity and 225. as a general rule. We. 69 Thus. after seeing that the hypotenuse of the right-angled triangle whose sides and b is \fa 2 + b 2 we should substitute 81 for a 2 and 144 for b These added together give 225. nothing that does not require to be continuously borne in mind ought paper. abstract formulation in order that. who. we can set it down on This to prevent that waste of our powers which occurs if some part of our attention is taken up with the presence of an object in our thought which it is superfluous to bear in mind.For Direction these supply us with any simpler solution. to illustrate. What we ought to do is to make a reference-table and set down in it the terms of the problem as they are first stated. whose object is to discover a knowledge of things which shall be are a 2 . if It is quite otherwise with Arithmeticians. when the symbols. easily apply without calling in the aid of memory to the particular case we are considering : for it is only in passing from a lesser to a greater degree of generality that abstraction has any raison d'etre. in order that the derivation of the length of the hypotenuse from the lengths of the sides may be quite . the result required turns up. solution has been obtained in terms of these it. is 15. . it it is really in knowledge of kind alone that science properly consists. though Moreover. we may at all.

and so in succession. Rule XVII. where we expounded the nature of that chain of propositions. to the fact that these four rules will be further employed in the third part of this Treatise. 49. from the fact that they bear such and such a relation to certain other magnitudes already given. by which we indirect. for Rules Then for AB.70 general). and so too the third to the second. a comparison of the neighbouring members In order to understand this of which enables us to see how we ' the first is related to the last. terms are to connection. when the problems are determinate and fully comprehended. BC. For the present. I put b. we may abstract them from their subject matter and so transform them that nothing remains to be investigated save how to discover certain magnitudes. Now therefore 1 • fix our attention on the interdependp. however numerous. subordinated to one another • the second stand to the as the first to unity. But all this will be explained in its proper place. we draw attention similarly in other cases. which is equal to 9. I remark that is in every inquiry that is is to be solved by deduction there one way that plain and direct. and To conclude. But in the five following rules we shall now explain how these same problems are to be treated in such a way that though a single proposition contains ever so many unknown magnitudes they will may all be first. will also aid us do The four previous rules showed us how. and the fourth to the third. when presenting mind to the dependence of separate items this. a total magnitude uniform 1 with a certain known magnitude. though we shall conceive them somewhat more generally than we have been doing. making. I shall substitute a. on one another. known. and for this reason neglecting the fact that To follow the true others unknown. even though it is not so easy to deduce the intermediate terms from the if extremes. equal to 12. while all other routes are more difficult and we must remember what was said relative to the eleventh rule. In doing this our method will be so sure that we may safely affirm that it passes the wit of man to reduce our terms to anything simpler. When a 'problem some of its is proposed for discussion we should run it over. taking a direct course. aequalem here translated as ou . may more easily than by any other pass from one set of terms to another. however.

e. treating them as though they were unknowm. and because will be easier to deal with them at a later It is often that the multiplicity of rules proceeds from lack of experience on the part of the teacher and matters that might . Of these the two latter are often it dispensed with here. given certain extremes. Wherefore we it is propose to reduce the whole of the operations which in going through our inquiry. multiplication end only four operations are required. to find certain intermediates by the inverse process of reasoning. even those which are known. in which is. This determination also is such that if. subtracand division. we should want to deduce the nature of the middle terms which connect them. To to be this tion. . as of the most of what is immediately to follow. review the problem in a direct manner. latter. and the last to be connected with each other in a certain way.For Direction that we 71 ence of the various links. we consider the terms which first present themselves and reckon them even though unknown among the known. But first from the fact that we know the because here the problem we are considering only involved inquiries. we if. and thus deduce from them step by step and by a true connection all the other terms. without ever interrupting the order. on the other hand. have been reduced to one general rule are less clear if distributed among many particular statements. 1 advisable to employ i. and thus being able to adopt the easy and direct method of disclosed will consist in treating the investigation even in problems involving any amount of intricacy. since we have assumed from the commencement of this section of our work that we recognize the dependence of the unknown terms in the inquiry on those that are known to be such that the former are determined by the recognizing it. in deducing certain magnitudes No such rule has been found among Descartes' papers. Rule XVIII. so may thence infer how the last depends upon the first. But. Illustrations of this doctrine. will be reserved until the twenty-fourth rule 1 . addition. There is nothing to prevent us always achieving this result. stage. both in order to avoid any unforeseen com- plication. the whole of the device here unknown as though they were known. we shall fully realise the purpose of this rule. we should then be following an order that was wholly indirect and upside down. since it will be more convenient to expound them there.

to a 3 i. i. which 2 . 5. become clear when we come to explain these is how it is that they suffice for the purpose.e. a magnitude from others that are determinately it is any way contained.e. 5. and i. at the third. If. . a. magnitude from others from which it is wholly diverse and in which it is in nowise contained. if the proportion 1 be direct. adhere his scheme of employing capital letters for the unknown quantities. to a. say 9. 315.e. we must find some other way of relating it to them.e.e. and so on. then a and b are at the second position.e. and has the first of magnitudes in continued proportion. the process is one of addition. and we are seeking. then abc is in the terms cases. So too if we are further told that as 1 is to c. Again. Now if we trace out this connection or relation directly we must employ multiplication if indirectly. . b and c. say 5. and ab. For the multiplication is performed in precisely the same way. i. say 5. 7. is to . 5. so it is in other Likewise as is 1 is to a. as unity is to a. If we discover the part because we already know the whole and the excess of the whole over this part. But 1 if we now first are told that. 125. different number. i. by any other methods. or. 35. to the magnitude to be found which is ab.e. Further. In explaining clearly these latter two operations the fact grasped that the unit of which we spoke before foundation of all is must be here the basis and place in the series the relations.e. Further it is impossible to derive fixed. say 35. to derive a . This how we proceed. 125 3 . the pro- portion be indirect. in it is division. 25.e. 625. so is b. is given. If we arrive at the knowledge of one magnitude owing to the fact that we already know the parts of which it is composed. the last. whether the magnitude is multiplied by itself or by some other quite so is . and that which given. i.72 Rules It will from others. while those to be discovered stand at the third. so is ab. i. however. as unity finally as unity is to a. is Thus if it is stated that as unity is to a. so is a i. to the magnitude fourth position. 25. their product. and in which But if we have division. the magnitude to be discovered occupies the second position or the other intermediate points. and could not conveniently.e.e. a 2 i. say to 5. is the product of two multiplications among the which are at the second position . the given instead of ' A correction made by Cousin—' proportio ' proposition to Note that here Descartes does not. the fourth and the remaining points in the series. to as few as four heads. to a\ i. i. so a. remember that the given magnitudes occupy the second position.

case is the same is the proposition is. In addition or subtraction we conceive our object under the aspect of a alone to some extended magnitude in which length be considered. the quaesitum.' or extract the cube root of a 3 i. For if we are to add line a to line b. ' which we also have to similarly in other cases.e.' although we must note that these latter specimens of the process contain more difficulty than the former._ .e. 125.' and so in other cases.e. say 7. 125. . 25. 25. and that indicated by a2 / 3 or 'find two mean proportionals between unity and a . find a mean proportional between that assumed magnitude. 25.e. the quaesitum. which if also given. the given dividend. For on such occasions the meaning is the same as if the enunciation were. or of i is a - — a . the quaesitum.' and so in : it other cases. say . which fall is given title ' All these processes under the division. c ^- 1 .For Direction divisor. in order that we may explain how they may be used or practised. For the only way to discover B. and consequently it involves a greater number of relations in such problems. which we call unity. or again. 'as unity to A. i. line. get as a result c. discover. 73 to ab. From these considerations it is easy to infer how these two operations suffice for the discovery of any magnitudes whatsoever which are to be deduced from others in virtue of some relation.e. And now that we have grasped them. to a2 . This then is the way in which Arithmeticians commonly put the matter. to a 3 .e. . so is this i. the quaesitum. . so A i. i. the next thing to do is to show how these operations are to be brought before the scrutiny of the imagination and how presented to our actual vision. i \ . because the magnitude to be found conies in a number of times in them. so is B. we add the one to the other in the following way ab. 35. The 5. is is to divide the given ab by a. i. A 5.e. problems in the terms employed by Geometricians ' comes to the same thing if we say. i § . which is is given' 2 . extract the square root of a 2 i. we have on this occasion an example of the indirect or is inverted order. But alternatively we may explain the greater ' ' . 'as unity to A.

which the smaller cannot lines. we fit them together at right angles in the following way. . viz. and so make the rectangle b t t- Again. In multiplication we also conceive the given magnitudes as But we imagine a rectangle we multiply a by b. viz. b< . to be constructed out of them . b from a. for. if we wish to multiply ab by c. if cover. and this will give us that part of the larger .74 But if Rules the smaller has to be taken from the larger. we place the one above the other thus.

For Direction we ought to conceive 75 ab as a a line. one side of which is the Thus if the rectangle ab is to divisor and the other the quotient. ab. b in order that to represent abc we may obtain the following ab figure l\ i Finally in a division in which the divisor is given. we imagine the magnitude to be divided to be a rectangle. * 4 we take away from it the breadth a and are b left with b for quotient . viz. be divided by a.

a rectangle. constructed by the multiplication of two presently be conceived as a operation. divided. has next to be conceived as some other rectangle drawn upon the line by which it is to be further divided. but only indicated by some relation. and conversely how a line or even a rectangle the side may be turned This is into another rectangle of which indicated. we always conceive those lines as rectangles. and at present of thought we are treating only of questions in which the is movement to be direct. according to our hypothesis those operations have not yet been fully dealt with here. one side of which 1 is the length that we took to i. the direct operations. as it is was said in reference to the fourteenth rule. But in those divisions in which the divisor is not given. for the purpose of some Or it may be the case that the same rectangle. nevertheless frequently the case that. since to be carried out they require an indirect and reverse movement on the part of the imagination . provided they recognize that whenever we compare lines with some rectangle. must be always conceived as lines in continued proporunity. then when we are bidden extract the square to be divided we must note that the term first is and all the others tion. we take away the height and the quotient be a. first For even though on our taking up some problem we are free to conceive the terms involved as lines or as rectangles. as or cube root. It is therefore angle may is worth our while here to expound how every rectbe transformed into a line. Nevertheless employed in them are to be constructed. in the course of the solution. As for the other 1 operations. they can be carried out with the greatest ease in the way in it which we have stated they are to be remains for us to show how the terms conceived.76 Rtdes the contrary b. must line. without introducing any other figures. . On if this rectangle will is divided by b. or a line formed by some addition or subtraction. of which the the last the magnitude to be The way in which any number of mean proportionals between this and unity may be discovered will be disclosed in its At present it is sufficient to have pointed out that proper place. what was lines.e. the easiest thing in the world for Geometricians to do. as here.

and in Leibniz's ms. we have neglected. one familiar to a mere beginner in should seem to have omitted Geometry. for the purpose of handling the problem in the direct way . 2 This appears both in the Amsterdam ed. into 77 For if we do : so the whole matter resolves itself to construct the following proposition it another rectangle equal to Given a rectangle. and in Leibniz's ms. For this will give us as many equations as there are unknowns. Having we can got our equations. The rest is wanting ' is added here both in the Amsterdam ed. that the terms of which do not occupy so many places in the series of magnitudes that are in continued proportion. treated as though they were Employing this method of reasoning we have to known.For Direction represent our unit. this problem is it. If there are several equations of this kind. we should reduce them all to a single one. we must proceed to carry out such operations as divide. Rule XX. viz. find out as many magnitudes as we have unknown terms. The terms of the equation should then be themselves arranged in order which this series follows. taking care never to multiply where Rule XXI. upon a given side. and these must be expressed in the two different ways. wish to explain something Rule XIX. lest I Now though I 1 . the The End 2 1 ' . .

.

DISCOURSE ON METHOD .

They. anonymity of his and announcing the author's name.' (the Dioptric. The Latin version is the work of fitienne de Courcelles. Descartes endeavoured to preserve the work with scrupulous care. . his views when forty years of age. and was published in 1644 by Louis Elzevir at the same time as the 'Principles. he felt that it was time to bring before the public and publish them abroad. had become less friendly. a protestant minister at Amsterdam. The Elzevirs naturally suggested themselves as the publishers to be selected. In the end he found himself compelled to avow his authorship. S. evidently doubting the success of an anonymous book of the kind. may be better judges of opinions than those who give heed only to the writings of the ancients/ Four hundred copies were given him for distribution to his friends and this was probably all the remuneration that he expected none other seems in any case to have come to him. 1 the in 1637 Method and Essays was originally published by Jan Maire of Leiden. and was annoyed by his zealous but fussy friend Mersenne showing the work to others. and consequently the author went elsewhere.' in the hope that those who avail themselves of their natural reason alone. The Discourse on anonymously form. H. especially as they had once before made advances and as the original member of the firm resided in Leiden. . with the ostensible object of obtaining from the King of France permission for its publication. however.PREFATORY NOTE TO THE METHOD. The book was as Descartes says. In 1636. in somewhat shabby It ' World was Descartes' first published work. written in French ' ' the language of my my country. however. the much talked of or Cosmos having been suppressed or destroyed on his ' ' hearing of the condemnation of Galileo in 1632. the Meteors 1 The Essays here. where Descartes probably was at the time. and the Geometry) which are termed Essays on this Method ' have not been translated E.

in the second. principal rules regarding the Method which the authm* has sought out. for everybody thinks himself so abundantly provided all that even those most difficult to please in it other matters It do not commonly desire more of is than they already possess. in addition to the reasons that Part I. and of some other difficulties which pertain to medicine. And in the first there will be found various considerations respecting the sciences.DISCOURSE ON THE METHOD OF RIGHTLY CONDUCTING THE REASON AND SEEKING FOR TRUTH IN THE SCIENCES. H. Hence too it will show that the diversity of our opinions does not proceed from some men being more rational than others. to those And in the last part the questions raised relate believes to be requisite in order to matters which the author advance further in the investigation caused him to write. is by nature equal in all men. is of all things in the world the most equally distributed. If this Discourse appears too long to be read all at once. In the the human soul. which fifth. In the fourth are the reasons by which he proves the existence of God and of the form the foundation of his Metaphysic. but solely from the fact that our thoughts pass through R. while in the third are some of the rules of morality which he has derived from this Method. which is properly speaking what is called Good sense or Reason. of nature. it may the be separated into six pensions. 6 . the order of questions regarding physics which he has investigated. and particularly the explanation of the movement of the heart. . as also the difference between the soul of man and that of the brutes. unlikely that this is an error on their part it seems rather to be evidence in support of the view that the power of forming a good judgment and of distinguishing the true from the false. Good sense with it.

simply as men. For to be possessed of good mental powers is not sufficient the The greatest minds are principal matter is to apply them well. provided they always follow the straight road. any which do not seem to me vain and useless. looking with the eye of a philosopher on the diverse actions and enterprises of all mankind. opinion of the philosophers. really advance much faster than those who. in lighting upon and pursuing certain paths which have conducted me to considerations and maxims from which I have formed a Method. that possibly I deceive I take to be gold and diamonds is perhaps no . however. or as thought even longed to possess accurate and distinct. For as reason inasmuch as to be it the only thing that constitutes us fain men and it distinguishes us from the brutes. capable of the greatest vices as well as of the greatest virtues. if amongst the occupations of men.82 diverse channels and the Discourse same objects are not considered by all. I do not cease to receive extreme satisfaction in the progress which I seem to have already made in the search after truth. and though. and to form such hopes for the future as to venture to believe that. even though I always try in the judgments make on myself to lean to the side of self. and . that is the one which I have I find scarcely selected. and that what It recollected. by whose assistance it appears to me I have the means of gradually increasing my knowledge and of fortune from little my by little raising it to the highest possible point which the mediocrity of my talents and the I I brief duration of my life can of permit me to reach. And sense. though they run.depreciation rather than to that of arrogance. or a memory as comprehensive or ready. besides these I do not know any other the is qualities that make or for the perfection of human mind. those who proceed very it. and follow the common who say that the question of more or less occurs only in the sphere of the accidents and does not affect the forms or natures of the individuals in the same species. must always be myself. forsake For myself I have never ventured to presume that my mind was I have in any way more perfect than that of the ordinary man imagination as an quick. I would believe that in this I is found complete in each individual. there is some one in particular that is excellent and important. slowly may. But I shall not hesitate to say that I have had great good youth up. For have already reaped from it fruits such a nature that. j as some to others.

there are possibly others also which it would not be right to follow. and as fertile in great minds. or. as any which had preceded. 6—2 . For I and errors that it had no effect other than the increasing discovery of my own ignorance. and thus in learning common talk what are the opinions which are held of it. And yet I was studying at one of the most celebrated Schools in Europe. but only to show in what manner I have endeavoured to conduct Those who set about giving precepts must esteem themselves more skilful than those to whom they advance them. and I did not feel that I was esteemed inferior to my fellow-students. and also judgments of our friends ought to our favour. I even read through all the books my hands. But regarding this Treatise simply as a history. there all that others learned. although there were amongst them some destined to fill the places of our masters. a fable in which. I entirely changed that is useful in life. a new means of obtaining self-instruction will be reached. the paths I how much the be suspected when they are in happy to But in this Discourse I shall be very set forth show ^ have followed. and not being satisfied with the sciences that found myself embarrassed with so many doubts seemed to me that the effort to instruct myself we were taught. I I and that all will thank me for my frankness. they fall my short in the smallest matter they must of course take the blame for it. which I shall add to those which I have been in the habit of using. And this made me take the liberty of judging all which fell into and rare. and since clear was given to believe that by their means a all and certain knowledge could be obtained of had an extreme desire to acquire instruction. so that everyone may judge of it for himself. amongst certain things which may be imitated. have been nourished on letters since my childhood. and to my life as in a picture. and if own. But so soon as I had achieved the entire course of study at the close of which one is usually received into the ranks of the learned. if you prefer it. And finally our century seemed to me as flourishing.on more than copper and the Method I 83 subject glass. Thus my design is not here to teach the Method which everyone from the should follow in order to promote the good conduct of his Reason. know how we are to delusion in whatever touches ourselves. where I thought that there must be men of I learned learning if they were to be found anywhere in the world. I hope that it will be of use to some without being hurtful to any. I my opinion. treating of what is considered most curious Along with this I knew the judgments that others had formed of me.

these books assist in forming a sound judgment. Medicine and all sciences bring honour finally that it is full and riches to those who cultivate them and good to have examined all things. instructive. fables make one imagine many events possible which in reality are not so. one becomes a stranger in one's own country. and avoid being deceived by them. nay a carefully studied conversation. the world such as I was formerly led to believe it did not omit. always to hold in esteem those exercises which are the occupation of the Schools. I knew that the Languages I which one learns there are essential for the understanding of all that fables with their charm stimulate the mind ancient literature . that Poesy that in Mathematics the subtlest discoveries and inventions which may accomplish much.84 Discourse others by myself and of coming to the conclusion that there was no learning in to be. that those writings that deal with Morals contain much that is . learned. and many exhortations to virtue which are most useful that Theology points out the way to Heaven . good and not to think that everything of a fashion not ours is absurd and contrary to reason. But when one employs too much time in travelling. Besides. practised in past centuries. considered that I had already given sufficient time to But ancients. however. both in satisfying the curious. one is know something judge more sanely to of the customs of different peoples in usually very ignorant about those which are practised in our own time. I was aware that the reading of all good books is indeed like a conversation with the noblest men of past centuries who were the authors of them. that Philosophy teaches us to speak with all things. that Jurisprudence. if they do not exactly mis- . and even the most accurate of histories. I languages and likewise even to the reading of the literature of the both their histories and their is fables. Eloquence to have a power and beauty beyond compare has most ravishing delicacy and sweetness there are . as do those who have seen nothing. and histories of memorable deeds exalt it. and in furthering all the arts. . in which I deemed they reveal to us none but the best of their thoughts. For to converse with those of other centuries It is almost the same thing as to travel. even those most of superstition and falsehood. in order that we may know their just value. and in diminishing man's labour. and that. and when one is too curious about things which were order to of our own. when read with discretion. an appearance of truth on by the less and causes us to be admired other .

or pride. and often thereupon. seeing that in so doing. it . and form projects beyond their power of performance. and thought that. and that those who regulate their conduct fall by examples which they derive from such a source. but they do not sufficiently teach us to become acquainted with them. I shall not say anything about Philosophy. or despair. which are yet built on sand and mud alone. no I loftier edifice had been reared compared the works of the ancient pagans which deal with Morals to palaces most superb and magnificent. I was astonished that. They praise the virtues most highly and show them to be more worthy of being prized than anything else in the world. believing that was of service only in the mechanical arts. Most but I of all was delighted with Mathematics because of the certainty of its demonstrations and the evidence of its reasoning it did not yet understand its true use. are liable to into the extravagances of the knights-errant of Romance. gifts of the was enamoured of mind rather than fruits of study. thoughts in order to render and who most them if ' clear and have the best power of persuasion even those they can but speak the language of Lower Brittany and have never learned Rhetoric.on the Method 85 order to render represent or exaggerate the value of things in them more worthy fact it follows that of being read. but that. would not fail who have the most delightful express them with the maximum to be the best poets even if the art of Poetry were unknown I to them. and that the revealed truths which conduct thither are quite above our intelligence. original ideas And of style and who know how to and suavity. I esteemed Eloquence most highly and I I Poesy. I should not have dared to submit them to the feebleness of I my reasonings . but thought that both were skilfully arrange their intelligible. at least omit in . seeing how firm and solid was its basis. the other hand that which is On called by a fine name is nothing but insensibility. in order to undertake to examine them and succeed was necessary to have some extraordinary assistance from above and to be more than a mere man. Those who have the strongest power of reasoning. I honoured our Theology and aspired as much as anyone to it reach to heaven. circumstances which are basest and least notable them all the and from this it what is retained is not portrayed as really is. or parricide. but having learned to regard assured fact that the road is as a most highly not less open to the most ignorant than to the most learned. and.

all supported by learned people. Then as to the other sciences. thanks be to God. and the issue of which would very soon punish him if he made a wrong judgment. nothing solid on foundations so far from And neither the honour nor the promised gain was sufficient to persuade me to cultivate them. For it seemed to me that I might meet with much more truth in the reasonings that each man makes on the matters that specially concern him. than in the case of those made by a man of letters in his study touching speculations which lead to no result. I principles from Philosophy. in collecting varied experiences. and which bring about no other consequences to himself excepting that he all will be the more vain the more they are removed from common sense. control of my tutors. and under to bear on the things circumstances bringing it. the predictions of an astrologer. to acquire. in seeing courts I employed the and armies. I esteemed as well-nigh false all that only went as far as being probable. . my youth in travel. the artifices or the empty boastings of any of those who make a profession of knowing that of which they are ignorant. And. I entirely quitted the study of And resolving to seek no other science than that which could be found in myself. I thought that I already knew enough what they were worth to be subject to deception neither by the promises of an alchemist. have ever conflicting opinions there may be regarding the self-same matter. I did not find myself in a condition which obliged the improvement of scorn I all me to make a merchandise I of science for my fortune. as to false doctrines. many centuries by the best minds that and that nevertheless no single thing is to be found in it which is not subject of dispute. or at least in the great rest of book of the world. my mind which came before so that I might some profit from my experience. as soon as age permitted me to emerge from the letters. yet had very small esteem for what could not hope excepting through fictitious titles. for. the impostures of a magician. although I did not pretend to glory like the Cynics. inasmuch as they derive their judged that one could have built firm. and. in inter- course with men of diverse temperaments and all conditions. I had not enough presumption to hope to fare better And also. well finally. while there can never be more than one which is true. in proving myself in the various predicaments in which derive I was placed by fortune.86 it Discourse has been cultivated for lived. considering how mauy there than other men had done. and in consequence which is not dubious. This is why.

and I remarked in them almost as much diversity as had formerly seen So much was this the case that the greatest profit which I derived from their study was that. my actions and to with confidence in this It is true that while I only considered the men I I found in them nothing to manners of other give me settled convictions. Part I II. those ancient cities which. although they seem to us very extrain the opinions of philosophers. to which country I had been attracted by the wars which are not yet at an end. I But should follow. it appeared to me. if I This succeeded much better. while fortunately I and carried out by the hands of various masters. the setting in of winter detained me in a quarter where. originally mere villages. In the same way also. And as I was returning from the coronation of the Emperor to join the army. in from the order to see clearly in life. I learned to believe nothing too certainly of which I had only been convinced by example and custom. I remained the whole day shut up alone in a stove-heated room. vagant and ridiculous. was then in Germany. Thus little by little I was delivered from many errors which might have after I obscured our natural vision and rendered us less capable of listening had employed several years in thus studying the book of the world and trying to acquire some experience. are usually . in seeing many things which. making use of old walls which were built with other ends in view. than had never departed either from my country or my books. I one day formed the resolution of also making myself an object of study and of employing all the strength of my mind in choosing the road to Reason. since I found no society to had also no cares or passions to trouble me. have become in the process of time great towns. And walk always had an excessive desire to learn to distinguish the true false. were yet commonly received and approved by other great nations. than in those on which one individual alone has worked.on since in this case it the Method much 87 the more proves him to have employed so trying to ingenuity and I skill in make them seem probable. Thus we see that buildings planned and carried out by one architect alone are usually more beautiful and better proportioned than those which many have tried to put in order and improve. where I had complete leisure to occupy myself with my own thoughts* One of the first of the considerations that occurred to me was that there is very often less perfection in works composed of divert me. several portions.

carried into effect the Thus it is quite constitution laid down by some prudent legislator.88 Discourse badly constructed in comparison with those which are regularly laid out on a plain by a surveyor who is free to follow his own ideas. ordinances Religion whose that the the true certain constitution of are of God alone is incomparably better regulated than any other. there often as much or more display of skill in the one case than in the have large buildings and small buildings indiscriminately placed together. And. merely forming their laws as the disagreeable necessities and quarrels constrained them. come imme- Again I thought that since we have all been children before being men. and since it has for long fallen to us to be governed by our appetites and by our teachers (who often enough contradicted one another. . And lence of each thought that the sciences found in books— in those at least whose reasonings are only probable and which have no demonstrations. could not succeed in establishing so good a system of government as those who. and none of whom perhaps counselled us always for the best). considering their buildings each one apart. thus rendering the streets crooked and irregular. seeing that many were very strange and even contrary to good morals. but because. so that it might be said that it was chance rather than other. who were once half-savage. and who have become civilized only by slow degrees. we shall understand how bring about much that is satisfactory in operating Thus I imagined that those people only upon the works of others. they all tended towards the same end. it is almost impossible that our judgments should be so excellent or solid as they should have been had we had complete use of our reason since our birth. I believe that if Sparta was of their crimes very flourishing in former times. the former the will of men guided by reason that led to such an arrangement. and had we been guided by its means alone. is Even though. to come down to human affairs. composed as they are of the gradually accumulated similarly I opinions of many different individuals — do not approach so near to of the truth as the simple reasoning which a man common sense can quite naturally carry out respecting the things which diately before him. this was not because of the excel- and every one of its laws. this And from if we consider that happens despite the officials fact that the all time there have been certain who have had special duty of looking after the buildings of private individuals in order that they difficult it is to may be public ornaments. being drawn up by one individual. froin the time they first came together as communities.

should be reformed. either by others which were better. Then as to any . themselves. when I had made them conform to the uniformity of a rational scheme. I thought I could not do better than endeavour once for all to sweep them completely away. This is the reason why I cannot in any way approve of those turbulent and unrestful spirits who. my life much better than relied and had only built on old foundon principles of which I allowed myself to be in youth persuaded without having inquired into their truth. I argued to myself that there was no plausibility in the throughout. these were at the same time not unsurmountable. made more beautiful but same time we see that many people cause their own houses to be knocked down in order to rebuild them. And I firmly believed that by this means if I I should succeed in directing ations. For although in so doing I recognised various difficulties. and when the foundations From such examples thing. or by the same. because of being frequented. which mere foresight would have found finally the imperfections are difficult to And almost always more supportable than would be the process of removing them. just as the great roads which wind about amongst the mountains become. imperfections that they may possess (and the very diversity that to tell us that these in is found between them exist) is sufficient many cases custom has doubtless greatly mitigated them. little by little so well-beaten and easy that it is much better to follow them than to try to go more directly by climbing over rocks and descending to the foot of precipices. and that sometimes they at the are forced so to do where there is danger of the houses falling of are not secure. or the order of teaching established on be replaced.on It is true that the Method 89 town are is we do not find that all the houses in a rased to the ground for the sole reason that the town rebuilt in another fashion. while it it has also helped us to avoid. being called neither by birth . But as regards all the opinions which up to this time I had embraced. nor comparable to those which are found in reformation of the most insignificant kind in matters which concern the public. with streets to be . Nor is it likewise probable that the whole body of the by the Schools. or insensibly corrected a number against guard. task to raise In the case of great bodies it is too difficult a them again when they are once thrown down. so that they might later Sciences. or even to keep them in their places when once thoroughly shaken and their fall cannot be otherwise than very violent. in order to set right claim of any private individual to reform a state by altering every- and by overturning it it again.

and he would hence remain wandering astray all through his life. I do not so do because wish to advise anybody to imitate Those to I fear whom God will has been most beneficent in the bestowal of . thoughts in proper liberty hence. it. once a man of this description had taken the of doubting the principles he formerly accepted. opinion and to entirely my If my given of me a certain satisfaction. should follow. For myself diversities I should doubtless have been of these last I if I had never had more than a single master. but may be possessed of reason in as great or even a greater degree than ourselves. there are those who having reason or modesty enough to judge that they are less capable of distinguishing truth from false- hood than some others from whom instruction might be obtained. believing themselves to be cleverer than they cannot restrain themselves from being precipitate in judgment sufficient patience to arrange their and have not order . different the self-same I also considered how very man. that there credible that it nothing imaginable so strange or so little has not been maintained by one philosopher or other. even in my College days. I And if I thought that in was contained the smallest it justification for this should be very sorry to allow to be published. The simple is and beliefs formerly received not to be regarded as an example that each man it. My design has never extended beyond trying to reform build on a foundation which is my own own. this treatise there folly. are right in contenting themselves with following the opinions of these others rather than in searching better ones for themselves. and I further recognised in the course of my travels that all those whose sentiments are very contrary to ours are yet not necessarily barbarians or savages. and the world may be said to be mainly composed of two classes of minds neither of which could prudently adopt are. and had deviated from the beaten track. Secondly. nor fortune to the management of public never fail to have always in their minds some new reforms. is But I had been taught. may become. or has passed his whole life amongst Chinese or . he would never be able to maintain the path which must be followed to reach the appointed end more quickly. identical in mind and spirit.90 Discourse affairs. according as he is brought up from childhood amongst the French or Germans. His graces perhaps form designs which are more elevated resolve to strip oneself of all opinions but much that this particular one will seem too venturesome for many. There are those who. or had never known the which have from all time existed between the opinions of men of the greatest learning. so that I here present to I work has you a draft it.

that it is almost as difficult to separate the two as to draw a Diana or a is Minerva out of a block of marble which not yet roughly hewn. of all employed sufficient time in planning out the task which I had undertaken. besides the fact and the Algebra of the that they embrace only matters the most have no actual use. in enabling one to speak without judgment of matics. I did not wish to set about the final rejection of any single opinion which might formerly have crept into my beliefs without having been introduced there by means of Reason. and in seeking the true Method of arriving at a knowledge of all the things of which my mind was capable. Geometrical Analysis — those things of which one is ignorant) than in learning what is new. put man than by and I a nation. there are at the same time mingled with them so many others which are hurtful or superfluous. the former it abstract.on cannibals. Among the different branches of Philosophy. because such truths are much more likely to have been discovered by one however. And although in reality Logic contains many precepts which are very true and very good. my finger on a single person whose opinions seemed found that I preferable to those of others. and yet in spite of this the voice of the majority does not afford a proof of any value in truths a little difficult to discover. was. such as appear to is always so restricted to the consideration of symbols that cannot exercise . so to speak. I constrained myself to undertake the direction of my But like one who walks alone and in the twilight resolved to go and to use so much circumspection in all things. procedure. until I had first so slowly. at least I guarded myself well from falling. I could not. And as to the Analysis of the ancients moderns. and Algebra three arts or sciences which seemed as though they ought to contribute something to the But in examining them I observed in respect design I had in view. I thus concluded that it is much more custom and example that persuade us than any certain knowledge. that if my advance was but very small. the Understanding without greatly fatiguing the Imagination in the latter one is and so subjected to certain rules and formulas that . I likewise the Method in the 91 fashions of one's ago. to Logic that the syllogisms and the greater part of the other teaching served better in explaining to others those things that one knows (or like the art of Lully. noticed how even clothing the same thing that pleased us ten years and which will perhaps please us once again before ten years are passed. seems at the present time extravagant and ridiculous. I had in my younger and in those of Mathedays to a certain extent studied Logic .

commencing with objects that were the most simple and easy to understand. last was in general all cases to I make enumerations so complete and so that should be certain of having omitted Those long chains of reasoning. instead of the great number of precepts of which Logic is composed. so. nor so recondite that we cannot discover in discovering And I had not much trouble I necessary to begin with. to knowledge of the most complex. This made me feel that some other Method must be found. or by degrees. and which embarrasses the mind. for already knew that which objects it was it was with the Considering also most simple and those most that of all eas)T to apprehend. instead of a science which contributes to its cultivation. The third was to carry on my reflections in due order. even if a fictitious one. I believed that I should find the four which I I shall state quite sufficient. The second was to divide up each of the difficulties which I examined into as many parts as possible. which. there can be nothing so remote that we it. provided only that we abstain from receiving anything as true which is not so.92 the result is Discourse the construction of an art which is confused and obscure. carefully to avoid precipi- and prejudice in judgments. of which geometricians make use in order to arrive at the most difficult demonstrations. comprising the advantages of the three. assuming an order. those who have hitherto sought for the truth in the . in order to rise little by little. and as seemed requisite in order that it might be resolved in the best manner possible. And as a multiplicity of laws often furnishes excuses for evil-doing. and as a State is hence much better ruled when. among those which do not follow a natural sequence relatively to one another. these are most strictly observed. cannot reach to it. had caused me to imagine that all those things which fall under the cognizance of man might very likely be . The reviews nothing. is yet exempt from their faults. and always retain the order which is necessary in order to deduce the one conclusion from the other. simple and easy as they are. having but very few laws. of these was to accept nothing as true which I did not : clearly recognise to be so that is to say. provided that adhered to a firm and constant resolve never on The tation first any single occasion to fail in their observance. and to accept in them nothing more than wn*at was presented to my mind so clearly and distinctly that I could Have no occasion to doubt it. mutually related in the same fashion and that.

for I might later on all the more easily apply them to all other objects to which they were applicable. or take in groups. it was possible to I arrive at the solution of many questions which it hitherto regarded as most difficult. they do not to agree in this.on Sciences. . that in the two or three months which them — employed in examining commencing with the most simple and general. and making I each truth that not only did discovered a rule for helping me to find others I had seemed to me that I was able to determine in the case of those of which I was still ignorant. it the Method 93 has been the mathematicians alone who have been able making any demonstrations. requisite And is for this was should borrow all that best in Geometrical Analysis and Algebra. except that my mind would become accustomed to the nourishment of truth and would not content itself with false reasoning. however. common their the name of are Mathematics but observing fail although objects different. I them find thought that. because I could no method more simple nor more capable of being distinctly represented to my imagination and senses. But for all that I had no intention of trying to master all to succeed in those particular . and without viewing them otherwise than in the objects which would Not that I should in serve most to facilitate a knowledge of them. I considered. having carefully noted that in order to comprehend the proportions I should sometimes require to consider each one in particular. • errors of the one by the t- As a matter of fact. the shorter the better. sciences that receive in that. but. and correct the other. I can venture to say that the exact observa- tion of the few precepts facility which I had chosen gave me I so much in sifting out all the questions embraced in these two sciences. by what means. I did not doubt that it had been by means of a similar kind that they carried on their investigations. that is to say producing reasons which are evident and certain. that in order to keep once. and in how far. in order the better to consider them in detail. it them in my memory I or to embrace several at purpose it would be essential that that I should explain them by means of certain formulas. and sometimes merely keep them in mind. that they take nothing under consideration but the various relationships or proportions which are present in these better if I objects. I thought that it would be only examined these proportions in their general aspect. I did not at the same time hope for any practical result in so doing. towards the end. any way restrict them to these objects. I should picture them in the form of lines. Then.

that I should first of all employ I had reached. And besides this. requisite above all to try to establish certainty in also that since this it. culties must be dependent on principles derived from Philosophy in which I yet found nothing to be certain. making use of it that my mind gradually accustomed itself to conand not having ceive of its objects more accurately and distinctly restricted this Method to any particular matter. made an addition according to the rule prescribed he may be sure of having found as regards mind can know. and by ever exercising myself in the Method which 1 had prescribed. . if not perfectly. in conclusion. in order more and more to fortify myself in the power of using it.94 solve them. too. him all that the human the Method which teaches us and enumerate exactly every term in the matter under investigation contains everything which gives certainty to follow the true order to the rules of Arithmetic. whoever succeeds in finding it knows in its regard as much as can be known. much time in preparing myself for the work by eradicating from my mind all the wrong opinions which I had up to this time accepted. It is the same as with a child. examine just at once all those that might present themselves for that would itself have been contrary to the order which the Method But having noticed that the knowledge of these diffiprescribes. I considered all endeavour is the most important in the and prejudice were most to it till I had attained to be feared. I felt in at least as well as was in my power. who has been instructed in Arithmetic and has . I thought that it was . But what pleased me most in this Method was that I was certain by its means of exercising my reason in all things. which was the age I thought. I a much riper age than that of three and twenty. for instance. Discourse In this I might perhaps appear to you to be very vain if you did not remember that having but one truth to discover in respect to each matter. . I promised myself to apply it as usefully to the difficulties of other sciences as I had done to Not that on this account I dared undertake to those of Algebra. world. and that in which precipitation should not try to grapple with and accumulating a variety of experiences fitted later on to afford matter for my reasonings. the sum of figures given to For.

I formed for myself a code of morals for the time being which did not consist of more than three or four maxims. to pull it down and provide materials and an architect (or to act in this capacity ourselves. is different from that often exists by which we know that we believe it. and that as I might not omit to carry on my as happily t could. having chosen an extreme found that I had chosen amiss. which maxims I should like to enumerate to you. I also made a point of I all counting as excess the engagements by means of which we limit . and the farthest removed from excess in all those which are commonly received and acted on by the most judicious of those with whom I might come in contact. and probably the best (for I all excess has a tendency to be bad). I chose only the most moderate. And amongst many opinions all equally received. And although such persons may possibly exist amongst the Persians and Chinese as well as amongst ourselves. because I desired to place all under examination. before commencing to rebuild the house which we inhabit. and also because should have in a less degree turned aside from the right path. the religion in which by God's grace since and in all other things directing my conduct by opinions the most moderate in nature. For since I began to count my own opinions as nought. and make a careful drawing of its design). in order to ascertain that these were their real opinions. as it is not sufficient. unless we have also provided ourselves with some other house where we can be comfortably lodged during the time of rebuilding. it seemed to me that it was most expedient to bring my conduct into harmony with the ideas of those with whom I should have to live and that. I was convinced that I could not do better than follow those held by people on whose judgment reliance could be placed. I was wrong. but also because many are themselves ignorant of their For since the act of thought by which we believe a thing beliefs. both because these are always most suited for putting into practice. I should observe what they did rather than what they said. . the one without the other. had been instructed my childhood. not only because in the corrupt state of our manners there are few people who desire to say all that they believe. The adhering I first constantly to was to obey the laws and customs of my country. supposing that course. 95 Part And finally. so in order that I should not remain irresolute in my actions while reason obliged I me to be so in life my judgments. than if.on the Method III.

and practise as good. I should have thought that I had committed a serious sin against commonsense if. and to alter my desires rather than change the order . and because for my own part judgments to grow better and never to grow worse. not diverging for any slight reason. or contracts made. And henceforward this principle was sufficient to deliver me from all the mind and agitate the conscience of those weak and vacillating creatures who allow themselves to keep changing their procedure. to stop in one place. after it had possibly ceased to meet my approval. My maxim was that of being as firm and resolute in my actions as could be. Not that I hold in low esteem those remedy the inconstancy of feeble souls. inasmuch as the reason which caused us to determine upon it is known to be so. and not to follow less faithfully opinions the most dubious. In this I should be following the example of travellers. finding themselves lost in a forest. in when we have a good object This sanction is our view. I was obliged to regard it similarly at a later time. And thus since ofteu enough in the actions of is life no delay is permissible. even though it was possibly chance alone that first determined them in their choice. or I promised myself gradually to get my after I had ceased second I to regard it in a favourable light. in order to permit. than if these had been beyond doubt. when it beyond our power to discern the opinions which carry most truth. because I approved of something at one time. they will at least arrive somewhere at the end. that certain vows be taken. which oblige us to carry out that object. who. My third maxim was to try always to conquer myself rather than fortune. laws which. know that they ought not to wander still less. it is very certain that. By this means if they do not go exactly where they wish. nor. But because I saw nothing in all the world remaining constant. we at least should make up our minds to follow a particular one and afterwards consider practice. but understand that they should continue to walk as straight as they can in one direction. penitence and remorse which usually affect the things which they afterwards judge to be evil. follow the we should most probable . and even although we notice no greater probability in the one opinion than in the other. where probably they will be better off than in the middle of a forest. it as no longer doubtful in its relationship to but as very true and very certain. first to one side and then to the other.96 in Discourse some degree our liberty. when my mind was once made up regarding them. even given for security in commerce where designs are wholly indifferent.

never could arrive at all at which they aim.iosnphical phrase are called im- H 7 . we should no more desire to be well if ill. to conclude this moral code. however.on the Method 97 of the world. our ill-success cannot possibly be failure on our part 1 And this alone seemed to me sufficient to prevent I my desiring anything in the future beyond what could actually obtain. for since our will does not naturally induce us to desire it anything but what our understanding represents to way possible of attainment. In the same way. in ancient times.. it is certain that if we consider things which are outside of us as equally outside of some good our power. or free. to rival their gods in their happiness. they persuaded themselves so completely that nothing was within their own power but their thoughts. And on life i } last of all. I felt it incumbent in this to make : . hence rendering me content . or. making what is called a virtue out of a necessity. be after we have done all in our power accounted by as fu among the things which . despite suffering or poverty. and generally to accustom myself to believe that there is nothing entirely within our power but our own thoughts : so that after us. that this conviction alone was sufficient to prevent their having any longing for other things._ i] evidently cannot . than we now do to have our bodies formed of a substance as of our own. possible. than little corruptible as diamonds. and I believe that it is to be found the secret of those philosophers who. a ^view c! of the various occupations of men I in order to try to . ceaselessly occupying themselves in considering the limits which were prescribed to them by nature. if in prison. and more free and more happy than other men. we as in all should not have more regret in resigning those goods which appear to pertain to our birth. that to accustom oneself to regard principally in this that is all things from this point of view requires long exercise and meditation often repeated .. we have done our best in regard to the things that are without . And they had so absolute a mastery over their thoughts that they had some reason for esteeming themselves as more rich and more powerful. when we are deprived of them for no fault we have in not possessing the kingdoms of China or Mexico. out the best .. allow. For. if devoid of this philosophy." Latin Versi R. were able to free themselves from the empire of fortune. who. and without wishing to I say any thi ng the employment of o 'Ir^ thought that could that it »*. or to have wings to fly with like I birds. however favoured by nature or fortune they might be.

in occupying my whole life in cultivating Reason. travel. not have held myself free of scruple in following such opinions. When one is certain that this point reached. thinking that I should be certain to be able to acquire all the knowledge of which I was T capable. I also thought I should likewise be certain of obtaining all the best things which could ever come w ithin my power. and in advancing myself as much as possible in the knowledge of the truth in accordance with the method which I had my prescribed myself. founded solely on the plan which I had formed of continuing to For since God has given to each of us some light instruct myself. discovering by its means some truths which seemed to me suffiThe ciently important. I — satisfaction I had so filled my mind that all else seemed And. and the best judgment brings the best action that is to say. supposing them to exist. that I did not believe that any every day sweeter or more innocent could in this life be found. the three preceding maxims were of no account. had experienced so much satisfaction since beginning to use this method. and having set them on one side along with the truths of religion which have always taken the rest of first place in my creed. Having thus assured myself of these maxims. I should not have been able to restrain my desires nor to remain content. the — acquisition of all the virtues and all the other good things that is it is possible to obtain. if I had not followed a road by which. 1 hardly awaited the end of winter before I once more set myself to myself of them. And inasmuch as our will impels us neither to follow after nor to flee from anything. which with which to distinguish truth from I error. that is to say. if had not intended to lose no occasion of finding superior opinions.98 Discourse not do better than continue in the one in which I found myself engaged. although commonly ignored by other men. excepting as our understanding represents it as good or evil. and finally. And in all the nine following years I did nought but roam . could safely undertake to rid And inasmuch as I hoped to be able to reach my end more successfully in converse with man than in living longer shut up in the warm room where these reflections had come to me. besides. it is sufficient to judge wisely in order to act well. I could not believe that ought for a single moment to content myself with accepting the I opinions held by others unless own judgment nevertheless I in employment of my examining them at the proper time and I could had in view the . I I judged that as far as the my opinions were concerned. one cannot fail to be contented.

not by feeble and assured reasonings. since in trying to discover I the error or uncertainty of the propositions which conjectures. 1 The Dioptrics. • my mind all the errors which might have I formerly crept Not that indeed imitated the sceptics. so in destroying all those opinions w hich I considered to be ill-founded. sciences which I found to be not sufficiently secure. originally in the 7—2 . mud I in order to find the rock or clay. I made various observations and acquired many experiences. And just as in pulling down an old house we usually preserve the debris to serve in building up another. who only doubt for the sake of doubting. I continued to exercise myself in the method which I had laid down for my use for besides the fact that I was careful as a rule to conduct all my thoughts according to its maxims. or in the solution of other I problems which though was able to make almost similar to those of mathematics. You will see . trying to be a spectator rather than an actor in the comedies the world displays. by detaching them from all principles of other pertaining to other sciences. More especially did I reflect in each matter that came before it me as to anything which could make and I subject to suspicion or doubt. on the contrary. and pretend to be always uncertain . I encountered I could not draw from it some conclusion that was tolerably secure. I set aside some hours from time to time which I more especially employed in nothing so dubious that T . having no occupation beyond spending their lives in ease and innocence. from those who. but by clear examined. In this task it seems to succeeded pretty well. study to separate pleasure from and who. if this were no more than the inference that it contained in it nothing that was certain. practising myself in the solution of mathematical problems according to the Method. Meteors and Geometry were published same volume. which have since been of use to me in establishing those which are more certain. I did not cease to prosecute my design. for. the result in many examples which all 1 are expounded in this volume And hence. and give occasion for mistake. my design was only to provide myself with good ground for assurance. And more than this. I of Truth than if and to profit perhaps even more had done nothing but read books my study or associate with literary people. without living to appearance in any way differently vice. rooted out of in.on hither all the Method 99 and thither. all make in use of distractions that are innocent and good. and to reject the quicksand and me. in order to enjoy their leisure without weariness.

e. which in in order that one may judge whether the foundations have laid are sufficiently secure. Holland. I thought that I must try by every means in my power to render myself worthy of the reputation which I had gained. or had commenced tried to to seek the foundation of any philosophy more of as certain than the vulgar. And it is just eight years ago that this desire made me remove myself from all places where any acquaintances were possible. I find myself constrained some measure to refer to them. where Descartes settled in 1629. made me imagine to be so hard that possibly should not have dared to undertake the task. as has been said above. exactly as though they were that indisputable. but. Part IV. without success. . And yet at the same time. and to retire to a country such as this 1 where the long-continued war has caused such order to be established that the armies which are maintained seem only to be of use in allowing the inhabitants to enjoy the fruits of peace with so much the more security and where. it appears to me. in the crowded throng of a great and very active nation. But being at heart honest enough not to desire to be esteemed as different from what I am. without missing any of the conveniences of the most populous towns. rather than from having boasted of any special philosophic system. resolve to . And the example many it excellent men who had I do the same before me. For a long time I had remarked it is sometimes requisite in common life to follow opinions which one knows to be most uncertain. . I cannot tell on what they based this opinion if my conversation has contributed any- thing to it. 1 But because in this case i.100 Discourse These nine years thus passed away before I had taken any definite part in regard to the difficulties as to which the learned are in the habit of disputing. I can live as solitary and retired as in deserts the most remote. this must have arisen from my confessing my ignorance more ingenuously than those who have studied a little usually do. had that I I not discovered that someone had spread abroad the report had already reached . which is more concerned with its own affairs than curious about those of others. I do not know that I ought to tell you of the first meditations there made by me. And perhaps it was also due to my having shown forth my reasons for doubting many things which were held by others to be certain. its conclusion. for they are so metaphysical and so unusual that they may I perhaps not be acceptable to everyone.

' . and judging that was as subject to error as was any other. examining attentively that which I was. because our senses sometimes deceive that nothing is us. ' absolutely essential that the I ' who thought ' this should be some' what. and that there was no world nor . On the contrary. . and so assured that all the most extravagant suppositions I brought forward by the sceptics were incapable of shaking to the conclusion that I came first could receive it without scruple as the principle of the Philosophy for which I was seeking. place where might be but yet that I I could not for all that conceive fact that that I I was not. I I was. and remarking that this truth so certain i" think. on the other hand if all had only ceased from thinking. I very evidently if I and certainly followed that imagined had really existed. And I then.on I the Method 101 wished to give myself entirely to the search after Truth. I rejected as false all the reasons formerly accepted by me as demonstrations. . After this I considered generally what in a proposition is-*^ requisite in order to be true and certain for since I had just discovered one which I knew to be such. tions which And since all the same also thoughts and concep- we have while awake may without any of them being at that time that everything that ever entered into come to us in sleep. From that I knew that is I was a substance the whole and that for its existence there is no need of any place. . nor does it depend on any material thing so that this me. even the rest of what I had ever should have no reason for thinking that had existed. the soul would not cease to be what it is.' that is to say. I thought that I ought essence or nature of which to think. is entirely distinct from body. even concerning the simplest matters of I geometry. I resolved to my assume mind was no more true than I the illusions of I my noticed that whilst But immediately afterwards ** thus wished to think all things false. and is even more easy to know than is the latter and even if body were not. saw from the very it thought of doubting the truth of other things. everything as to which I could imagine the least ground of doubt. there remained anything in in order to see if afterwards certain. I saw that I could conceive that I had no body. the soul by which I am what I am. just as they cause us to imagine and because there are men who deceive themselves in their reasoning and fall into paralogisms. therefore I am was it. it was dreams. it that was necessary for me to take and to reject as absolutely false I thought an apparently opposite course. I wished to suppose to be . my belief that was entirely it Thus. true.

if they were true. like the heavens. for to hold it from nought would be manifestly impossible and because it is no less contradictory to say of the more perfect that it is what results from and depends on the less perfect. remarking nothing in them which seemed to render them superior to me. that I should hold it from myself. For if I had existed alone and independent of any others. or from which I acquired all that I had. all in that there was nothing at the And having remarked statement / think. . In this way it could but follow had been placed in me by a Nature which was really more perfect than mine could be. Following upon this. in so far as it possessed some perfection and if they were not true. so that I should have had from myself all that perfection of being in which I participated to however small an extent. because. I resolved to inquire whence I had learnt to think of anything more and I recognised very clearly that this perfect than I myself was conception must proceed from some nature which was really more perfect. clearly and distinctly are remembering. heat. I was not the only being in existence (I shall here use freely. and which even had within itself all the perfections of which I could form any idea that is to say. that I held them from nought. excepting that see very clearly that to think I necessary to be. which was God. idea of a Being more perfect than my own.102 also to Discourse know in what this certainty consisted. To which I added that since I knew some perfections which I did not possess. As to the thoughts which I had of many other things outside of me. and a thousand others. as a general rule. light. therefore ' I am I ' which assures I me of having thereby made a it is true assertion. the terms of the School) but that there was necessarily some other more perfect Being on which I depended. came true to the conclusion that that the things which all — might assume. that there is some difficulty in we conceive very ascertaining which are those that we distinctly conceive. if you will allow. and that consequently my existence was not quite perfect (for I saw clearly that it was a greater perfection to know than to doubt). and reflecting on the fact that I doubted. however. it was equally impossible . than to say that there is something which proceeds from nothing. the earth. that they were in me because I had someBut this could not apply to the thing lacking in my nature. . I had not so much difficulty in knowing whence they came. . I should have been able for the same reason to have had all the remainder which that it — . they were dependencies upon my nature. to put it in a word. I could believe that. that is to say.

to take an example. but that all else was present and I saw that doubt. I also noticed that there was nothing at existence of their object.and which might have various figures and sizes. and that dependency I manifestly an imperfection. sadness. After that I desired to seek for other truths. knew that I lacked . came to the conclusion that it could not be a perfection in God to be composed of these two natures. height or depth. in pursuance of the reasonings which I have just carried on. and might be moved or transposed in all sorts of ways (for all this the geometricians suppose to be in the object of their contemplation). all in them to assure I me of the For. or a space indefinitely extended in length. however. in accordance with the rule which I have just laid down. And I was assured that none of those which indicated some imperfection were in Him. I had ideas of many things which are sensible and corporeal. all-powerful. But because I had already recognised very is clearly in myself that the nature of the intelligence the body. which I conceived to be a continuous body. omniscient. but for all that I saw no that if . although I might suppose that I was dreaming.on I the I Method myself should have been I 103 infinite. or even any intelligences or other natures which were not wholly perfect. and that all that I saw or imagined was false. In addition to this. it. in the world. . finally. and such things. the three angles must certainly be equal to two right angles. immutable. For. could not be in Him considering that I myself should have been glad to be without them. saw very well we suppose a triangle to be given. that if there were any bodies not so composed. whether it was a perfection to possess them or not. and having put before myself the object of the geometricians. in order to know the nature of God as far as my nature is capable of knowing- had only to consider in reference to all these things of which I found some idea in myself. breadth. their existence must depend on His power in such a way that they could not subsist without Him for a single moment. inconstancy. and that consequently He was I judged. for. which was divisible into various parts. I . and. and distinct from that of observing that all composition gives evidence of is dependency. and thus eternal. should have all the perfections which I could discern in God. and having noticed that this is great certainty which everyone attributes to these demonstrations founded solely on the fact that they are conceived of with clearness. I could not at the same time deny that the ideas were really in my thoughts. I went through \ some of their simplest demonstrations.

This is manifest enough from the fact that even the philosophers in the Schools hold it as a maxim first that there of all is nothing in the under- standing which has not there is been in the senses. that there ance. when a metaphysical certainty is in question. and even in knowing the nature of their soul. without there being anything of the kind. they make use of their eyes excepting that there is : indeed this difference. I wish that they should know that all other things of which they perhaps think themselves more assured (such as possessing a body. these things which is such that it seems that it would be extravagant in us to doubt them. less than do those of scent or of can ever hearing. that all the points on its surface are Conseequidistant from its centre. however. and that we see other stars and another earth. and that there are stars and an earth and so For. is sufficient cause for our not having complete assur- by observing the fact that when asleep we may similarly imagine that we have another body. I found that in this case existence it in the same manner in which the equality of its three angles to two right angles is implied in the idea of a triangle or in the idea of a sphere. as adapted to material objects. while on the contrary. in which certainly no doubt that the ideas of have never been. it is at least as certain that God. who is a Being so perfect. is the fact that they never raise their minds above the things of sense. on reverting to the examination of the idea which was implied in had of a Perfect Being. that the sense of sight does not give us assurance of the truth of its objects. any demonstration of geometry can possibly be. while neither our imagination nor our senses assure us of anything.104 Discourse reason to be assured that there was any such triangle in existence. although we have a moral assurance of on) are less certain. unless he is devoid If there are finally of reason. to hear sounds or smell odours. can deny. What causes many. or even more evidently still. . that all that is not capable of being imagined appears to them not to be intelligible at all. act in the same should wish to way as if. which is a mode of thought specially or exists. any persons who are not sufficiently persuaded of the existence of God and of their soul by the reasons which I have brought forward. I quently is. to persuade themselves that there is difficulty in knowing this truth. And it seems to me that those God and of the soul who desire to make use of their imagination in order to understand these ideas. if our understanding does not intervene. at the same time no one. or that they are so accustomed to consider nothing excepting by imagining it.

seeing that often latter? enough the former are not less lively and vivid than the And though the wisest minds may study the matter as much as they will. all But we did not know that and truth proceeds from a perfect and infinite Being. So that though we often enough have ideas which have an element of falsity. just as when those who have the jaundice see everything as yellow. And the most ordinary error in as to our dreams. which consists in their representing to us various objects in the same way as do our external senses. because we may be likewise often enough deceived in them without our sleeping at all. is. whether we are awake or asleep. From ideas or notions. is certain only because all God is is or exists. the dreams which very easy to understand that we imagine in our sleep should not make us in any way doubt the truth of the thoughts which we have when awake. For. because in so far as they have this character they participate in negation — that fection. and that He is a Perfect Being. I do not believe that they will be able to give any sufficient reason for removing this doubt. it does not matter that this should give us occasion to suspect the truth of such ideas. than there in the idea of truth or perfection proceeding from nought. that which I have just the existence of God. unless they presuppose For to begin with. that all the things that we very clearly I and very distinctly conceive of are true. we . we should not have any reason to assure ourselves that they had the perfection// that is in us of reality of being true. which to the extent of their being clear or distinct are ideas of real things issuing from God. inasmuch as is if imper- proceeds from God. And it is evident that there is no less repugnance it is in the idea that error or imperfection. they exist in us as confused only because we are not quite perfect. however clear and distinct were our ideas. For even if in sleep we had some very distinct idea such as a geometrician might have who discovered some new demonstration. that is to say. and thatl this it follows that our) that in us issues from Him. finally. this can only be the case in regard to those which have in them somewhat that is confused or obscure. But after the knowledge of God and it is of the soul has thus rendered us certain of this rule. taken as a rule. or when stars or other bodies which are very remote appear much smaller than they really are. cannot but to that extent be true. the fact of being asleep would not militate against its truth.on the Method 105 For how do we know that the thoughts that come in dreams are more false than those that we have when we are awake.

in order to demonstrate the existence of God and of the Soul. And it must be remarked that we should not it I . Reason does not truth.106 Discourse should never allow ourselves to be persuaded excepting by the evidence of our Reason. but established in have also observed certain laws which God has so Nature. all our ideas or notions must have it some foundation of that God. that which they have of truth must infallibly be met with in our waking experience rather than in that of our dreams. Part V. Further. but it tells insist that whatever we see or imagine thus is a us clearly that truth. in considering the sequence . And nevertheless I venture to say that not only with in have to I found the means of satisfying myself in a short time as the more important of those I difficulties usually dealt philosophy. or even more so. matter. For otherwise could not be possible who is all perfection and truth. without necessarily concluding that a chimera exists. for that reason . although sometimes our imaginations are then just as lively and acute. with whom I have no desire I to embroil myself. shall only state generally what these truths are. speak of just as our Reason and not of our imagination nor of our senses though we see the sun very judge that it is clearly. exists or after having reflected sufficiently upon the we cannot doubt is their being accurately observed in all that done in the world. Reason tells us that since our thoughts cannot possibly be all true. so that the decision of those best able to judge whether it it may be left to would be of use for the public to be more particularly informed of them or not. and of which He has imprinted such ideas that. on our minds. of the size of which appears to be likewise we For could quite well distinctly imagine the head of a lion on the body of a goat. I should be very glad to proceed to show forth the complete I have deduced from these first. I think that it will be better to abstain. and to accept nothing as true which did not appear to be more clear and more certain than the demonstrations of the geometricians had formerly seemed. not to assume any other principle than that of which I have just made use. because we are not altogether perfect. I always remained firm in the resolution which I had made. but because would have been necessary now to speak of many chain of truths which to do this it matters of dispute among the learned. should have placed them And because our reasonings are never so evident nor so complete during sleep as during wakefulness. within us.

I described this matter He had tried to and represent it in such a way. the planets. Treatise all that so. nor anything at all the 1 i. the diverse portions of this matter. 1 it all that I believed myself to know regarding the nature of material objects. the comets and the earth because they reflect all and more particularly would bodies which are on the earth. and being able to express myself freely about them. to begin with. so that there resulted a chaos as confused as the poets ever feigned. or else luminous and all. So. fearing that I could not put in my I had in my undertook only to show very fully stars. .on of these laws. just as the painters who cannot represent equally well on a plain surface all the various sides of a solid body.e. and without any order. make selection of one of the most important.' suppressed on hearing of Galileo's condemnation. leaving her to act in accordance with the laws which established. excepting what has just far as expressly been said of God and the Soul. . when occasion occurred. I to appear only as they may be seen in looking at the former. with to form somewhere in an imaginary space. which alone is set in the light. while the others are put in shadow I and made mind. than here summarise I had planned to comprise in briefly what that Treatise contains. my conceptions of light. without being obliged to adopt or to refute the opinions which are accepted by the learned. that it seems to me that nothing in the world could be more clear or intelligible. However. before I set myself to write. resolved to add something about the sun and fixed because light proceeds almost entirely from them light. I cannot do better. finally I should deal with man because he all is the spectator of For the very purpose of putting these topics somewhat in shadow. 4 Le Monde. the heavens would be dealt with because they transmit it. Later on. to For I even went so assume that there was in it none of these forms or qualities which are so debated in the Schools. in making them known. and if He agitated in diverse ways. because they are either coloured or transparent. and to speak only of what would happen in a new world if God now created. But because I tried to explain the most important of these in a Treatise which certain considerations prevented me from publishing. I resolved to leave all this world to their disputes. and concluded His work by merely lending His concurrence to Nature in the usual way. matter sufficient whereit. it the Method I 107 seems to me that have discovered many truths more useful and more important than all that I had formerly learned or even hoped to learn.

how . enlarging on the subject of light. or at least may not. too. how nourished. situation. in accordance with these and arrange itself in such a fashion as to render it and how meantime some of its parts must similar to our heavens planets and comets. so that I thought I had said . and fixed stars. Further I pointed out what are the laws of Nature. and to show that they if are of such a nature that even God had created other worlds. I tried to demonstrate all those of which one could have any doubt. without resting my reasons on any other principle than the infinite perfections of God. how light. could naturally be formed in how the metals came fields . excepting it is stars. there is how make very clear all formed. fail to He be could not have created any in which these laws would observed. such as in the tropics. and some others a sun some form an earth. and all the different qualities of these heavens and stars. which in all its circumstances is similar to that which is observed in our seas. and. having water and air on its surface. touching the substance. showing how. appear exactly the same in those of the system which came to speak more particularly of the earth. fountains and rivers. and how it was reflected from the To this I also added many things planets and comets to the earth. called mixed fire because knew nothing but I And or composite. I also may also be observed showed how the mountains. to be in the mines and the plants to grow in the and generally how the all I bodies. movements. and besides that. without heat I showed. After that. how different and sometimes colours might by light it be induced upon different bodies and qualities of diverse kinds. must cause a flux or reflux. it. and how from these it crossed in an instant the immense space of the heavens. more particularly of the moon. I is showed how the greatest part of the matter of which this chaos laws. I here explained at length the nature of the light which would be found in the sun and stars. And. might arise. studied amongst other things to that pertains to its nature.108 knowledge of which is Discourse not so natural to our minds that none could even pretend to be ignorant of it. the disposition of the heavens and of the stars. dispose constituted. though I had expressly presupposed that God had not placed any weight in the matter of which it is I described. which could produce light. From this point I composed. must. sometimes only heat without . its parts did not fail all to gravitate exactly to its centre and how. seas. enough to make it clear that there is nothing to be seen in the heavens and stars pertaining to our system which must not. a certain current both of water and air from east to west.

that the action by which He now preserves it is just the same as that by which He at first In this way. it Since this transformation of ashes into glass seemed forms glass. I found precisely all those which exist in us without our having the . For. although He had not. by the intensity of its action alone. and which different did not conceive of as in any way from that which makes the hay heat when shut up before it is dry. given created it. I had not yet sufficient knowledge to speak of them in the same easier to understand style as of the rest. and which makes new wine grow frothy when it is left to ferment over the fruit. might power of thought. I contented myself with supposing that God formed the body of man altogether like one of ours. and it an opinion commonly received by the theologians. this world any other form than that of chaos. or any other thing which might serve as a vegetative outward figure of or as a sensitive soul .on the Method 109 some of these were liquefied and others solidified. much demonstrating the effects from the causes. and finally how of these ashes. that by this means alone all things which are purely material might in course of time have become such as present . without making use of any matter other than that which I had described. in the its members as well as in the interior conformation of its organs. and con- examining the functions which might in accordance with this supposition exist in this body. we may well believe. and without at the first placing in it a rational soul. and showing from what beginnings and in what fashion Nature must produce them. I took particular pleasure in describing did not at the same time wish to infer from all I these facts that this world has been created in for it is the manner which described it much more it probable that at the beginning be. excepting that He kindled in the heart one of these I fires without light. to begin with. that is to say. to me I as wonderful as any other process in nature. it. we observe them to be at when we and their nature is see them coming to pass little by little in this manner. how nearly all can be consumed or converted into ashes and smoke by its means. than were we to consider them as all complete to begin with. and particularly to that of men. God made is such as was to But it is certain. which I have already described. without doing outrage to the miracle of creation. provided that the laws of nature had once been established and that He had lent His aid in order that its action should be according to its wont. From a description of inanimate bodies and plants I passed on But since to that of animals.

But in order to show how I there treated of this matter. the vena cava. while I found all ought to think about all the rest. of which think it has just been said that nature is to — contributing to For all that. should be carefully shown. I should like that those not versed in reading this. where divided into many branches. . the venous artery. being the first and most general movement that is observed in animals. and cause that there be demonstrated to them the two chambers of all or cavities which are within side. interlaced with those of the and with those of the tube which is called the windpipe. may be said to resemble could not find in these functions any which. into many proceed to disperse themselves is through the lungs. it. which. branches which divides. distinct its from the body. sends its branches throughout little membranes. because it is it is nothing but a vein which comes from the lungs. this part of us. taking after its origin from the heart. artery which. which has also been badly named. inasmuch as .110 sequently without our soul Discourse —that is to say. with which two very large is tubes or channels correspond. open and shut the four entrances which There are of are in these two cavities. before of having cut up before their eyes the heart of some large animal which has lungs (for it is in all respects sufficiently similar to the heart of a man). I should also wish that the eleven these three at the entrance of the vena cava. issuing from the heart. I it. the body. Then there secondly the cavity on the left side with which there again correspond two tubes which are as large or larger than the preceding. which all the other veins of the body are the branches and it there is is the arterial vein which has been badly named because nothing but an artery which. when assumed I are men that God had created a rational soul and that He had united it to this body in a particular manner which I described. will give us the means of easily judging as to what we being dependent on thought. of we them afterwards. functions which are identically the same as those in which animals lacking reason us. having issued from all it. tree of and so to speak the trunk of a . And so that there may be less difficulty in understanding what I shall say on this matter. and the great through which enters the air which we breathe arterial vein. anatomy should take the trouble. which the principal receptacle of the blood. I wish here to set forth the explanation of the movement of heart and arteries which. where they are so arranged that they can in nowise prevent the blood which it contains . pertain to us alone. like so many doors. viz. There is first that which is on the right viz.

can be better closed with three. easily allow the blood which is in this cavity to pass into the lungs. they force five little By this means. There are also two do not artery. there are three at the entrance to the arterial vein. doors which are at the entrances . ] which they find there. which are turned towards the heart. one into each of the right cavity. except that the opening of the venous artery it is being oval. because the openings by which they enter are very wide and the vessels from whence they come are very full of blood. which are composed of a tissue similar to its own and also . After this the I do not need to say anything with a view to explaining of the heart. But as soon as two drops of blood have thus entered. but permit its return . always more heat in the heart than in any other part body and finally that this heat is capable of causing any drop of blood that enters into dilate. which cannot be otherwise than very large. being arranged quite the other way. may be conveniently closed with two membranes. cannot then be closed. by this means causing flow. which. should have my and the arterial vein are much harder and cava . enough blood to keep these two vessels always full. being round. readers consider that the grand artery Further. and three at the entrance of the great its which allow the blood to flow from the heart. and being full. and that these two expand before entering the and there form so to speak two pockets called the auricles of the heart. that their orifices. because of the situation where met I with. except that movement when its cavities are not full of blood there necessarily flows from the vena cava into the and from the venous artery into the left. then no cause to seek for any other reason for the number of these membranes. while the others. they push open the six doors which are in the entrances of the two other vessels through which they make their exit. causing the whole heart to expand. as liquids its cavities promptly to expand and fall usually do when they are allowed to drop by drop into some very hot vessel. but not that which is already in the lungs to return to this cavity. home and close the of the whence they two vessels thus preventing any more blood from coming down into the heart and becoming more and more rarefied.on the Method 111 from flowing into the right cavity of the heart and yet exactly prevent its issuing out . . rarefy and dilate because of the heat cavities. that there of the is . which allow the blood in the lungs to flow towards the left cavity of the heart. firmer than are the venous artery last and the vena heart. but prevent There is return. these drops. others at the entrance of the venous artery.

112 all Discourse the branches of the arterial vein and of the great artery to expand almost at the same instant as the heart. just as we saw before. as also of being the of its counterpoise But if 1 . whence . and from the nature of the blood of which we can learn by experience. unaccustomed to distinguish true reasons from merely probable reasons. we ask how the blood in the veins does not exhaust itself in thus flowing continually into the heart. it comes to pass that their movement is contrary to the movement of the heart. I need only reply by stating what has already been to whom the credit of having written by an English physician broken the ice in this matter must be ascribed. because the blood which and the six little doors close up again. it returns once more to the heart in this way its course is just a perpetual circulation. between the 1 Harvey (Latin Tr. do not know the force of mathematical demonstration and are . should not venture to deny what has been said without examination. cause the blood to issue more it abundantly than all . as can be seen by looking at the and from the heat which can be felt with the fingers. has entered them has cooled This last immediately afterward contracts as do also the arteries. . He proves this very clearly by the common experience of surgeons. I wish to acquaint them with the fact that this I movement which heart. since all that passes through the heart flows into them. and how the arteries do not become too full of blood. and that they For the rest. have just explained follows as necessarily from the very disposition of the organs. it would have done they had not bound if at it while quite a contrary result would occur they bound hand and the opening. who.). and the form. and the five doors of the vena cava and of the venous artery re-open and make a way for two other drops of blood which cause the heart and the arteries once more to expand. though it may prevent the blood already in the arm from below. by binding the arm moderately if firmly above the place where they open the vein. and of its wheels. as does that of a clock from the power. or if they bound it very firmly above. first to teach that there are many little tubes at the extremities of the arteries whereby the blood that they receive from the heart enters the little branches of the veins. For it is clear that when the bandage is moderately tight. in order that those who contract when it expands. And because the blood which then enters the heart passes through these two pouches which are called auricles. the situation.

are less easy to compress and also that the blood which comes from the heart tends to pass by means of the arteries to the hand with greater force than it does to return from the hand to the heart by . it is more subtle and lively and warmer immediately after leaving the heart (that is to say. that. because these are situated below the veins. and is not so clear in those parts which are further removed from it. not that the blood of the venous artery having only been in the lungs since through the heart. being rarefied. this difference does not appear clearly. and so to speak distilled by passing through the heart. it to say. towards the can come thither from the This physician likewise proves very clearly the truth of that which he says of the course of the blood. so that there could be no ground for supposing that the blood which flowed out of it could proceed from any other place but the heart. cannot for that prevent more blood from coming anew by the arteries. the consistency of the coverings of which the arterial vein and the great artery are composed. And is because this blood escapes from the arm by the opening which made in one of the veins. is more subtle and rarefies had passed more effectively and 8 . But there are many other things which demonstrate that the true cause of this motion of the blood is that which I have stated. when in the veins). excepting in the vicinity of the heart. And if attention be paid. we shall find that to return from the extremities to the heart . and cut between it and the ligature. can only proceed from the fact. that they do not permit the blood to pass from the middle of the body towards the extremities. the veins. by the existence of certain little membranes or valves which are so arranged in different places along the course of the veins. when in the arteries) than it is a little while before entering it (that is. the difference which is seen between the blood which issues from the veins. and this is so even when it is very tightly bound very near the heart. To begin with. shows clearly enough that the blood. Further. through which arteries.on the Method it 113 all returning to the heart by the veins. being stronger. and that which issues from the arteries. but only and further by the experiment which shows that all the blood which is in the body may issue from it in a very short time by means of one single artery that has been cut. beats against them with more forge than it does in the case of the veins. And why larger should the left cavity of the heart and the great artery be if it is and wider than it the right cavity and the arterial vein. and their walls. R. there is must necessarily be some passages below the ligature. that extremities of the arm. h.

and a conduit through which it passes from the arterial vein into the great artery hearts. We are confirmed in this statement by seeing that the animals which have no lungs have also but one cavity in their so to speak transformed into vapours. where has been rarefied become and anew converted into blood before falling into the left cavity. and more or less quickly than before ? this heat is communicated to the other members. without which process it would not be fit to serve as fuel for the fire which there exists. and along with this some of the more fluid parts of the blood which aid in dissolving the foods which have been there placed ? And is not the action which converts the juice of foods into blood easy to understand if we consider that further need is it is distilled by passing and repassing through the heart possibly more than one or two hundred times in a day which are in the body. there is an opening by which the blood flows from the vena cava into the left cavity of the heart. by that same means we take away from it the heat. must it not be allowed that it is by means of the blood which. to thicken. in being rarefied. even if the heart were as ardent as a red hot iron it would not unless it suffice to heat up the feet and hands as it actually does. without passing through the lung. And may how unless they know that. it be rarefied by the warmth of the heart in a greater or less And if we inquire degree. who cannot use them while still within their mother's wombs. Again. if ? What there to explain the process of nutrition and the production of the different humours we can say that the its force with which the blood. just as . causes some of parts to remain among those of the place of others which they oust members where they are found and there to take the and that according to the situation . passing through the heart. We further understand from this that the true use of respiration is to carry sufficient fresh air into the lungs to cause the blood. passes from the heart towards the extremities of the arteries. which comes it there from the right cavity of the heart. certain ones proceed to certain parts rather than others.114 easily Discourse than that which proceeds immediately from the vena cava" what is it that the physicians can discover in feeling the pulse. is heated once again aud thence is spread throughout From this it happens that if we take away the blood all the body ? from any particular part. continually sent out to them new blood. how could digestion be carried on in the stomach if the heart did not send heat there by the arteries. or form or smallness of the little pores which they encounter. and and that in children. according as the blood changes its nature.

and which. heat and all other . thereb} giving to suppose all the members. qualities pertaining to external objects are able to imprint on it various ideas by the intervention of the senses . and in a manner as suitable to the objects which present themselves to its senses and it . as can happen in our own case apart from the direction of our free will. being most agitated and most penetrating. what changes are necessary in the brain to cause wakefulness. by the fancy which can change them in diverse ways and out of them constitute new ideas. distributing the animal spirits through the muscles. a in order that the animal spirits therein contained should have the power to little move the members. the weakest and least agitated parts must by I necessarily be turned aside by those that are stronger. are still observed to move and bite the earth. con- up in great abundance from the heart to the r thence proceeds through the nerves to the muscles. sleep and dreams how light. which are identical with those of Nature. just as the heads of while after decapitation. can cause the members of such a body to move in as many diverse ways. are the most the power of motion to proper to constitute these spirits.on the Method 115 a number of different sieves variously perforated. what must be the fabric of the nerves and muscles of the this human body animals. ' thirst and other internal affections can also convey their impressions upon what should be regarded as the common sense by which these ideas are received. which means are the only ones to reach it. most remarkable of all. are capable of separating different species of grain? And finally what in all this is ration of the animal spirits. smells. And afterwards I had shown there. ' to its internal passions. notwithstanding that they are no longer animate . sounds. tastes. is the genewhich resemble a very subtle wind. or brain. as everyone has probably seen. had explained all these matters in some detail in the Treatise which I formerly intended to publish. when many is objects tend to move together to the same point. and what is meant by the memory which retains them. rather a flame which tinually rising is very pure and very vivid. And it is not necessary any other cause to explain how the particles of blood. And this will not seem strange 8—2 . and which. by the same means. how hunger. and that according to the laws of Mechanics. than that the arteries which carry them thither are those which proceed from the heart in the most direct lines. proceed towards the brain rather than elsewhere. where there not room for all (as is the case with the particles of blood which issue from the left cavity of the heart and tend to go towards the brain). which.

and even emit some responses touched in a particular part if it to action on its it . that they that. and possesses in itself movements which are much more admirable. having been made by the hands of God. said in its the second that although machines can perform certain things as any of us can do. as even the lowest type of difference is. could never use speech or other signs as we do when placing our thoughts on record for the benefit of others. none so depraved and stupid. than any of Here I specially stopped to those which can be invented by man. for all contingencies. By these two methods we may brutes. But never happens that arranges its speech in various ways. if it is it which brings about a change in in another part it it organs may ask what we wish to say to it is may exclaim that it being hurt. is From this l^ aspect the body regarded as a machine which. without even that they cannot arrange different words together. show that if there had been such machines. possessing the organs and outward form of a monkey or some other animal without reason. veins. . they infallibly fall short in others. arteries. but only from the disposition of their For while reason is a universal instrument which can serve organs. by the which means we may discover that they did not act from knowledge. we should not have had any means of ascertaining that they were On the other hand. Discourse knowing how many different automata or moving machines can be made by the industry of man. they were not real men. who. of a corporeal kind. for instance. From this it follows that it is morally impossible that there should be sufficient diversity in any machine to allow it to act in all the events of life in the same way as our reason causes us to act.116 to those. we should always have two very certain tests by which to recognise The first is. for all that. For we can easily it I understand a machine's being constituted so that it can utter words. if not of the same nature as those animals. and so on. also recognise the difference that exists between fact that there are men and For it is a very remarkable excepting idiots. or other parts that are found in the body of each animal. is incomparably better arranged. muscles. without employing iu so doing more than a very few parts in comparison with the great multitude of bones. there were machines which bore a resemblance to our body and imitated our actions as far as was morally possible to do so. in order to reply appropriately to everything that presence. nerves. man can may be And do. these organs have need of some special adaptawell as or perhaps better than tion for every particular action.

.on the Method 117 forming of them a statement by which they make known their no other animal. since they have many organs which are allied to our own. and that it is nature which acts in them according to the disposition of their organs. have And is this does not merely that the brutes have less reason than men. remarkable fact that although there are many animals which exhibit more dexterity than we do in some of their we at the same time observe that they do not manifest any dexterity at all in many others. It rather shows that they have no reason at all. are in the same degree. should not in these matters equal the stupidest whose mind is clouded. Hence the fact that they do better than we do. although we do not understand their language. And we ought not to confound speech with natural movements which betray passions and may be imitated by child to be found. themselves inventing certain signs by which they leisure to learn their language. does not prove that they are endowed with mind. there is to pass. being usually in their company. that is. on the other hand. some of the ancients. men who. and would surpass us in all other things. for in this case they would have more reason than any of us. so as to give evidence that they think of what they say. selected as the most or at least a child perfect of its species. however perfect and fortunately circumstanced it may be. which is only composed of wheels and weights is able to tell the hours and measure the time more correctly than we can do with all our wisdom. that brutes talk. is it not credible that a monkey or a parrot. On the other hand. while. For if this were true. destitute of the organs which serve the others for talking. It is not the want of organs that brings this thoughts . nor must we think. they could communicate their thoughts to us just as easily as to those of their It is also a very own race. And when we notice the inequality that exists between animals of the same species. are in the habit of utter words just ourselves. I had described after this the rational soul and shown that it actions. make themselves show understood by those who. unless in the case of the brute the soul were of an entirely different nature from ours. but that they have none at all. which can do the same. or even more than the brutes. as well as between men. and observe that some are more capable of receiving instruction than others. machines as well a? be manifested by animals as did . since it is clear that very little required in order to be able to talk. just as a clock. being born deaf and dumb. for it is evident that magpies and parrots are able to like and yet they cannot speak as we do.

Part VI. that not sufficient that should be should lodged in the also be joined human body like its a pilot in his ship. because it is one of the greatest importance. and that in consequence. it in order to place it in the hands of a when I learned that certain persons. while before by another person 1 I will not say that I I agreed with this opinion. we are naturally inclined to judge that it the soul of the brute is of the is immortal. I have here enlarged a little on the subject of the soul. or consequently which could have prevented me own from giving expression to it in writing. but that it is it must be expressly it showed. As a matter of fact. defer. I I had spoken. It is three years since I arrived at the end of the Treatise . but only that before their censure it observed in nothing which I could possibly imagine to be prejudicial either to Religion or the State. Galileo. if my reason had persuaded me to do so : and this made me I fear that among my opinions one might be found which should be misunderstood. there is more effectual in leading- feeble spirits from the straight path of virtue. which none which is think I have already sufficiently refuted. after this life we have nothing to fear or to hope for. unless perhaps for it is the moving of members. like the other things of which created. when one comes to know how greatly they differ. In conclusion.118 Discourse could not be in any way derived from the power of matter. have always taken not to new beliefs unless I had very certain proof of their and not to give expression to what could tend to the dis1 i.e. but that necessary that it and united more closely to the body in order to have sensations and appetites similar to our own. which contained all these things and I I was commencing to revise printer. too. had disapproved of a physical theory published a . we understand much better the reasons which go to prove that our soul is in its nature entirely independent of body. I For next to the error of those who deny God. notwithstanding the great care which accept any truth. . than to imagine that same nature as our own. capable of destroying it. and thus to form a true man. inasmuch as we observe no other causes die with it. and in consequence that it is not liable to And then. any more than the flies and ants. to whose opinions and whose authority cannot have over little less weight with my actions than my own reason has my thoughts.

which always made me hate the profession of writing books. and as. we may find a practical philosophy by means of which. This is not merely to be desired with a view to the invention of an infinity of arts and crafts which enable us to enjoy without any trouble the fruits of the earth and all the good things which are to w . and that. caused me immediately to find plenty of other reasons for excusing myself from doing so. although my speculations also give me the greatest pleasure. believed that others had speculations which possibly pleased them even more. if it sense. and thus render ourselves the masters and possessors of nature. Method which confident of his own common as heads. I have never made much of those things which proceed from mind. beginning to make use of them in various special difficulties. resolution which for I the Method me 119 to alter the This sufficed to cause to publish. water. as distinctly as we know the different crafts of our artisans. and how much they differ from the principles of which we have made use up to the present time. make any changes in that. on the one side and on the other. that there might be found as many reformers were permitted that others than those whom God has established least to whom He has given should be allowed to as the sovereigns of his people. And. had made For. or at sufficient grace and I zeal to be prophets. we can in the same way employ them in all those uses to which they are adapted. everyone is so use. air. For they caused me to see that it is possible to attain knowledge which is very useful in life. or trying to regulate my conduct by the reasons which it has taught me. instead of that speculative philosophy which is taught in the Schools. the stars. And these reasons. I never believed myself to be obliged to write anything about it. knowing the force and the action of fire. the general good of all mankind. although the reasons my former resolution were very strong. as much as in us lies. heavens and all other bodies that environ us. but possibly the public may also have some I interest in knowing them. and so long as I my own culled no other fruits from the beyond that of satisfying myself respecting certain difficulties which pertain to the speculative sciences. For as regards that which concerns conduct.on advantage of any person. I observed to what point they might lead us. are of such a nature that not only in giving expression to have I here some interest them. my inclination. But so soon as I had acquired some general notions concerning Physics. I believed that I could not keep them concealed without greatly sinning against the law which obliges us to procure.

and of all the remedies with which nature we could be has provided us. and then to communicate to the public all the things which they might discover. without having any intention of decrying it. But. and the fact that the circumstances on which they depend are almost always so particular and so minute that it is very difficult to observe . I am sure that there profession. I judged that there was no better provision against these two impediments than public the little which I all communicate to the should myself have discovered. rather than to seek out those which are more rare and recondite is that those which are more rare often mislead we do not know the causes of the more common. I believe that it it is medicine that must be sought. It is true that the medicine which able . and of which we could not be ignorant provided that we reflected ever so the reason of this us so long as little. and to beg faithfully to ability. indeed. and having me to be of such a nature that we must by unless. means infallibly reach our end if we pursue it. we should collectively proceed doing. to well-inclined persons to proceed further by contributing. if we had sufficient knowledge of their causes. no one. which is brings about the without doubt the chief blessing life. but also principally because preservation of health. and the foundation of organs that. is now is in vogue contains little of which the utility is remark- but. inclination and the experiments which must be made. and thus. I for to begin with it is better to make use simply of those which present themselves spontaneously to our senses. free of an infinitude of maladies both of body and mind. even among those who make confess that ail that its study a who does not nothing in comparison with what remains to men know is almost be known and that .120 Discourse it be found there. having the intention of devoting is all my life to the investigation of a knowledge which discovered a path which appears to so essential. in order that the last should commence where the preceding had left off. and even also possibly of the infirmities of age. by joining together the lives and labours of many. each one according to his own. if it is all other blessings in this For the mind depends so much on the temperament and disposition of the bodily possible to find a means of rendering men wiser in and cleverer than they have hitherto been. we are prevented by the shortness of life or by lack its of experience. much further than any one in particular could succeed in remarked also respecting experiments. that they become so much the more necessary the more one is advanced in knowledge.

But I the other. and even on the earth. and consequently the easiest to know. that I did not was possible for the human mind to distinguish the forms or species of bodies which are on the earth from an infinitude of others which might have been so if it had been the will of God to place think it them that there. Then. or deriving them from any source excepting from certain germs of truths which are naturally existent in our souls. I have now reached a position sufficiently clearly in which seems to me. or consequently to apply them to our use. if it were not we all arrive at the causes bj^ the effects.! In subsequently passing over in my the objects which have ever been presented to I my senses.l As to that. and these principles are so simple and general. and seems to me that in this way I discovered the heavens. so many objects of various kinds presented themselves to me. I do not know any other plan but again to try to find experiments of such a nature that their result is not the same if it has to be explained by one of the methods. the stars. that I observed hardly any particular effect as to which I could not at once recognise that it might be deduced from the principles in many different ways. and avail ourselves of many mind I particular experiments. that neither my income. without consider- ing anything that might accomplish this end but God Himself who has created the world. to carry out this end. when I wished to descend to those which were more particular. After that I considered which were the primary and most it ordinary effects which might be deduced from these causes. But I also are of such a nature. the minerals and some other such things. though the latter were a thousand times larger . I discern.on them. what course must perceive that they be adopted in order to make the majority of the experiments which may conduce hands nor than it is. and my greatest difficulty is usually to discover in which of these ways the effect does depend upon them. can truly venture to say that I have not there observed anything I which could not easily explain by the principles which had must also confess that the power of nature is so ample and so vast. I the Method I 121 is But in this the order which have followed as follows first : have first tried to is discover generally the principles or causes of everything that or that can be in the world. shall I have the power of carrying out more of them or or less progress in arriving at a knowledge make more . For the as it rest. which are the most common and simple of any that exist. water. an earth. as it would be if explained by discovered. my and of so great a number. air. fire. could suffice for the whole I shall so that just in proportion as henceforth less.

is at the same time true that our cares should extend further than the present time. seemed false when I tried to place them on paper). and because I did not desire to lose any opportunity of benefiting the public if I were able to do so. as useful to much as in is him the good of others. when we have in view the accomplishment of other ends which to our descendants. being able to and with the knowledge of which I do not despair of For it is much the same with those who little attain.122 of nature. whenever those into whose hands they will fall after my death. as with those who. so that neither the contradictions and controversies to which they might possibly give rise. will bring I much should more advantage In the same way little much I like that men should know is that the which I have learned hitherto almost nothing in comparison with that of which am ignorant. I did this because it would give me so much the more occasion to examine them carefully (for there is no doubt that we always scrutinize more closely what we think will be seen by many. But I have since that time found other reasons which caused me to change my opinion. nor even the reputation. should not consent to their being published during my lifetime. For although it is lies. and not only by a false semblance or by opinion both to communicate to me those experiments that they have already carried out. than what is done simply for ourselves. might have the I. true that each man is obliged to procure. and that I should bestow on them the same care as I should have done had I wished to have them printed. should give me any occasion to lose the time which I meant to set apart for my own instruction. all those who are really virtuous in fact. such as it might be. . power of making use of them resolved that I as seems best to them. and that it is good to set aside those things which may possibly be adapted to bring profit to the living. and consider that I should indeed continue to put in writing all the things which I judged to be of importance I discovered them to be true. by little discover the truth in the Sciences. — — investigation of those that still remain to be accomplished. and often the things which have seemed true to me when I began to think about them. which they would bring to me. however. and to help me in the what I had written. and in order that if my works have any value. and that to be it nobody popularly speaking to be worthless. that I should induce all those who have the good of mankind at heart that is to say. Discourse This is had promised myself to make known by and to demonstrate in it so clearly the Treatise which I the advantage which the public might receive from it.

to assist . were I to publish the foundations of my for though these are nearly to evident that it is only necessary to understand them in order to accept them. yet because impossible that they should accord with all the various opinions I it is of other men. and to lose a battle to admit a false opinion touching skill is a matter of any generality and importance. much order to hold together their troops after the loss of a battle. We may say that these contradictions might be useful both in making me aware of my errors. when poorer. I and although there are none of them as which do not believe myself capable of giving demonstration. in bringing others to a fuller understanding of my speculations and. For myself. they might help in leading others who from the . required in held. doubt all so I should have many chances of being robbed of Physics . and battles in my I encounter with these I look upon as so side. whose forces usually grow in proportion to their victories. have acquisitions than they formerly experienced. it. as I have the greater hope of being able to employ it well.on commencing to the Method less trouble in 123 obtaining great become rich. than is needed to take towns and provinces after having obtained a success. in arriv- Or we might compare them to the Generals of our armies. And my age not so advanced but still that. as many can see more than can a single man. present time may begin to avail themselves of my system. And without leisure for this end. and. and dependent on. Lmay have sufficient But I believe myself to be so much the more bound to make the most of the time which remains. than is Much more order to recover the position that one beforehand necessary to make great progress when one already if I I I possesses principles which are assured. For he really gives battle who attempts to conquer all the difficulties and errors which prevent him from arriving at a knowledge of the it is truth. foresee that I should often be diverted from my main design by the opposition which they would bring to birth. I may say that they are resultant from. five or six principal difficulties which I I have sur- mounted. and who require more leadership in ing at those smaller in amount. supposing that I had reached some satisfactory conclusion. in the ordinary course of nature. many which have had fortune on I my will not even hesitate to say that think I shall have no need to win more than in order to reach the is two or three other victories similar in kind accomplishment of my plans. have succeeded in discovering certain truths in the Sciences (and that the matters contained in this volume will show that hope have discovered some).

And think I can without vanity say that if anyone is capable of doing this. In this way hardly ever have I encountered any censor of my opinions who did not appear to myself. the experience which to have had of the objections which may be made my system prevents my having any hope of deriving profit from them. and even. and of some others to whom I believed myself to be indifferent. inasmuch so far as that it is as I have not yet carried them not necessary to add many I things before they can be brought into practice. But rarely has it happened that any objection has been made which I did not in some sort foresee. recognise that I am extremely liable to reflections that and though almost never trust the I first I arrive at. On clearly.124 Discourse But though I I me likewise with their discoveries. unless where it was something very far removed from my subject. it should be myself rather than another —not indeed that there it is is may not be in the world many minds incomparably superior to my own. nor do I judge from . discovered for so much truth in that although I have often explained some of I my opinions to persons of very good intelligence. of some whose ill-feeling and envy would. tions me to be either less rigorous or less judicial than And I certainly never remarked that by means of disputa- employed by the Schools any truth has been discovered of And so long as each side which we were formerly ignorant. it could not be very great. make them endeavour to reveal what affection concealed from the eyes of my friends. As regards the matter in hand there his this. For I have often had experience of the judgments both of those whom I have esteemed as my friends. too. but because no one can so well understand a thing and make it own when learnt from another as when himself. As which others may receive from the com- munication of my reflections. attempts to vanquish his opponent. and those who have to the advantage for long been excellent pleaders are not for that reason the best judges. while talked to them appeared to understand them very them I a manner that this account I remarked that they had almost always altered I when they recounted them in such could no longer acknowledge them as mine. there is a much more serious attempt to establish probability than to weigh the reasons on either side . my descendants least never to believe that what I told to them proceeded I from myself unless have myself divulged And do not in the wonder at the extravagances attributed to all the ancient philosophers whose writings we do not possess. yet am very glad to have the opportunity here of begging is it. I felt sure. err. who.

in publishing them. that is it in the interest of such people that I should abstain from I publishing the principles of philosophy of which make use. in. for it appears to me that such men also sink again — somehow render themselves more ignorant than they would have been had they abstained from study altogether. and which. and which often even descends again after it has reached their summit that is to say. But even the best minds have no reason if acquainted with these principles. and in regard to which he possibly had no thought at all. and defend acute. being so simple and evident as they are. when others come If. him the solution of many difficulties of which he says nothing. would have the latter to come into the bottom of a very dark cave.on the Method 125 these that their thoughts were very unreasonable. into question. but only that they have been imperfectly represented to We see. they prefer the knowledge of some small amount of truth to the vanity of seeming to be ignorant of nothing. obliges one to confess one's ignorance. considering that theirs were the best minds of the time they lived us. they will more readily attain their end by contenting themselves with the appearance of truth which without may be found in all sorts of things much by trouble. do the same as though I threw open the windows and caused to desire to be daylight to enter the cave into which they have descended in order to fight. At the same time their mode of philosophising is very convenient for those who have abilities of a very mediocre kind. too. not content with knowing all that is intelligibly explained in their author. For. itself little certain spheres. they had as much knowledge of nature as he had. even if this were on the condition that they They are like the ivy that never tries to mount above the trees which give it support. In this they seem to me like a blind man who. that it hardly ever happens that any of their disciples surpassed them. without that they say against the most subtle and any one having the means of convincing them to the contrary. than in seeking for truth little in which only reveals however. for of everything they wish to be able to talk and acquire a reputation for learning. for the obscurity of the distinctions and they wish in addition to find in principles of which they make all use. in order to fight on equal terms with one who sees. I may say. and I am sure that those who most passionately follow Aristotle now-aif days would think themselves happy should never attain to any more. is the reason of their being able to talk of all things as boldly as though they really knew about them. which knowledge is . for. too. I should.

it is that at which And. which could not occupy any of the student's time without causing it to be lost. As to those who. planning out fine sounding projects. that difficult for him to disentangle the truth. And as to the experiments already made by others. excepting those of artisans or persons of that kind whom whom the hope of gain —which is a very effectual all — might cause to perform with exactitude the things curiosity or desire to learn. or at least I should never have acquired the habit or facility which finding I think I have obtained. it is certain that what remains for me to discover is in itself I more difficult and more recondite than anything that have hitherto been able to meet with. . not only are they usually more ready with promises than with performance. none of which they were directed to accomplish.126 doubtless preferable. or at least by empty compliments and useless talk. It is true as regards the experiments which may conduce all to this end. if there labour. whether by might possibly offer him their voluntary assistance. employ other hands than his own. it is not necessary that should say any more than what have already said in this Discourse. even if they desired to communicate these to secrets him — which those who term them it would never do — they are for the most part accompanied by would be very In addition to this he so many circumstances or superfluous matter. are ever realised. is any work at all which cannot be so well achieved by another as by him who has begun it. and incentive not. But yet he could he could pay. to good advantage. not having examined anything but in order. or had not had any difficulty in learning them. of ever them anew. the habit which they little will acquire of things that are simple and then to others by little and by degrees passing all more difficult. that one man could not possibly accomplish of them. as regards had been taught the truths of which have since sought the demonstrations. if from my youth up I For. and they would have learning from much less pleasure in me than from themselves. they all I much its the more be able to find by themselves believe myself to have discovered j since. I in a word. in proportion as I set myself to seek for them. I For that if they are capable will also so of passing beyond the point have reached. or to if Discourse they desire to follow a course similar I my I own. I should perhaps never have known any others. seeking first Besides. but they will also infallibly demand payment for their trouble by requesting the explanation of certain difficulties. all if I I am persuaded that I my instructions. will be of more use than could be myself.

that if there were anywhere in the world a person whom one knew and their to be assuredly capable of discovering matters of the highest importance and those of the greatest possible utility to the public. or even so false (because forced to who carried them out were make them appear to be in conformity with their principles). the cause of my not desiring to publish the Treatise which I had on hand. I do not yet own a soul so base as to be willing to it accept from anyone whatever a favour which I might be supposed did not merit. they would hardly be worth the time that would be required in making the selection. bring forward certain attempts. or. at the same time never tried to conceal my actions as though they were crimes. nor have I used many precautions it against being known. if for this reason all other men were eager by every means in power to help him in reaching the end which he set before him. The first is to do so. in addition to the fact that I neither esteem myself so highly as to be willing to promise anything extraordinary. or one by to which the foundations of Physics could be understood. disadvantage for than they really were for although I do not care immoderately even hate glory. as to the public I But since then two other reasons came into operation which compelled me have done here. if I dare say so. leisure or. and to render that some account of my actions and designs. nor give scope to an imagination so vain as to conceive that the public should interest itself greatly in my designs. All those considerations taken together were. might imagine that the causes if I failed for which I abstained from so doing were more to . damaging in this way always held myself in a condition of indifference as . and the reason to light during why I even formed the life resolution of not bringing my any other of so general a kind. So true is this. although I I inasmuch as all judge it to be antagonistic to the repose I which I esteem above other things. that if there had been some which might have been of use to him. But. for the rest. partly because I should have thought and partly because it would have given me a sort of disquietude which would again have militated against the perfect repose of spirit which I seek. three years ago. I do not see that they could do anything for him beyond contributing to defray the expenses of the experiments which might be requisite.on would find nearly those all so the Method 127 badly explained. seeing that he was not deprived of his by the importunities of anyone. And forasmuch as having to myself. my it. many who knew the intention I formerly had of publishing certain writings.

and I hope If that they will find themselves satisfied. I may try at the same time to subjoin my reply. so that. both on my own many account. will the more easily judge of the truth in . For it appears to me that . I yet my do not wish to be found wanting. so that may not be endlessly engaged in passing from one side to the other. to put this in writing is that I is am becoming every day more and more I alive to the delay which being suffered in the design which have of instructing myself. nor yet me propound more of my principles than which yet would suffice to allow a pretty clear I can do and what I cannot do in the sciences. and as one day giving occasion to those who will survive left I me of reproaching me for the fact that I I might have in matters in a much better condition than have done. In this I cannot have succeeded or have not succeeded. had not too much neglected to make them understand it what way they could designs. for I do not promise any instance to make lengthy if I replies. being made aware of them. I have not yet been able to prevent myself from acquiring some sort of reputation. say whether I and manifestation of what I wish. if I cannot perceive them. seeing objections and reply at the same doing. and I do not wish to anticipate the judgment of any one by myself speaking of my writings but I shall be very glad if they will examine them. which it is impossible that I should perform without the aid of others : and although I do not flatter myself so much as to hope that the public should to any large degree participate in interest. I thought that I should do my best at least to prevent myself from The other reason which obliged me acquiring an evil reputation. some of the matters of which I spoke in the beginning of the Dioptrics and Meteors should at first sight give offence because I call them hypotheses and do not appear to care about their proof. . let them have the patience to read these in entirety.128 regards whether 1 Discourse was known or was not known. because of the lack of an infinitude of experiments. And in order that they I may have the better opportunity of so who have any objections to offer to take the trouble of sending them to my publishers. but just to avow . beg all those time. to say simply what matters I think requisite for the defence of the have written. have contributed to the accomplishment of my And oblige I thought that to was easy for me to select certain matters which would not be the occasion for many controversies. without adding the exposition of any new I matter. By this means. the reader. my errors very frankly am convinced of them I or.

H. and thus cause the blame to be put on me. do not for that reason think that . I which less I have described without omitting any should not be astonished at their succeeding at the first effort than I should be supposing some one were in one day to learn to play the guitar with skill. the earlier are reciprocally demonstrated by the later which are their effects. as regards the opinions that are truly For for mine I do not apologise of them them well. Even if artisans are not at once able to carry out the invention I 1 explained in the Dioptrics. but only because Reason has persuaded me of their truth. as to appear less extraordinary and less paradoxical than any others which may be held on similar as being new. while they are really all the more subject to err. rather than in Latin which that of my teachers. nor because they have not been so held. that is 1 Doubtless the machine for the purpose of cutting lenses so minutely describes. not because they have been held by others. the causes I deduce them do not so much serve to prove their existence as to explain them . And if I write in French which is is the language of my country. on the other hand. the causes are I explainea^bythe effects. so soon as he has merely spoken to them two or three words on the subject. inasmuch as great required to make and adjust the mechanism to be detail. that as the later ones are demonstrated by the earlier. it can be said that it is address and practice is condemned for. And have not named them hypotheses it with any other object than that consider myself able to may be known that while I which build I deduce them from the primary truths explained above. I refer to those who imagine that in one day they may discover all that another has arrived at in twenty years of work. since experience renders the greater part of these effects very certain. which are their causes. just because a good sheet of musical notation were set up before him. in order that certain persons may not for this reason take occasion to up some extravagant philosophic system on what they take to be my principles. And I do not even boast of being the first discoverer of any of them. And it must not be imagined that in this I circle. I assure myself that they will be found to be so simple and so conformable to common sense. and less capable of perceiving the truth as they are the more subtle and lively. commit the fallacy which logicians name arguing in a from which for. inasmuch as if we consider the reasons subjects. yet I particularly desired not to do so. .on the Method 129 the reasonings are so mutually interwoven. but only state that I have adopted them. which Descartes 9 R.

and my inclination is so strongly opposed to any other kind of pursuit. nor to bind myself as regards the public with any promise which I shall not with I certainty be able to But I will just say that have resolved not to employ the time which remaius to me in life in knowledge of nature. end I have and I shall always hold myself to be more indebted to those by whose favour I may enjoy my leisure without hindrance. more especially to those which can only be useful to some by being harmful to others. I whom alone I crave for my judges. they will not. that if certain circumstances had constrained me to employ them. follow feel sure. which any other matter than in endeavouring to acquire some shall be of such a kind that it will enable us to arrive at rules for Medicine more assured than those which have as yet been attained . I do not think that I should have been capable of succeeding. For the do not desire to speak here more particularly of I the progress which hope in the future to make in the sciences. . but to this . I expound it in a vulgar tongue. than I shall be to any who may offer me the most no desire to attain honourable position in all the world. fulfil. In so saying to I make a declaration that I know very well cannot help me make myself of consideration in the world. be so partial to Latin as to refuse to I my reasoning because rest.130 because I Discourse on the Method hope that those who avail themselves only of their natural reason in its purity may be better judges of my opinions than those who believe only in the writings of the ancients and as to those . who unite good sense with study.

MEDITATIONS ON FIRST PHILOSOPHY 9—2 .

This revision renders the French edition it specially valuable. His Mersenne. 1 . was apparently his fear that the Dutch ministers might in some friend. took charge of difficulties its publication in Paris and wrote to him about any its that occurred in the course of The second edition was however published at Amsterdam in 1642 by Louis Elzevir.' The edition from which the present translation is made is the second just mentioned. was subject to Descartes' revision and correction. progress through the press. Adam and Tannery as the more correct. 1 to complete matters. Due de Luynes in 1642 and Descartes considered the translation Clerselier.PEEFATOEY NOTE TO THE MEDITATIONS. but the indefinite kind. and this edition was accompanied by the now completed 'Objections and Replies. Where seems desirable an alternative reading from the French is given in square brackets. S. The first edition of the ' Meditations ' ' ' indeed given. E.' and this. where Descartes was living in a charming country house at Endegeest near Leiden. for reasons that they state in detail in the preface The work was translated into French by the to their edition. like the other. ' approbation ' seems to have been of a most The reason of the book being published in France and not in Holland. so excellent that he had it published some years later. For convenience sake the 'Objections and Beplies' are published in the second volume of this edition. H. Pere way lay hold of it. was published in Latin by Michael Soly of Paris 'at the Sign of the Phoenix' in 1641 cum The Royal privilege was Privilegio et Approbations Doctorum. and is that adopted by MM. had the ' Objections ' also published in French with the 'Replies.

He who of . that we must believe the Holy Scriptures because they come from God (the reason of this is. it certainly does not seem possible ever to persuade infidels of any religion. than in a few words to state what I I have set myself to do. we may almost say. unless. faith being a gift of God. on the other hand. I have noticed that you. am convinced that you it will also have so excellent a motive I feel for taking under your protection. in truth. that that I cannot do better. did not only affirm that the existence of God may be proved by the natural reason. in a circle. and. we nevertheless could not who might accuse us of reasoning all And. were they restrained neither by the fear God nor the expectation of another life and although it is absolutely true that we must believe "that there is a God. of any moral virtue. and. gives the grace to cause us to believe other things can likewise give it to cause us to believe that He exists). few people would prefer the right to the useful. in order to render it in some sort acceptable to you. and that God exists. place this argument before infidels. For although it is quite enough for us faithful ones to accept by means of faith the fact that the human soul does not perish with the body. And inasmuch as often in this life greater rewards are offered for vice than for virtue. indeed. so I The motive which induces me to present to you this Treatise is excellent. when you become acquainted with its design. have always considered that the two questions respecting God and the Soul were the chief of those that ought to be demonstrated by philosophical rather than theological argument. but also that may be inferred . because we are so taught in the Holy Scriptures.TO THE MOST WISE AND ILLUSTRIOUS THE DEAN AND DOCTORS OF THE SACRED FACULTY OF THEOLOGY IN PARIS. along with it the theologians. we prove these two facts by means of the natural reason. to begin with. that.

This indeed appears from the is is Wisdom to xiii. without excuse ' .134 Dedication from the Holy Scriptures. More than that. and as Leo expressly ordains Christian philosophers to refute their arguments and to employ all their powers in making known the truth. and. it is yet in my opinion the case that nothing more useful can be for all to seek accomplished in philosophy than once the best of these reasons. and to set with care for them forth in so clear and exact a manner. inasmuch as was desired that I should undertake this task by many who were aware that 1 had cultivated a certain Method for the resolution of . purpose to inquire how this is so. it And. not easy to know causes God. and that it is almost impossible to invent new are.. inasmuch as the Lateran Council held under Leo X (in the eighth session) condemns these tenets. of Solomon. and how God may be more easily and certainly known than the things of the world. and from the simple consideration Hence I thought it not beside my of the nature of our minds. as a matter so easy to acquire. And is as regards the soul. that it will henceforth be evident to everybody that they are veritable demonstrations. is that . where said ' Howbeit they are not for if their understanding was so great that they could discern the world and the creatures. is Him is much it clearer many created things. on the contrary. finally. I have ventured in this treatise to undertake the same task. and that the these two facts many impious persons not to desire to believe that there is a human soul is distinct from the body. by these words that which may be known of God is manifest in them. I am aware that the principal reason which nature. equal to so demonstrations. nevertheless. although its many have considered that it and some have even dared to say that human reasons have convinced us that it would perish with the body. that those who have not are culpable in their ignorance. why did they not rather find out the L&rd thereof V and in Romans. that knowledge about than that which we have of of fact. they declare that hitherto no one has been able to demonstrate and although I am not of their opinion but. men many many ones. and that faith alone could believe the contrary.. hold that the greater part of the reasons which have been brought forward concerning these two questions by so great when they are rightly understood.' it seems as \ though we were shown that all that which can be known of God may be made manifest by means which are not derived from anywhere but from ourselves. chapter i. it is said that they are ' ' and again in the same place. chapter be excused .

the demonstrations of Geometry. and principally because they demand a mind wholly free of prejudices. perfectly Geometry there are many left to us by Archimedes. For the importance of the subject. Not that have here drawn together all reasons which might be brought forward to serve as proofs of this subject : for that never seemed to be necessary excepting when But I have treated and principal ones in such a manner that I can venture to bring them forward as very evident and very certain demonstrations. and as all through that which follows has an exact connection with. by Pappus. there are not so many in the world who are fitted for metaphysical speculations as there are for those of Geometry. and others. they are only taken in and understood by a very Similarly. I cannot persuade myself that all the world capable of understanding them. whatever certainty is habit. And. and the glory of God to which all this relates. by which are accepted by everyone and evident (because they clearly contain nothing which. And more than that there is still this difference. and one which can be easily detached from the affairs of the senses. nevertheless. constrain there was no one single proof that was certain.Dedication difficulties of is 135 every kind in the Sciences is — a method which it is true not novel. there is not a certain demonstration. I yet apprehend that they cannot be adequately understood by many. truth to say. is not very easy to understand. just as in that have been Apollonius. I will say that these proofs are such that I do not think that there is any way open to the human mind by which it can ever succeed in discovering better. since each one is persuaded that nothing must be advanced of which . although I judge that those limited number of persons. that in Geometry. And more than that. considered by itself. in order to . or even surpass in certainty and evidence. since there nothing more ancient than the truth. but I of which they were aware that in other matters of difficulty — I had made use successfully enough have thought that it was my duty is also to make all trial of it in the present matter. of which I here make use are equal to. first the me to speak here somewhat more freely of myself than Nevertheless. and demand a mind wholly devoted to their consideration. and evidence I is find in my my reasons. Now that I could accomplish in the matter I contained in the different this Treatise. demonstrations as Still. those who are not entirely is adepts more frequently err in approving what false. certain and dependence on that which precedes). both because they are also a little lengthy and dependent the one on the other. because they are somewhat lengthy.

search after truth . in their desire to acquire a reputation for boldness of thought. next to the Sacred Councils. give the impression that they understand true. . who are usually more arrogant spirit of contra- than learned or judicious. I should not dare to state that it was free from errors). that henceforward all the errors and false opinions which all have ever existed regarding these two questions from the minds of men. and then. that. or at least making me aware of the defects when this is done so that I may apply myself to remedy them and when finally the reasonings by which I prove that there is a God. and the name of Sorbonne carries with it so much authority. For this reason I have no doubt that if you deign to take the trouble in the first place of correcting this work (for being conscious not only of my infirmity. arrogantly combat the most important of truths 1 That is why. you deign to authorise your approbation I and to render public testimony to their truth and certainty. to rid themselves of their diction or lead them possibly themselves to defend the reasonings all which they find being received as demonstrations by The French persons of 1 version is followed here. whatever force there may be in my reasonings. and that the human soul differs from the body. than in refuting the But the case is is different in philosophy where everyone believes that all and few give themselves to the and the greater number. and yourselves taking the trouble to give a more ample explanation of those things which have need of it. will soon be effaced For the truth to subscribe to itself will easily cause men of mind and learning your judgment . I cannot hope that they will have much effect on the minds of men. problematical. or more integrity and wisdom in pronouncing judgment. seeing they belong to philosophy. I do not doubt.136 Dedication it. unless you extend to them your protection. . not only in what concerns the faith. But the estimation in which your Company is universally held is so great. but also of my ignorance. completing those which are imperfect. shall be carried to that point of perspicuity to which I am sure they can be : 1 — carried in order that they if may be esteemed as perfectly exact demonstrations. never has such deference been paid to the judgment of any Body. and your authority will cause the atheists. say. but also in what regards human philosophy as well everyone indeed believes that it is not possible to discover elsewhere more perspicacity and solidity. after adding to it these things that are lacking to it.

published Not that I had the design of treating in French in the year 1637. lest they appear finally. that nature or its essence consists only in its being a thing that thinks. and so far removed from the ordinary . and be none who dares to doubt the existence of God and the not to understand them. in case the feebler minds should believe that it was permitted to them to attempt to follow the same path. It is for you now in your singular wisdom to judge of the importance of the establishment of such beliefs [you who see the disorders produced by the doubt of them] \ But it would not become me to say more in consideration of the cause of God and religion to those who have always been the most worthy supports of the Catholic Church. all there will real And.Preface to the Reader 137 consideration. others will easily yield to such a mass of evidence. The the objection is that it does not follow from the fact that does not perceive itself to be its human mind reflecting on itself other than a thing that thinks. PREFACE TO THE READER. that I did not judge in it to be expedient to set it forth at length French and in a Discourse which might be read by everyone. But. having in this Discourse on have found in my writings Method begged all those who somewhat deserving of censure to do me the grounds of it. . the favour of acquainting me with nothing worthy : of remark has been objected to in two I them beyond two matters to these wish here to reply in a few words before undertaking their more first detailed discussion. but only so to speak in passing. and true distinction between the human soul and the body. For these questions have always appeared to me to be of such importance that I judged it suitable to speak of them more than once and the road which I follow in the explanation of them is so little trodden. these with any thoroughness. in the sense that this word only excludes it all other things which might also be supposed to pertain to the nature of the soul. To this objection I reply that was not my intention in that place to exclude these in accordance with the order that looks to the truth of the matter (as to which 1 When it is thought desirable to insert additional readings from the French version this will be indicated by the use of square brackets. path. I have already slightly touched on these two questions of God and the human soul in the Discourse on the Method of rightly conducting the Reason and seeking truth in the Sciences. and in order to ascertain by the judgment of the readers how I should treat them later on.

138 I Preface to the Reader was not then dealing). In this way all that they allege will cause us no difficulty. rather than by a true and solid but subsequently received refutation of these opinions. as an act of it is my understanding. but only in accordance with the order of my thought [perception] thus my meaning was that so far as . I was aware. for may I . . and in this sense or it cannot be said that more perfect than which it is may be taken objectively. The second that I objection that it does not follow from the fact that this idea have in myself the idea of something more perfect than I am. and God as a Being who is incomprehensible and infinite. and as the judgments of many are so pugn my reasonings as my conclusions. or a thing that has in But I shall show hereafter how from itself the faculty of thinking. I knew nothing I clearly as belonging to my essence. provided only we remember that we must consider our minds as things which are finite and limited. and feeble and irrational that they very often allow themselves to be first persuaded by the opinions which they have false formed. as the thing represented by this act. be more perfect than because of And in following out this Treatise I shall I show more fully how. In addition to these two objections have also seen two this fairly lengthy works on this subject. always depends either on the fact that we ascribe to God affections which are human. I do not desire to reply here to their criticisms in case of being I shall first of all obliged to state them. because such arguments cannot make any impression on the minds of those who really understand my reasonings. which. it have in myself the idea of a thing more I follows that this thing truly exists. is more perfect than I. it excepting that follows that there is no other thing which really does belong to is it. there is But I reply that in this term idea it here something equivocal. may. its essence. although we do not suppose to exist outside of I. But. none the less. either be taken it materially. my understanding. the fact that I know no other thing which pertains to my essence. and much less that what is represented by this idea exists. which. or that we attribute so much strength and wisdom to our minds that we even have the presumption to desire to determine and understand that which God can and ought to do. was a thing that thinks. from the sole fact that perfect than myself. did not so much im- by arguments drawn from the ordinary atheistic sources. only say in general that all that is said by the atheist against the existence of God. however and far removed from reason they may be. however.

I shall reply to the objections which have been made to me by persons of genius and learning to whom I have sent considerations by which I persuade myself that certain my Meditations for examination. it On should never advise anyone to read affairs of sense. And although they perhaps in several parts find all occasion of cavilling. And. they can for their pains make no objection which is urgent or deserving of reply. And inasmuch at once. will not obtain much profit from reading this Treatise. (1st (Note in Adam and Tannery's Edition. after that. that I have once for I recognised and acknowledged the opinions of men. these. at once begin to treat of to God and the human First and at the same time treat of the whole of the Philosophy. the Paris Edition Edition) interpolates an Index which is not found in the Amsterdam Edition (2nd Edition). and as I make no promise to others to satisfy them do not presume so much on my own powers as to as I of all set forth in these Meditations the very believe myself capable of foreseeing all that can cause difficulty to anyone. form their criticisms on detached portions arbitrarily selected. I can also persuade others. he was doubtless not its author. I excepting those their who desire to meditate seriously with me. the objections as well as the replies which have made to them 1 Between the Prafatio ad Lectorem and the Synopsis.) . before submitting them to the press. without however expecting any praise from the vulgar and without the hope that the contrary. For they have made so many objections and these so different. by the same reasons which persuaded me. minds from and who can detach and deliver themselves entirely too well that such from every sort of prejudice. Mersenne probably composed it himself. I shall first I have reached a and evident knowledge of the truth.Preface to the all Reader 139 Now soul. to form beg those who read these Meditations no judgment upon them unless they have given themselves This I why the trouble to read I all 1 . without caring to comprehend the order and connections of my reasonings. I my book will have many readers. I say. in a very small know men exist number. Since Descartes did not reproduce it. that I venture to promise that it will be difficult for anyone to bring to mind criticisms of any consequence which have not been already is touched upon. in order to see if. But for those who. adjusting it to the paging of the first Edition. as is the custom with many.

doubt about all things and especially about material things. may be assured that all the things which we conceive clearly ami and distinctly are true in the very way in which we think them . This point likewise of the greatest moment. and partly in the Fifth (did Sixth Meditations. and in this MeditaIn addition to this it is requisite that we tion this has been done. Now the matter which is requisite for thoroughly undi rprincipal and first standing the immortality of the soul is to form the clearest possible conception of it. In the first Meditation I generally speaking. I do not possess very exact I am obliged to follow a similar order to that is use of by the geometers. mind. it is is so general does not at first it at the same time very great. are non-existent. set forth the reasons for which we may. to it. which making use of the liberty it is which pertains existence it takes for granted that all those things of whose has the least doubt. and one which will be entirely distinct from all the conceptions which we may have of body . is inasmuch as by this means a to distinction easily to — that body. But although the utility of a Doubt which appear. and sets out for us a very simple way by which the mind may detach itself from the senses . and finally it makes it impossible for us ever to doubt those things which we have once discovered to be true. is to say the intellectual nature — and those which pertain drawn between the things which pertain mind to But that because it may be that some expect from me in this place a statement of the reasons establishing the immortality of the soul. this could not be proved previously to the Fourth Meditation Further we must have a distinct conception of corporeal nature. inasmuch as delivers us from every hind of prejudice. that those tilings which we conceive clearly and distinctly as being . recognises that it however absolutely impossible that is does not itself exist. which is given partly in this Second. And finally ire should conclude from all this. Ifeel I should here make known to them that having aimed at writing nothing in all this Treatise of which demonstrations. at least so long as we have no other foundations for" the sciences than those which we have hitherto possessed. before coming to made forward as proposition that we seek any conclusion regarding it. which to begin by ]mtting premises all those things upon which the depends. In the second Meditation.140 Synopsis SYNOPSIS OF THE SIX FOLLOWING MEDITATIONS.

but is a pure substance. Replies which I have made others there to the is. me. are distinct one from the other . further confirmed in this same Meditation by in so far as it is the fact that ive cannot conceive of body excepting be conceived of divisible. does not emerge ivill others. and secondly that body. although. — are in their nature why is to say all things and that they can never cease to exist unless God. it not For although all the accidents of mind be changed. so that we see that not only are their natures dijferent but even in some respects contrary to one another. and this This is conclusion of the Sixth Meditation. is a substance. there obscurities which. perceive others. in denying to them his concurrence. despite all this it from these changes another mind: the portions human fact body on the other hand becomes a different thing from the that the figure or form of sole any of its is found to be changed. etc. is composed only of a certain configuration of is similarly composed of members and of other similar accidents. ivhile the human mind any accidents. From thsmj] this it follows that the perish. this 'How the idea in . be entirely removed by the Objections which have been set-before one. may perhaps have remained many I hope. Amongst for example. as also because the men the hope of premises from ivhich the immortality of the soul first place may be deduced a complete system of Physics..of the six following Meditations 141 really is the diverse substances. I have not however dealt further with this matter in this treatise. But none the less. reduce them nought. will. which is the reason it also cannot perish. both because ivhat I have said is sufficient to slww clearly enough that the extinction of the mind does not follow from the corruption of the body. For we are not able to conceive of the half of a mind as we can do of the smallest of all bodies . however. but the is mind to its [or soul of human body may indeed easily enough man {I make no distinction between seems to owing natwre immortal. but that the human body. inasmuch as it differs from other bodies. depend on an elucidation of This would mean to establish in the that all substances generally — that God to which cannot exist without being created by incorruptible. because I did not In the third Meditation me that wish in that place corporeal things. for instance. it I have explained at sufficient length the principal argument of which I make use in order to prove the existence of God. life and also to give another after death. as substances essentially we regard mind and body to be. so make use of any comparisons derived from as to withdraw as much as I could the minds of to readers from the senses. regarded generally. think certain things. while the mind cannot excepting as indivisible.

but tlie the solution of these will be seen in Replies to the Objections. say of the error which is committed in the speak of but only of to pursuit of good and between the true but only of that which arises in the deciding and the false. And I do not intend matters pertaining of life. either the science of the workman or impossible that from whom he has received the idea of God which is in the idea. and which may be known by the sole to the Faith or the conduct aid of the light of nature. . 2 imaginatio.142 Syno})sis us of a being supremely perfect possesses so being is much objective reality {that is to say participates by representation in so many degrees of and perfection] that it necessarily proceeds is from a cause which absolutely perfect. are so closely joined together that they form. useful in establishing that which they prove. those which concern speculative truths. and in addition to new proof in which of God is demonstrated by a there may possibly be certain difficulties also. and at the same time it is explained in what the nature of error or falsity consists. and 1 here shoiv that the mind of man at the same time that the two to speak. that there is in 1 intellect™. For as the objective contrivance of this idea must have some cause. And further I show in what sense it is true to say that the certainty is itself of geometrical demonstrations of God.) In the fifth Meditation corporeal nature generally this the existence is explained.e. to wit. a single All the errors which proceed from the senses are then surveyed. Finally in the Sixth 1 dependent on the knowledge the action . This must of necessity be known both for the confirmation of the preceding truths and for the better comprehension of those that follow. and finally all the reasons material things from which we may deduce the existence of Not that I judge them to be very are set forth. it is similarly us should not have God himself as its cause. In the fourth Meditation it is shown that all these things which we very clearly and distinctly perceive are true. that of some other i. the body. (But it must meaniohile be remarked that I do not in any way there treat of sin — that is to evil. while the means of avoiding them are demonstrated. This illustrated in these Replies by the comparison of a very perfect machine. I distinguish 2 of the underivhich this standing from that of the imagination distinction is is really distinct the marks by made are from described. so thing. the idea of which is found in the mind of some workman.

. And this is the whole matter that I have omit to tried to prove in these Meditations. but because in we come to see that they are neither so lead us to strong nor so evident as those arguments which the knowledge of our mind and of God .of the six following Meditations truth 143 a world. and other such things which never doubted by considering anyone of sense. for which reason I here speak of many other questions with which I dealt incidentally in this discussion. that men have been these closely possess bodies. so that these last must be the most certain and most evident facts which can fall within the cognizance of the human mind.

Meditation I. 1 In place of this long title at the head of the page the first Edition had immediately after the Synopsis. Of the things which may be brought within the sphere of the doubtful.' . since very opportunely for the plan have in view have delivered my mind from every care [and am happily agitated by no passions] and since I have procured for myself an assured leisure in a peaceable retirement. sciences. I that yet remains to me I for action. It is now some years since I detected how many were the false beliefs that I had from my earliest youth admitted as true. This reason caused me I to delay so long that I should feel to that I was doing wrong were occupy in deliberation the time To-day. I shall at last seriously and freely address myself to the general upheaval of all my former opinions.) tation. if I wanted to establish any firm and permanent structure in the But as this enterprise appeared to be a very great one.MEDITATIONS ON THE FIRST PHILOSOPHY IN WHICH THE EXISTENCE OF GOD AND THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN MIND AND BODY ABE DEMONSTRATED 1 . design. and commence to build anew from the foundation. then. simply 'First Medi(Adam's Edition. I waited until I had attained an age so mature that I could not hope that at any later date I should be better fitted to execute my . and on the same page 7. and how doubtful was everything I had since constructed on this basis and from that time I was convinced that I must once for all seriously undertake to rid myself of all the opinions which I had formerly accepted.

I But inasmuch as reason already persuades me that carefully to withhold ought no less my assent from matters which are not entirely certain and indubitable than false. that I was dressed and seated near the r. At the same time that consequently I I must remember that I am a man. fire. were it not perhaps that I compare myself to certain persons. or when they are purple when they are glass. have learned either from the senses or through the senses sometimes proved to but it is it me that these senses are deceptive. For example. if I from those which appear to me And to manifestly to be am able to find in each one some reason to doubt. and is wiser not to trust entirely to any thing by which we have once been deceived. which would be an endless undertaking I for owing the fact that the destruction of the foundations of necessity brings with first it the downfall of the rest of the edifice. having this paper in my hands and other similar matters. who imagine that they have an earthen- ware head or are nothing but pumpkins or are made of they are mad. met with as to which we cannot reasonably have any doubt. How often has it happened to me that in the night I dreamt that I found myself in this particular place. than do those who are insane in their waking moments. whilst in reality I was lying 10 . attack shall only in the all place those principles upon which my former opinions rested. that they constantly assure us that they think they are kings really quite poor.Of Now all the things as to which ice may doubt 145 for this object it is not necessary that I should show that of these are false — I shall perhaps never arrive at this end. I end it will not be requisite that should examine each in . All that certain 1 up to the present time I have accepted as most true and . and in my dreams representing to myself the same things or sometimes even less probable things. And how could I deny that these hands and this body are mine. particular. h. devoid of sense. this will suffice to justify for that my rejecting the whole. there is the fact that I am here. But it may be that although the senses sometimes deceive us others to be concerning things which are hardly perceptible. or very far away. and I But I should not be any the less insane were to follow examples so extravagant. or that they are clothed in really without covering. seated by there are yet many the fire. and am in the habit of sleeping. whose cerebella are so troubled and clouded by the violent vapours of black bile. although we recognise them by their means. attired in a dressing gown.

146
undressed in bed
it is
!

Meditation I

At
is

this

moment
I

it

does indeed seem to
;

me

that

with eyes awake that
I

am

looking at this paper
it is

that this

and of set purpose that I extend my hand and perceive it what happens in But sleep does not appear so clear nor so distinct as does all this. in thinking over this I remind myself that on many occasions I have
head which

move

not asleep, that

deliberately
;

in sleep

been deceived by similar

illusions,

and

in dwelling carefully

on this reflection I see so manifestly that there are no certain indications by which we may clearly distinguish wakefulness from
sleep that
I

am

lost

in astonishment.

such that

it is

almost capable

And my astonishment is of persuading me that I now dream.

us assume that we are asleep and that all these particulars, e.g. that we open our eyes, shake our head, extend our bands, and so on, are but false delusions ; and let us reflect that

Now

let

possibly neither our hands nor our whole body are such as they appear to us to be. At the same time we must at least confess that

the things which are represented to us in sleep are like painted representations which can only have been formed as the counterparts of something real

and

things at least,

i.e.

eyes,

and that in this way those general a head, hands, and a whole body, are not
true,

imaginary things, but things really existent. For, as a matter of fact, painters, even when they study with the greatest skill to
represent sirens and satyrs by forms the most strange and extraordinary, cannot give

merely make or if their imagination
a certain

them natures which are entirely new, but medley of the members of different animals
is

extravagant enough to invent something

so novel that nothing similar has ever before been seen,

and that

then their work represents a thing purely fictitious and absolutely false, it is certain all the same that the colours of which this is

composed are necessarily
like,

real.

And

for the

same

reason, although

these general things, to wit, [a body], eyes, a head, hands, and such

may

be imaginary, we are bound at the same time to confess

that there are at least some other objects yet more simple and more
universal, which are real

and true

;

and of these just

in the

same

way

as with certain real colours, all these images of things which

dwell in our thoughts, whether true and real or false and fantastic,
are formed.

To such a

class of things pertains corporeal nature in general,

and its extension, the figure of extended things, their quantity or magnitude and number, as also the place in which they are, the time which measures their duration, and so on.

Of
That
is

the things as to

which we
reasoning
is

may

doubt

147

possibly

why our

not unjust when we
all

conclude from this that Physics, Astronomy, Medicine and
sciences which have as their

other

end the consideration of composite but that Arithmetic, things, are very dubious and uncertain Geometry and other sciences of that kind which only treat of things
;

that are very simple and very general, without taking great trouble
to

ascertain whether

they are actually existent

or

not, contain

some measure of certainty and an element of the indubitable. For whether I am awake or asleep, two and three together always form five, and the square can never have more than four sides, and it does not seem possible that truths so clear and apparent cau be suspected of any falsity [or uncertainty]. Nevertheless I have long had fixed in my mind the belief that an all-powerful God existed by whom I have been created such as I am. But how do I know that He has not brought it to pass that
there
place,
is

no earth, no heaven, no extended body, no magnitude, no

and that nevertheless [I possess the perceptions of all these things and that] they seem to me to exist just exactly as I now see them ? And, besides, as I sometimes imagine that others deceive themselves in the things winch they think they know best, how do I know that I am not deceived every time that I add two and
three, or

count the sides of a square, or judge of things yet
?

simpler, if anything simpler can be imagined

But possibly God

has not desired that

I

should be thus deceived, for
it is

He

is

said to be

supremely good.

If,

however,
I

contrary to His goodness to
it

would also appear to be contrary to His goodness to permit me to be sometimes deceived, and nevertheless I cannot doubt that He does permit this. There may indeed be those who would prefer to deny the
have made
such that
constantly deceive myself,
existence of a

me

God
all

so powerful, rather than believe that all other

things are uncertain.

But
is

let

us not oppose them for the present,

and grant that
in

that

here said of a
I

God

is

a fable

;

nevertheless

whatever way they suppose that
I

have arrived at the state of
it

being that
accident, or
cedents, or
is

have reached

— whether they attribute

to fate or to

make out that it is by a continual succession of anteby some other method since to err and deceive oneself
it is

a defect,

clear that the greater will be the probability of
is

my

being so imperfect as to deceive myself ever, as

the Author to
these reasons

whom
I

they assign

my

origin the less powerful.

To

have certainly nothing to reply, but at the end
I

I feel

constrained

to confess that there is nothing in all that

formerly believed to be

10—2

148
true, of

Meditation I

which I cannot in some measure doubt, and that not merely through want of thought or through levity, but for reasons which so that henceforth are very powerful and maturely considered I ought not the less carefully to refrain from giving credence to
;

these opinions than to that which
arrive at

is

manifestly

false, if I desire to

any certainty

[in the sciences].

But
also

it is

not sufficient to have

made

these remarks,

we must

be careful to keep them in mind. For these ancient and commonly held opinions still revert frequently to my mind, long

and familiar custom having given them the right to occupy my mind against my inclination and rendered them almost masters of my belief nor will I ever lose the habit of deferring to them or of
;

placing

my

confidence in them, so long as
i.e.

I

consider

them

as they

really are,

opinions in

some measure doubtful,
deny them.
if,

as I have just
is

shown, and at the same time highly probable, so that there

more reason
consider that

to believe in than to
I shall

That

is

nmch_ why I

not be acting amiss,

taking of set purpose

a contrary

belief, I

allow myself to be deceived, and for a certain these opinions are entirely false and imaginary,

time pretend that
latter [so that

all

until at last, having thus balanced

they cannot divert

my my

former prejudices with

my

opinions more to one side

than to the other],

bad usage or For I am assured that there can be neither peril nor course, and that I cannot at present yield too much
since I

judgment will no longer be dominated by turned away from the right knowledge of the truth.
error in this
to distrust,

my

am

not considering the question of action, but only of

knowledge.
I shall then suppose, not that

_
God who
evil
is

supremely good and

the

fountain of truth, but

some

genius not less powerful

than deceitful, has employed his whole energies in deceiving
I

me

;

shall consider that the heavens, the earth, colours, figures, sound,

and all other external things are nought but the illusions and dreams of which this genius has availed himself in order to lay
traps for

my

credulity
flesh,

;

I shall

consider myself as having no hands,
falsely believing

no eyes, no

no blood, nor any senses, yet
all

myself to possess

these things
if

;

I

shall
it is

attached to this idea, and

arrive at the knowledge of

by any

this

means
I

remain obstinately not in my power to

truth,

may

at least do

what

is

in

my

power

[i.e.

suspend

my judgment],

giving credence to any false thing,

and with firm purpose avoid or being imposed upon by this
lie

arch deceiver, however powerful and deceptive

may

be.

But

this

Of
task
is

the things as to

which

ive

may

doubt

149

a laborious one, and insensibly a certain lassitude leads

me
in

into the course of
sleep enjoys
his liberty
is

my

ordinary

life.

And

just as a captive

who

an imaginary

liberty,

when he begins

to suspect that

but a dream, fears to awaken, and conspires with these

agreeable illusions that the deception
of

may

be prolonged, so insensibly
I

my own

accord

I fall

back into

my

former opinions, and

dread

awakening from this slumber, lest the laborious wakefulness which would follow the tranquillity of this repose should have to be spent
not in daylight, but in the excessive darkness of the difficulties

which have just been discussed.

Meditation

II.

Of

the

Nature of
the

the

Human Mind ; and

that

it is

more easily

known than

Body.
of yesterday filled

The Meditation
that
it is

my mind with
;

so

many doubts

no longer in my power to forget them. And yet I do not what manner I can resolve them and, just as if I had all of a sudden fallen into very deep water, I am so disconcerted that
see in
I

can neither make certain of setting
I

my

feet

on the bottom, nor
I shall

can

swim and

so support myself

on the surface.

neverthe-

and follow anew the same path as that on which less I yesterday entered, i.e. I shall proceed by setting aside all that in which the least doubt could be supposed to exist, just as if I had discovered that it was absolutely false and I shall ever follow in this road until I have met with something which is certain, or at

make an

effort

;

least, if I

can do nothing

else, until I
is

have learned for certain that
Archimedes, in order
out of
its

there

is

nothing in the world that

certain.

that he

might draw the
it

terrestrial globe

place,

and

demanded only that one point should be transport in the same way I shall have the right to fixed and immoveable conceive high hopes if I am happy enough to discover one thingonly which is certain and indubitable.
elsewhere,
;

I

suppose, then, that all the things that

I

see are false
all
I

;

I

persuade myself that nothing has ever existed of
fallacious

that

my

memory

represents to me.

I

consider that

possess no

senses

;

I

imagine that body,

figure, extension,

movement and
is

place
as

are but the fictions of

my

mind.
all,

What, then, can be esteemed

true

?

Perhaps nothing at
is

unless that there

nothing in the

world that

certain.
I

But how can

know

there

is

not something different from those

150
things that
I

Meditation II

have just considered, of which one cannot have the slightest doubt? Is there not some God, or some other being by
whatever name we
call
it,

who puts
is
I it

these reflections into
I

my mind ?
capable of
\

That

is

not necessary, for

not possible that

am

producing them myself ?

myself,
I

am

I

not at least something

had senses and body. Yet I Am I so dependent on body hesitate, for what follows from that ? and senses that I cannot exist without these ? But I was persuaded that there was nothing in all the world, that there was no heaven, no earth, that there were no minds, nor any bodies was I not then

But

I

have already denied that

:

likewise persuaded that

I

did not exist

?

Not
is

at all

;

of a surety

I

myself did exist since
because
I

I

persuaded myself of something [or merely

thought of something].

But there
I

some deceiver
if

or other,

very powerful and very cunning,
deceiving me.

who ever employs
exist also

his ingenuity in

Then without doubt

he deceives me,

and

let

him deceive me as much

as he will, he can never cause

me
we
I I

to be nothing so long as I think that I

am

something.

So that
am,

after having reflected well and carefully examined

all things,
:

must come

to the definite conclusion that this proposition

I

exist, is necessarily true

each time that

I

pronounce

it,

or that

mentally conceive

it.

But

I

do not yet know clearly enough what

I

am,

I

who am

and hence I must be careful to see that I do not imprudently take some other object in place of myself, and thus that I do not go astray in respect of this knowledge that I hold to be the most certain and most evident of all that I have formerly learned. That is why I shall now consider anew what I believed myself to be before I embarked upon these last reflections and of my former opinions I shall withdraw all that might even in a small degree be invalidated by the reasons which I have just brought
certain that I
;
;

am

forward, in order that there
is

may

be nothing at

all left

beyond what

absolutely certain and indubitable.

What
I

then did

I

formerly believe myself to be

?
?

Undoubtedly
Shall
I

believed myself to be a man.
?

But what
;

is

a

man
I
;

say a

reasonable animal

Certainly not
is,

for
is

then

should have to

inquire what an animal

and what

reasonable

and thus from
little

a single question

I

should insensibly
I

fall

into an infinitude of others

more
But
I

difficult

;

and

should not wish to waste the

time and

leisure

remaining to
shall

me
in

in trying to unravel subtleties like these.

rather stop here to consider the thoughts which of

themselves spring up

my

mind, and which were not inspired by

Of
anything beyond
consideration of

the

Nature of

the

Hitman Mind
when
I

151

my own nature my being. In

alone
the

applied myself to the
then,
I

first place,

considered

myself as having a face, hands, arms, and all that system of members composed of bones and flesh as seen in a corpse which I designated by the name of body. In addition to this I considered that I was nourished, that I walked, that I felt, and that I thought, and I
referred all these actions to the soul
:

but

I

did not stop to consider

what the soul was, or if I did stop, I imagined that it was something extremely rare and subtle like a wind, a flame, or an ether, which was spread throughout my grosser parts. As to body I had no manner of doubt about its nature, but thought I had a very clear knowledge of it and if I had desired to explain it according to the notions that I had then formed of it, I should have described it thus By the body I understand all that which can be defined by a
;
:

certain figure

:

something which can be confined in a certain place,
fill

and which can
will

a given space in such a way that eveiy other body
it
;

which can be perceived either by touch, which can be or by sight, or by hearing, or by taste, or by smell something which moved in many ways not, in truth, by itself, but by
be excluded from
:

is

foreign to
:

it,

impressions]

by which it is touched [and from which it receives for to have the power of self-movement, as also of
I

feeling or of thinking, I did not consider to appertain to the nature

of body

:

on the contrary,

was rather astonished to find that
-'

faculties similar to

But what am
which
is

I,

them existed in some bodies. now that I suppose that there is a
if I

certain genius

extremely powerful, and,
all his all
?

may
?

say

so,

malicious,

who

employs

powers in deceiving
those things which
I

me
I

Can
I

I affirm

that

I

possess

the least of

have just said pertain to the
revolve
all
it

nature of body

pause to consider,

these things in
pertains to me.

my
It

mind, and

I

find

none of which
to stop to

I

can say that

would be tedious

enumerate them.
is

Let us pass to the

attributes of soul

any one which is in me ? What of nutrition or walking [the first mentioned] ? But if it is so that I have no body it is also true that I can neither walk nor take nourishment. Another attribute is sensation. But one cannot feel without body, and besides I have thought I perceived many things during sleep that I recognised in my waking moments as not having

and

see if there

been experienced at

all.

What

of thinking
;

?

I

find here that

it alone cannot be an attribute that belongs to me separated from me. But how often ? I am, I exist, that is certain. Just when I think for it might possibly be the case if I ceased

thought

is

;

152

Meditation 11

entirely to think, that I should likewise cease altogether to exist. to true I do not now admit anything which is not necessarily
:

speak accurately I am not more than a thing which thinks, that is to say a mind or a soul, or an understanding, or a reason, which are terms whose significance was formerly unknown to me. I am,
\\

however, a real thing and really exist; but what thing?

I

have

answered
see if I

:

a thing which thinks.
?

And what more

I shall

exercise
I

my

imagination [in order to
collection of

am

not something more].
:

which we call the human body I through these members, I am not a wind, a fire, a vapour, a breath, because nor anything at all which I can imagine or conceive nothing. Without changing I have assumed that all these were
subtle air distributed
;

am not a am not a

members

that supposition

I find

that

I

only leave myself certain of the fact
it is

that

I

am
I

somewhat.

But perhaps

true that these same things

which

supposed were non-existent because they are unknown to I am not me, are really not different from the self which I know. about it I can now dispute only give sure about this, I shall not
;

judgment on things that are known to me. I know that I exist, and I inquire what I am, I whom I know to exist. But it is very certain that the knowledge of my existence taken in its precise significance does not depend on things whose existence is not yet known to me consequently it does not depend on those which
;

I

can feign in imagination.
1

And

indeed the very term feign in

imagination

proves to

me my

error, for I really
is

do this

if I

image

myself a something, since to imagine

nothing else than to con-

template the figure or image of a corporeal thing.

But
all

I

already

know for

certain that I am,
all

and that

it

may be

that

these images,

and, speaking generally,
are nothing

things that relate to the nature of body

but dreams [and chimeras].

For this reason
'

I

see

clearly that I

have as
'

little

reason to say,

I

shall stimulate

my
if
is

imagination in
I

were to say,

order to know more distinctly what I am,' than I am now awake, and I perceive somewhat that

real

and true
I

:

but because

I

do not yet perceive

it

distinctly

enough,

shall

go to sleep of express purpose, so that

my

dreams

may
\

represent the perception with greatest truth and evidence.'
thus, I

And,

know for certain that nothing of all that 1 can understand by means of my imagination belongs to this knowledge which 1 have of myself, and that it is necessary to recall the mind from
1

Or

'

form an image'

(eftingo).

Of
this

the

Nature of

the

Human Mind
it

153

mode

of thought with the utmost diligence in order that

may

be able to

know

its

own nature with

perfect distinctness.

But what then am 1 ? A thing which thinks. What is a thing which thinks ? It is a thing which doubts, understands, [conceives], affirms, denies, wills, refuses, which also imagines and feels.
Certainly
nature.
it is

no small matter

if all

these things pertain to
?

my

But why who now doubts nearly everything, who nevertheless understands certain things, who affirms that one only is true, who denies all the others, who desires to know more, is averse from beingdeceived, who imagines many things, sometimes indeed despite his will, and who perceives many likewise, as by the intervention of the
should they not so pertain
I

Am

not that

being

bodily organs

?

Is there

nothing in

all this

which

is

as true as

it is

certain that I exist, even

though

I

should always sleep and though
all his

he who has given

me

being employed

ingenuity in deceiving

me

any one of these attributes which can be distinguished from my thought, or which might be said to be separated from myself? For it is so evident of itself that it is I who doubts, who understands, and who desires, that there is no
1

?

Is there likewise

reason here to add anything to explain the power of imagining likewise
I
;

it.

And
it

I

have certainly
(as
I

for

although

may happen

formerly supposed) that none of the things which

imagine are

true, nevertheless this power of imagining does not cease to be

really in use,

and

it

forms part of
is

my
I

thought.

Finally, I

am
I

the

same who
heat.
I
it

feels,

that

to say,

who

perceives certain things, as by
see light, I hear noise,
feel

the organs of sense, since in truth

But

it will

be said that these phenomena are false and that

am

dreaming.

Let
that
I

it

be so

;

still it is
I

at least quite certain that
I feel

seems to

me
;

see light, that
;

hear noise and that

heat.

called feeling

That cannot be false properly speaking it is what is in me 1 and used in this precise sense that is no other thing
this

than thinking.

From
clearness

time

I

begin to

know what
;

I

am

with a

little

more

and distinction than before but nevertheless it still and seems to me, I cannot prevent myself from thinking, that corporeal things, whose images are framed by thought, which are tested by the senses, are much more distinctly known than that obscure part of me which does not come under the imagination. Although really it is very strange to say that I know and understand more distinctly these things whose existence seems to me
1

Sentire.

154
dubious, which are

Meditation II

unknown

to me,
I

than others of the truth of which

and which do not belong to me, am convinced, which are known to
than myself.

me and which

pertain to

my

real "nature, in a word,
:

But I see clearly how the case stands my mind loves to wander, and cannot yet suffer itself to be retained within the just limits of truth. Very good, let us once more give it the freest rein, so that, when afterwards we seize the proper occasion for pulling up, it may the more easily be regulated and controlled. Let us begin by considering the commonest matters, those which we believe to be the most distinctly comprehended, to wit, the bodies which we touch and see; not indeed bodies in general, for these general ideas are usually a little more confused, but let us consider one body in particular. Let us take, for example, this piece of wax it has been taken quite freshly from the hive, and it has not yet lost the sweetness of the honey which it contains it still retains somewhat of the odour of the flowers from which it has been culled
:

;

its colour, its figure,

its size
it

are apparent

;

it is

hard, cold, easily

handled, and
Finally
all

if

you strike

with the finger,

it will

emit a sound.

the things which are requisite to cause us distinctly to

recognise a body, are

met with

and approach the
increases, it

fire

in it. But notice that while I speak what remained of the taste is exhaled, the
is

smell evaporates, the colour alters, the figure

destroyed, the size

becomes
strikes

liquid, it heats, scarcely
it,

can one handle

it,

and when one

no sound
1

remain after this change would judge otherwise.
piece of

We

is emitted. Does the same wax must confess that it remains none
;

What

then did

I

know

so distinctly in this
all

wax ?

It

could certainly be nothing of

that the senses

brought to
the same

my

notice, since all these things

which

fall

under

taste,

smell, sight, touch,

and hearing, are found to be changed, and yet
I

wax remains.
it

Perhaps

was what

now

think, viz. that this

wax was not

that

sweetness of honey, nor that agreeable scent of flowers, nor that particular whiteness, nor that figure, nor that sound, but simply a

body
pre-

which a
forms,

little

while before appeared to
is

me

as perceptible under these

and which
that
I

now

perceptible under others.
I

But what,

cisely, is it

imagine when

form such conceptions?

Let us

attentively consider this, and, abstracting from all that does not

belong to the wax, let us see what remains.

Certainly nothing
is

remains excepting a certain extended thing which
movable.

flexible

and
Is
it

But what
I

is

the meaning of flexible and movable?

not that

imagine that this piece of

wax being round

is

capable of

words often impede me and For we am almost deceived by the terms of ordinary language. and greater when the heat increases and I should not conceive [clearly] according to truth what wax is is. And similarly 1 entendeinent F. and I nevertheless do not know how to compass the infinitude by my imagination. and that it is my mind 1 alone which perceives I say this piece of wax in particular. But what this piece of been such although only an intuition as as it 2 it may have appeared formerly to be so. "^ inspectio. touch. From this I should conclude that I knew the wax b)^ means of vision and not simply by the intuition of the mind unless by chance I remember that. and not that we simply judge that it is the same from its having the same colour and figure.Of the Nature of the Human Mind 155 becoming square and of passing from a square to a triangular figure? No. is I really do not see them. for as to is wax in wax which cannot be understood excepting by the [understanding or] mind ? It is certainly the same that I see. if it is present. at present. and finally it is the same which I have always believed it to be from the beginning. when looking from a window and saying see the . we I see men who I pass in the street. since I imagine it admits of an infinitude of similar changes. or clear and distinct as attention it. What now still is this extension is Is it not also unknown \ For it becomes greater when the wax melted. according found in is more or less directed to the elements which are and of which it is composed. but I infer that what see men. nor of touch. mens L. and has never general is yet clearer. But what must particularly be observed is that its perception is neither an act of vision. say that same wax. wax is. certainly it is not that. We must could not even understand through the imagina- what it this piece of it. but of the mind. if I did not think that even this piece that we are considering capable of receiving more variations then grant that tion in extension than I I have ever imagined. And yet what do I see from the window but hats and coats which may cover automatic machines ? Yet I judge these to be men. my into error I I for although without giving expression to my thoughts consider all this in my own mind. nor of imagination. just as I say that see wax. Yet in the meantime I am greatly astonished when I consider [the great feebleness of mind] and its proneness to fall [insensibly] . imagine. . when it is boiled.. and consequently this conception is which I have of the wax not brought about by the faculty of ? imagination. greater . which may be imperfect and confused it is was formerly.

and in what way it can be I believed I knew it 1 would certainly be absurd to doubt as to this. A man who makes it his aim to raise his knowledge above the common should be ashamed to derive the occasion for doubting from the forms of speech invented by the vulgar . know myself. and when by means of the external senses or at least by the common sense as it is called. and if judge that my imagination. So if I judge that the wax exists from the I fact that touch I it. that is. I who seem wax so distinctly. I but cannot be that when I or (for I no longer take account of see. but also after many other causes have rendered it quite manifest to me. in it is certain that although I some error may it still be found my judgment. just as if I had taken from it its vestments. to this point I do not admit in myself anything but mind to perceive this piece of What I then. that am . not only with much more truth and certainty. may also it be that do not possess eyes with which to see anything I see. known. not only after the sight or the touch. the same thing will follow. if the [notion or] perception of wax has seemed to me clearer and more distinct. And further. that is to say by the imaginative faculty. For what was there in this first perception which was distinct ? What was there which might not as well have been perceived by any of the animals 1 But w hen I distinguish the wax from its external forms. But up do finally what of myself. with how much more [evidence] and distinctness 1 sensus communis. and when.156 solely Meditation II by the faculty of judgment which rests in my mind. whatever it is. or whether my present conception is clearer now that I have most carefully examined what it is. I comprehend that which I believed I saw with my eyes. I prefer to pass on and consider whether I had a more evident and perfect conception of what the wax was when I first perceived it. the distinction) when think that I myself who think am 1 nought. it certainly follows much more clearly that I am or that I exist myself from the not fact that I see it it. persuades me that the wax exists. for '. I have here remarked of wax may be applied to all other are external to me [and which are met with outside which things And what of me]. but also with much more distinctness and clearness ? For if I judge that the wax is or exists from the fact that I see it. It T I consider it quite naked. to wit. . can nevertheless not perceive thus without a human mind. I shall still conclude the same. shall I say of this mind. For I it may be that what I see is not really wax. or some other cause.

But because to rid oneself so for so long. that desires. that is ignorant of many [that loves. I myself and considering with myself. see clearly that there is me to know than my mind. now close my eyes. and since they are not known from the easier for fact that they are seen or touched. And up I in the little that I 1 have just said. that doubts. I so that on my by the length of my meditation memory this new knowledge. or at least (for that hardly possible) esteem them as vain and false . are yet better proofs of the nature of my mind ! And there are so many other things in the its mind itself which may contribute to the elucidation of nature. for. But I finally here I am. it promptly of an opinion to which one was accustomed will be well that I should halt a little at this point. certainly reside [and are met with] . although the things which I perceive and imagine are perhaps nothing at all apart from me and in themselves. I shall stop my ears. or any other body whatever.Of must it the Nature of I the Human Mind lf>7 be said that now know myself. I am nevertheless assured that these modes of thought that I call perceptions and imaginations. or at least all that hitherto I that knew. I think I have summed all I that really know r . I they are understood. that those which depend on body such as these just mentioned. in me. having insensibly reverted to the point is now manifest to me not properly speaking known by the senses desired. may more deeply imprint Meditation III. and thus holding converse only with nature. denies. but by the understanding only. that is to say. Of God: I shall all that He exists. that hates]. inasmuch only as they are modes of thought. since it that even bodies are or by the faculty of but only because nothing which it is difficult is imagination. affirms. since all the reasons which contribute to the knowledge of wax. my own shall try little by little to reach a better knowledge of and a more familiar acquaintanceship I am a thing that thinks. I shall efface even from my thoughts is all the images of I corporeal things. hardly merit being taken into account. that wills. that knows a few things. In order to try to extend my was aware knowledge further. I shall now look around more carefully and see whether I cannot still discover in myself some other things which have not hitherto . that also imagines and perceives for as I remarked before. I shall call away shall my senses.

even in matters I in which I believe myself to have the best evidence. nous concevons. if perchance my judgment was to And it was in this that correct. yet another thing which I affirmed. which clearly. I erred. this would not have been so for any other reason than that it came into my mind that perhaps a God might have endowed €er\ainly me with such a nature that concerning things may have been deceived even which seemed to me most manifest. this was not due any knowledge arising from my perception. direct other hand. that two and three together made five. . I I Meditation III am certain that I am is a thing which thinks . F. or. But when I took anything very simple and easy in the sphere of arithmetic or geometry into consideration. stars and other objects which apprehended But what did I clearly [and distinctly] Nothing more than that the ideas or thoughts perceive in them ? And not even now of these things were presented to my mind.158 perceived. But every I i> time that this preconceived opinion of the sovereign power of a God presents itself to easy to Him. owing to the habit it. to cause me to err. if it could ever happen that a thing which Certainly in this first I conceived so clearly and distinctly could be false . on the things which Let believe myself to perceive very clearly. and other things of the sort. I am constrained to confess that it He wishes it. I had formed of believing I I thought it I perceived very all. e. which would not indeed suffice to assure me that what I say is true. were not these present to my mind so clearly as to enable if I me to affirm that they were true? judged that since such matters could be doubted. always when I my attention to I And. Bjjjb there was by means of the senses. What all then were these things I They were the earth. excepting the clear and distinct perception of that which I state. do I deny that these ideas are met with in me. if my thought. which yet afterwards ? recognised as being dubious.g. and to which they were entirely similar. but do not then likewise ? know what requisite to render me certain of a truth knowledge there is nothing that assures me of its truth. sky. I am so persuaded of their : truth that let myself break out into words such as these 1 Percipio. and accordingly it seems to me that already I I can establish as a general rule that all things which 1 perceive very clearly and very distinctly are true. and which. At the same time I have before received and admitted many I things to be very certain and manifest. that there were objects outside of me from which these ideas proceeded. although in truth did not perceive at to wit.

and so to But in order to is be able altogether to a remove I must inquire whether there God is as soon as the occasion presents itself. it is not less true that imagine the desire evil one than the other. of heaven. 1 Thus there remains no more than the judgments more explicit. this opinion alone is very slight. or even things that never existed. And this in in order that I may have an opportunity of inquiring into an orderly way [without interrupting the order of meditation I which which have proposed to myself. should consider in which of these kinds there or error to be found. or some day cause it to be true to say that I have never been. de mon 2 is followed here as being replaces ' mea cogitatio. and*if I find that there also inquire a God.' In the Latin version sirnilitudinem. man or of a chimera. it. they cannot properly speaking be false I . I not the less true that desire them. my mind 2 I . my thought of a of God. for although I it is may things. is And. so to speak. ' Of my thoughts some is images and to these alone the title idea ' properly applied examples are forms as well. or [even] But other thoughts possess other willing. Now as to what concerns ideas. always add something else to the which I have of that thing and of the thoughts of this kind some are called volitions or affections. and that is. being true now to say that less am. I He can never cause it me think that am. and others judgments.Of Gods who I I Existence 159 to be nothing. and which I find first is little by little to pass from the. and as at all. For example in yet by this action though of I always perceive something as the subject of the action 1 .' The French version esprit ' In it ' action ' .while will deceive me. of the things. notions which I shall later of all in my mind I to those on discover in it] it is requisite that I should here divide my thoughts into certain kinds. for without a knowledge of these two truths do not see that I can ever be certain of anything. of an angel. certainly. for I whether imagine a goat or a chimera. fearing. properly speaking. or any such thing is which see a manifest contradiction. if we consider them only in themselves and do' not relate them to anything else beyond idea themselves. I must whether He may I be a deceiver . since I have no reason to believe that there 1 God who is a deceiver. have not yet satisfied myself that there a God the reason for doubt which depends on speak metaphysical. or that two in and three make more or I than a five. denying. enter into will We must not fear likewise that falsity can and into affections. approving. truth are.

I me I to think them It seems indeed in the . some appear to me to be innate. as I have the power of understanding what is called a thing. different from me. When I say that I am so instructed by nature. experience in myself that these ideas do not depend on my will nor therefore on myself for they often present themselves to my mind in spite of — my will. in respect to those ideas which appear to me to proceed from certain objects that are outside me. consists in my judging that the ideas me for are similar or conformable to the things which are me . me to believe in this connection. But again all I may possibly persuade myself that I these ideas are of the nature of those which term adventitious. for I have not yet clearly discovered their true principal task in this place is And my to consider. or at is least this idea of heat. without trying to relate them to anything beyond. as. sit. or a thought. produced in me by something which by the heat of the fire near which I And nothing seems to me more obvious than to judge that object imprints its likeness rather than anything else upon me.160 which we make. deceive myself. or other facts of the same kind. and finally it appears to me that sirens. secondly. whether heat. hippogryphs. some adventitious.e. without doubt if I considered the ideas only as modes of my thoughts. for instance. if I see the sun. what are the reasons which cause similar to these objects. But if I now hear some sound. or all fictitious: origin. and not a natural light which makes But these two things are very for I cannot doubt that which the natural light causes different me to believe to be true. or feel heat. But among these ideas. or a truth. they could scarcely give me material for error. . it appears to me that I hold this power from no other source than my own nature. I persuade myself that this feeling. I will or whether I do not will. this Now I I must discover whether these proofs are sufficiently strong and convincing. I feel and thus is i. and others to be formed [or invented] by "myself. And 1 possess no other faculty whereby to distinguish truth from false- me that it is true. Just now. or else that they are innate. first place that am taught this lesson by nature and. it has shown me that I am from the fact that I doubt. merely mean a certain spontaneous inclination which impels recognise . for example. and the are formed out of my own all mind. for. I have hitherto judged that these sensations proceeded from certain things that exist outside of me like. in Meditation III must take the greatest care not to But the principal error and the commonest which which I we may meet with which are in outside certain in them.

All this causes me to believe that until the present time it has not been by a judgment that was certain [or premeditated]. of. But there If ideas are R. is yet another method of inquiring whether any of I the objects of which have ideas within me exist outside of me. by the organs of my or by some other method whatever it might be. it from myself. mind and its idea. when I . II. faculty fitted to produce these ideas without it the assistance of any external things. according to this is but the other derived from astronomical reasonings. I do not rind these impulses of which I any the more convincing. both resemble the same sun. though they did proceed from objects different is not a necessary consequence that they should resemble these. two completely diverse ideas of the sun in my the one derives its origin from the senses. so perhaps not yet in me some . which is that these ideas must But as far as [apparently] natural impulses are concerned. I have noticed that in many cases there was a great difference between the object 1 find. On the contrary. since it they do not depend on my will. notwith- standing that they do not always concur with there is my will. that are innate in me. in accordance with it the sun appears to be several times greater than the earth. that they often enough led me to the part that was worse and this is why I do not see any reason for following them in what regards truth and error. even though is known by me found in just as. and should be . is is it elicited from certain notions formed by me in some other maimer .Of hood. they have hitherto always been me during sleep without the aid of any external objects. These two ideas cannot. I believed that things existed and different from me. which can teach is God's tiodstence that what this light shows is 161 me me to be true not really true. proceed from objects outside me. And finally. recognise 11 . and reason makes me believe that the 6*ne itself. placed in the category of adventitious ideas idea the sun seems to be extremely small . . for example. I have had to make active choice between virtue and vice. is which seems to have originated directly from the sun one which is the most dissimilar to it. For just as have spoken are found in me. but only by a sort of blind impulse that outside senses. and no other faculty that equally trustworthy. or else i. which. I only taken as certain modes of thought. apparently. frequently remarked.e. And as to the other reason. indeed. conveyed or these ideas images to me [and imprinted on me their similitudes].

we must not cause . or of a stone. of which is only a mode . more reality this is within itself — cannot proceed from the And not only evidently true of those effects which possess actual or formal reality. either formally or eminently. the stone which has not yet existed not only cannot now commence to be unless it has been produced by something which possesses within itself. least as perfect as heat.e. represented. it is clear There is no doubt that they are very different one from the other. 1 it is manifest by the natural light that there must at least much ? reality in the efficient and total cause as in its effect. for that reason imagine that necessarily a less real we must its remember that is [since every idea a work of the mind] nature such that it it demands of itself no other formal reality than that it which borrows from my thought. by representation participate in a higher degree of being or perfection] than those that simply represent modes or accidents and that idea again by which I understand a supreme God. pray. . but likewise that what is more perfect — that is to say. [immutable]. For although this cause does not transmit anything of its actual or formal reality to it is my is idea. infinite. its reality. and Creator of all things which are outside of Himself. it all that enters into the or composition of the stone must possess the same things other more excellent things than those which exist in the stone] and heat can only be produced in a subject in which it did not previously exist by a cause that is of an order [degree or kind] at But further.162 Meditation III amongst them no difference or inequality. omnipotent. Now be as cause to it. and all appear to proceed but when we consider them as from me in the same manner images. if For. but also of the ideas in which we consider merely what is termed objective reality. not unless in itself ? And only that something cannot proceed from nothing. eternal. one representing one thing and the other another. [i. and so in all other cases. To take an example. omniscient. has certainly more objective reality in itself than those ideas by which finite substances are . which has less perfect. cannot exist in me unless it has it been placed within least as me by some cause which possesses within 1 at much reality as that which conceive to exist in the heat or the stone. whence can the effect derive not from its And in it what way can possessed it this cause 1 communicate from this it this reality follows. the idea of heat. and contain so to speak more objective reality within them [that is to say. that those which represent to me substances are something more.

clearly to make me recognise that I it is not in me eminently. since the reality that only . had no such an idea existed me. For idea which is not found in the cause.e. in which the whole reality [or perfection] which is so to speak objectively [or by representation] indefinitely . me of the existence of any being beyond myself investigation everywhere and to find for I have made very careful up to the present time have been able no other ground. it is I consider in not essential that this reality of should be formally in the sufficient that it causes my to ideas. Thus the light of nature causes me to know clearly that the ideas in fall me are like [pictures or] images which can. nor. that cannot continue to be so end we must reach an idea whose cause shall be so to speak an archetype. And although it may be the case that one idea gives birth to another idea.Of [i. but that there idea. we imagine that something is found in an it must then have been derived from nought but however imperfect is may be this mode mode of being by which a thing objectively [or by representation] in the understanding by being is its idea. 11—2 . or which is the cause of this in On the other hand. and that consequently it cannot myself be the cause of follows of necessity that is I am not alone in the world. Nor must these ideas is I imagine that. certain in should contain another. existence pertains ideas For just as this mode of objective by their proper nature. But what am if to conclude from in the end? is It is this. (rod's Existence But it 163 order that an idea a manner or way of thinking]. easily short of the perfection of the objects from which they have been derived. I another being which exists. consequently.objective. but that it is should be found objectively. we cannot certainly say that this of nothing. . that the objective reality of any one of my ideas of such a nature as either formally or it. And the longer and the more carefully that 1 investigate these matters. should have had no sufficient argument to convince . but which can never contain anything greater or more perfect. in truth. that the idea derives its origin from nothing. for in the in these ideas is contained formally [and really]. so does the of those ideas (this mode is of formal existence pertain to the causes at least true of the first and principal) by the nature peculiar to them. it some one objective must without doubt derive reality rather than from some cause in which there is at least as much if formal reality as this idea contains of objective reality. the more I clearly and distinctly do it all I recognise their truth.

if it is correct merely a privation of heat. when these ideas represent what nothing as I though it were something. or depth. and of God. i.e. and there are others representing corporeal and inanimate things. duration and number. false. I do not recognise in them anything so great or so excellent that they for if I consider might not have possibly proceeded from myself. and the same holds good of other similar .164 Meditation III But of my ideas. the situation which bodies of different figure preserve in relation to one another. heat. I do so perceive also figure which results . nor angels. as I yesterday examined the idea of wax. For example. beyond that which represents me difficulty. colours. scents. a certain material falsity i. can however easily conceive that they might be formed by an admixture of the other ideas which I have of myself. may nevertheless is be found in ideas. or formal falsity. or angels. in all the And in regard to the ideas of corporeal objects. as to which there can here be no there is another which represents a God. do not even know I they are true or whether the ideas which objects or form of these qualities are actually the ideas of real [or not whether they only represent chimeras which For although I cannot exist in it is fact]. them more closely. cannot tell is whether cold And inasmuch as [since ideas resemble images] there cannot be any ideas which do not appear to represent to say that cold is some things. cold and the other tactile qualities.e. others angels. or are not such. or whether both are real qualities. properly speaking. tastes. the idea> which have of cold and heat are so far from clear I and distinct that by their means merely a privation of heat. me neither men nor animals. even although there were apart from world. they are thought by that I me with so if much obscurity and confusion false. others animals. As to other things such as light. or change of situation . breadth. have before remarked that only in judgments that falsity. sounds. to which we may also and movement add substauce. I find that there is very little in them which I perceive clearly and distinctly. can be met with. and examine them individually. from a termination of this extension. or heat a privation of cold. Magnitude or extension in length. the idea which as something real represents it to me and positive will not be improperly termed ideas. and others again which represent to me men ideas I similar to myself. As regards the which represent to me other men or animals. of corporeal things. to myself.

from what has been already said. but because they are merely certain modes of substance [and so to speak the vestments under which corporeal substance appears to us] and because I myself seem that they might be contained in am me also a substance. all-powerful. little they are true. as those which I have of substance. But as to all the other qualities of which the ideas of corporeal things are composed. recollect that I I I agree in I this. immutable]. have been created. number. the light of nature shows me that they issue from nought. although I I am a thing that thinks and not one that is extended. \ As to the clear and distinct idea which have of corporeal some of them seem as though I might have derived them from the idea which I possess of myself.e. i. since I am only a thing that thinks. to In the same way. that both represent substances. Hence there remains alone the idea of God. For [even] when I things. it is true that they are not formally in me. nevertheless. I when perceive that now I exist existed.Of To tlie. By the name God I understand a all- ! infinite [eternal. and such like. For if they are false. to wit. the less do they appear capable of proceeding from hence. situation and motion. duration.se God's Existence 165 it is certainly not necessary that I should attribute any author other than myself. nevertheless because they exhibit so reality to me I cannot even clearly distinguish I the thing- represented from non-being. that is to say. Now all these characteristics are such that the more diligently I attend to them. and by which if myself and everything else. it would eminently. or at least a thing capable of I and that am a substance also. and and when further remember that I have in former times have various thoughts of which can recognise the number. concerning which we must consider whether it is not something that is capable of proceeding from substance that is me myself. that they are only in me But in so far as if something that is lacking to the perfection of my nature. is a substance. . if they represent things which do not exist. independent. do not see any reason why they I should not be produced by myself. anything else does exist. 1 knowing. me alone we must conclude that God necessarily exists. acquire ideas of duration and number which I can afterwards transfer to any object that I please. extension. think that a stone existing of itself. and that the stone on the other hand is ah extended thing which does not think. figure. and that thus there is a notable difference between conceive that the two conceptions —they seem.

the case with ideas of heat. and of what conveys idea. properties of which so that the idea am ignorant. it is sufficient that all is I should understand 1 judge that that there things which some perfection. movement and on the contrary. in deficiencies of had within me some idea of a Being more perfect comparison with which I should recognise the nature'? my And we cannot say that this idea of God is perhaps and that consequently it I materially false can derive I it from nought I [i. and that am not quite perfect. infinite I substance than is manifestly more reality in and therefore that in some way have in me the notion of the infinite earlier than the finite —to it wit. the notion of I God is before that of myself. as idea of cold. true idea. of this Being who is absolutely perfect and infinite. I have said of the . unless than myself. we cannot nevertheless imagine . that His idea represents nothing real to me. I and that I should clearly perceive and in which I know and possibly likewise an infinitude of this. which I have of and most distinct of all the ideas that are God formally or eminently. perhaps. Him may become the most true. there can be none which is of itself more true. I For how would be possible that say. nevertheless I should not have the idea of an infinite substance — since I am I finite — if it had not proceeded from some substance which was veritably infinite. nor possibly even reach in any way by thought for it is of the nature of the infinite that my nature. are in most clear. . The idea. nor any in which there can be less suspicion of falsehood. some perfection. I see that there in finite. should not comprehend it and And this does not cease to be true infinite. that possibly is exists in me because am imperfect]. on the very clear and distinct and contains within more objective reality than any other. which is finite and limited. cold and other such things contrary. we can imagine that such a Being does not exist. that is to I something I lacking to me. as have just said . that should know that doubt and desire. I say.e. in my mind.166 Meditation III is For although the idea of substance fact that I within me owing to the am substance. This idea is also very clear and distinct since all that I conceive clearly and distinctly of the real and the true. Nor should I imagine that do not perceive the infinite by a finite. . but only by the negation of the just as I perceive of light repose and darkness by the negation of for. as this idea it is for. is entirely true for although. although or . is in its entirety contained in this prehend the I do not comthough in God there is an infinitude of things which I cannot comprehend.

can exist if no such being exists. in the At the same time first place. am something more than I those perfections which attribute to God are in some way potentially sensible that little.Of Gods But possibly and perhaps all I Existence I 167 suppose myself to be. who have this idea. As a matter am already and I and more into infinitude. I is nothing. nor do increased [or its knowledge increases [and perfects itself] little by see nothing which can prevent it from increasing more I my see. if it really exists in me. but only by a being which To speak the truth. in me. whom little. after it has thus been perfected]. who desires on the subject but when I slightly relax my re- my mind. Avere although true that every day my knowledge in acquired new degrees these of perfection. nevertheless • do not since for that it reason believe that it can ever be actually it will infinite. shall not suffice to produce the ideas of them. . be unable to attain to any infinite. finding its vision somewhat obscured and I so to speak blinded by the images of sensible objects. and this is why I wish here to go on to inquire whether I. present really and actually] for it it is an infallible token of imperfection in my knowledge that increases little by And further. excellences nevertheless do not pertain to I make smallest approach to] the idea which is have of God in all is whom there nothing merely potential [but in . from whom do I then derive my existence ? Perhaps from myself or from perfect than my God . than I. more perfect me by a being which is And I ask. can never reach a point so high that greater increase. or from God. exists potentially only. acquire by means all the other perfections of the Divine nature I nor finally why the power have of acquiring these perfections. so But I understand God to be actually that I He can add nothing to His supreme perfection. or issue in action. For. collect the reason do not easily why the idea that I possess of a being must necessarily have been placed in really more perfect. and that there were [or my the nature many things potentially which are not yet there actually. is And finally perceive that the objective being of an idea cannot be produced by a being that which properly speaking formal or actual. or even as perfect as He is. I it recognise that this cannot be. although I my knowledge grows more and more. although they do not yet disclose of fact I themselves. not manifest to anyone . anything to prevent my being able to . for some other source less we can imagine nothing more perfect than parents. I see nothing in all that is have just said which by the light of nature to think attentively attention.

for I should have bestowed on myself every perfection of which I And it must not be possessed any idea and should thus be God. be to attain to the knowledge of many things of which 1 am ignorant. I myself the my should doubt nothing and I should desire nothing. so to . because there are none of them which seem to me specially difficult to acquire: difficult were more and if there were any that to acquire. branches of knowledge should I many . I should not at least have denied myself the things which are the more easy to acquire [to wit. produces me anew. speak. if I had been the author of my own existence]. I All that thus require hero is that 1 should interrogate myself.168 Meditation I HI I But [were author of independent of every other and] were being. that is to say. and imagine that the conclusion to be drawn from this is. in order to be conserved in which it endures. it is quite evident that it I. a thing or it a substance that thinks. and which are only the accidents of this thinking subBut it is clear that if I had of myself possessed this greater I perfection of which have just spoken [that is to say. they would certainly appear to me to I be such (supposing myself were the origin of the other things I which 1 possess) since should discover in them that my powers were limited. neither can escape the force of this reasoning. the contrary. unless some cause at this instant. a substance has need of the same power and action as would be necessary to produce and create it in moment anew. all It is as a matter of fact perfectly clear and evident to each those who consider with attention the nature of time. imagined that those things that are lacking to me are perhaps more for. that I need not seek for any author of my existence. and finally no perfection would be lacking to me . that. supposing it did not yet exist so that the light of nature shows us clearly that the distinction between creation and con. . For all the course life of my may be divided into an infinite number of parts. than would stance. was a matter of much is greater difficulty to bring to pass that that to say. on difficult of attainment than those which I already possess . servation is solely a distinction of the reason. But though 1 I assume that perhaps I I have always existed just as am at present. none of which is in any way dependent on the other and thus from the fact that 1 was in existence a short time ago it does not follow that 1 must be in existence now. should emerge out of nothing. of which my nature is destitute] nor have deprived myself of any of the things contained in the I idea which form of God. conserves me.

On I the contrary. the unity. And certainly the idea of this unity of all Divine perfections cannot have been placed in I me by any all cause from which have not likewise received the ideas of the other . all I the perfections of conceive as existing But if it derives its existence from some other cause than we shall again ask. it follows by the reasons be before brought forward. and I am created either by my parents or by some other cause less perfect than God. because. for possesses the virtue of self-existence. and by I know clearly that depend on some being different from I myself. or at least since thus far it is only this portion of myself which is precisely in question at I present. as much reality in the cause as in the effect and thus since I am a thinking thing. and that from one I have received the idea of one of the perfections which and from another the idea of some other. since For if from itself. but not as complete in one unity which is God. 1 This cannot be. until from one step to another. if such a power did reside in me. for the same reason. that is. it must be allowed and that I it that it likewise a thinking thing all possesses in itself the idea of the perfections which attribute to God. must also without doubt have the power of actually possessing which it has the idea. all those which in God. we finally arrive at an ultimate cause. its We may again inquire whether this cause derives origin from itself or from some other thing.Of if I God's Existence I 169 is wish to know whether it possess a power which capable of . the simplicity or the inseparability of all things which are in God is one of the principal perfections which conceive to be in Him. as that which conserves present time. itself. it. whether this second cause exists by itself or through another. as have just said. attribute to God. Possibly. bringing to pass that I who now am shall still be in the future for since I am nothing but a thinking thing. whatever my existence. so that all these perfections indeed exist somewhere in the universe. which in question is will be God. that this cause it must it itself God . this being on which depend is not that which I call God. however. since what is not so much which formerly created me. it is perfectly evident that there must be at least . and possess an idea of in the end be the cause assigned to is God within me. the cause at And it is perfectly manifest that in this there can be no regression into infinity. should certainly be conscious of this I But I am conscious of nothing of the kind. me the Nor can we suppose that several causes I may have concurred in my production.

placed this idea within . incomplete incessantly aspires myself. it is not in power is to take from or to add anything to is and consequently the only alternative that it is innate in me. which after something which is better and greater than know that He on whom I depend possesses in I Himself of all I the great things towards which find aspire [and the ideas which God. I perceive myself — that is when I reflect on myself I not only know that I am some- thing [imperfect]. in creating me. And one certainly ought not to find it strange that God. so far as my parents [from all whom I it appears I have sprung] are concerned. nor are they even the authors of in my being any sense. potentially alone. since what they did was merely to implant certain dispositions in that matter in which the myself self — i.I/O perfections . . nor is it likewise a fiction of my mind. or seem to present themselves. as usual with the ideas of sensible things when these things present themselves. I at present identify with — is by me deemed to I And thus there can be no difficulty in their regard. actually He is and that not indefinitely or and infinitely and that thus And the whole strength of the argument which I have within myself]. which alone exist. I for I have not received it through the senses. to the external organs of my my senses . For from the sole fact that God created me it is most probable that in some way he has placed his image and similitude upon me. me to be like the mark of the workman imprinted on his work and it is likewise not essential that the mark shall be something different from the work itself. . just as the idea of myself innate in me. but we must of necessity conclude from the idea of a Being supremely in me. but I also and dependent on another.e. the mind. or that — that is of God — is grounded on the highest evidence. and that I perceive this similitude (in which the idea of God is contained) by means of the same faculty by which to say. Finally. for it . but really. in so far as I am a thinking being . Meditation III for this cause could not make me able to comprehend them as joined together in an inseparable unity without having at the same time caused me in some measure to know what they are [and in some way to recognise each one of them]. and is never presented to me unexpectedly. It only remains to me to examine into the manner in which have acquired this idea from God it is . that the proof of God's existence the fact alone that perfect is exist. that does not make follow that it is they who conserve me. although believe of that have ever been able to it them were true.

to ponder at leisure His marvellous attributes.e. that recognise that is not possible that I my nature should be what God. that there are many more which are known to us respecting the human mind. are purely And certainly the idea which I possess of the human intelligible. nor participating in anything pertaining to body. are capable in this Meditation IV. that that I is am an incomplete and dependent being. and yet more still regarding God Himself so that I shall now without any difficulty abstract my thoughts from the consideration of [sensible or] imaginable objects. being withdrawn from all contact with matter. will allow me For just as faith life teaches us that the supreme felicity of the other in this contemplation of the Divine Majesty. that of God. to consider. and pass on to the consideration of other truths which may be derived from it. by experience that a similar meditation. my ' corporeal thing. But before I examine this matter with more care. and not extended in length. width and depth. and admire. of to prove the existence of it God consists in this. presents itself to . since the light of nature teaches us that fraud and deception necessarily proceed from some defect. and indeed that should have in myself the idea of a if i. God did not veritably exist a God. and carry them to those which.Of here God's Existence 171 made use 1 it is. I say. me. And when I consider that I doubt. which to do so. is incomparably more distinct than is the idea of any from senses. in some measure consists only dazzled by the sight. it seems to me right to pause for a while in order to contemplate God Himself. mind inasmuch as it is a thinking thing. From this it is manifest that He cannot be a deceiver. that is to say. who is liable to no errors or defect [and who has none of all those marks which denote imperfection]. whose idea is in who possesses all those supreme perfections of which our — mind may indeed have some idea but without understanding them all. have been well accustomed these past days to detach my mind and I have accurately observed that there are very few things that one knows with certainty respecting corporeal objects. though incomparably causes us to enjoy the greatest satisfaction of which we life. Of I the True and the False. and adore. the idea of a being is complete and independent. so we continue to learn less perfect. at is my mind. . the beauty of least as far as the strength of this light so resplendent.

And no doubt never be deceived . experience shows me that I am Ave nevertheless subject to an infinitude of errors. And it is true that 1 . when is come to investigate more of closely. and He I has not placed in fall me the capacity for error. is and although testifies may appear that the power of deception a mark of subtilty or power. placed in such a manner between the supreme Being and nonis infinitely which being. as to which. In the next place I experienced in myself a certain capacity for like all the judging which me. or falsity yet directly afterwards. as I . i. and as 1 I find myself subject Not in the French version. but is. I other things that it is possess . I conclude so certainly that God is exists. respecting this matter could remain. or that I my mind much distinctness — and who of from the fact alone that this idea is found in possess this idea exist. mind. and that my existence depends entirely on Him in every moment my life that I do not think that the human mind capable of knowing anything with more evidence and certitude. yet the desire to deceive to malice or feebleness. . I if it were not that the consequence would seem to follow that for if I hold all that I possess can thus if from God.e. as 1 i. that of that removed from any kind of perfection and that I am in a sense something intermediate between God and nought. I have doubtless received from God. so to speak. • without doubt and accordingly cannot be found in God. when think onl)- of God [and direct my mind . when recurring them to myself. a certain negative idea of nothing. that there is in truth nothing in so far as a sovereign Being has me that can lead to formed me but that. wholly to Him] I discover [in myself] no cause of error. For. I notice that not only there a real and positive idea to God or of a Being of supreme perfection present my . God whom all the treasures of science and wisdom are contained) to the knowledge of the other objects of recognise it to be impossible that He should ever deceive is me for in all fraud and deception some imperfection it to be found.e.172 Meditation with so IV and clearness me. first of all. I . it seems as though I could never into error. that I And it seems to me now have before me a road which will lead us from the (in contemplation of the true the universe. also. and as clear that I He has not given He me could not desire to deceive a faculty that will lead me to err if use it aright. in so far am not myself the supreme Being. error in in some degree participate likewise in nought or in non-being.

but which it a lack of some knowledge seems that I ought to possess. but should regard all his creations together. it is . the more perfect the work of his all hands. when we inquire as to whether the works of God are perfect. is not a real thing depending on God. I ought nut to be astonished if Thus do I recognise that error. for error is not a pure is not the simple defect or want of some perfection it is which ought not to be mine]. what can have been produced by this supreme Creator of things that is not in all its parts perfect ? And certainly there is no doubt that God is it ? could have created . for power given me the purpose of distinguishing truth from error is not into error from the fact that the Nevertheless this does not quite satisfy negation [i. kind. For the same thing which might possibly seem very imperfect with some . And on considering the nature of God it does not appear to is me possible that its He should is. feeble For.e. infinite. as such. thus no reason to doubt of His existence from the fact that I may able perhaps find many other things besides this as to which I am to understand neither for them.Of to I the True and the F<il*<> 1/3 an infinitude of imperfections. place that I it me in the first should not be astonished if capable of comprehending is why God acts as my intelligence is not He does and that there . finds no useful employment in physical [or natural] things for it does the causes of . and that the nature is God is on the contrary immense. which transcend my knowledge not appear to me that I can without temerity seek to investigate that the [inscrutable] ends of God. that if it is which is wanting in some perfection due to For is true that the more skilful the artizan. me . and in recognising that there have no further difficulty an infinitude of matters in His power. knowing that my nature is extremely of and limited. I and this reason suffices to convince me that the species of cause termed final. but that fall by God infinite. in the first what reason nor how God has produced place. defect and I therefore. then better that should be subject to err than occurs to should not In considering this more attentively. It further occurs to me we should not consider one single creature separately. me so that I could never have been subject to error it is also certain that I He ever wills what that I is best . have given me a faculty which not perfect of it. incomprehensible. but simply a it. in so far should fall into error. . in order to fall into that I have no need to possess a special faculty given me by God for this very purpose.

. we cannot for all that say that it is deprived of these ideas [as we might say of something which is required by its nature]. For by the understanding alone the ideas of I [neither assert nor deny anything. on the faculty of knowledge that rests in me. I and although. since as a matter of fact that of I extended as to be subject to no limits. and perfect. regarded by itself. and seeing that it. same way I I examine the memory.174 semblance of reason if I Meditation if IV found to be very perfect . But no error form a is properly which I can to things as 1 — speaking found in signification : it. to wit. since as yet have only known certainly my own recognised the infinite power of God. regarding myself more power of choice or of free will that is to say. to take an example. so that I may obtain a place as a part of a great universe. and that of God. of the understanding and at the same time of the will. 1 do not find any which not percipio. provided the word error is taken in its proper and though there is possibly an infinitude of things in the world of which I have no idea in my understanding. if I consider the faculty of comprehension which I possess. remarkable in this regard there is am And what conscious of a will so seems to I me is all the qualities which possess no one so perfect and so comprehensive that I do not very clearly recognise that it might be yet greater and more perfect. or some other faculty. I should not for all that consider that He was bound to have . or at least that He has the power of producing them. find the idea of another faculty I idea of I recognise from this very fact that If in the it pertains to the nature of God. has not given likewise cannot complain that is me a free choice or a will which sufficient. I answer that they depend on a combination of two causes. I find that it is of very small extent and extremely can form the limited. nevertheless since I have I cannot deny that He may have produced many other things. but] apprehend judgment. and at the same time 1 much more ample and even infinite. and considering what are my errors (for they alone testify to there being any imperfection in me). because in truth there is no reason to prove that God should have given me a greater faculty of knowledge than He has given me and however skilful a workman I represent Him to be. but simply it does not possess these . Whereupon. and on the closely. placed in each of His works %/ all I the perfections which He may have God ample very been able to place in some. the is imagination. For. is regarded as part of the whole universe resolved to doubt existence all things.

of two contraries but contrariwise the more clearly that it. it. it stronger and more efficacious. understand as it is that err in Whence then come will is my errors? They come its from the sole fact that since the much wider in range and compass than the understanding. we act that I so that so. we are unconscious that any outside force constrains I us in doing For in order that should be free it is not necessary should be indifferent as to the choice of one or the other . to pursue or to shun it). will is incomparably greater in God than me. liberty. and then I should be entirely perfection of will free without ever being indifferent. when I am and strengthen it. small and circumscribed. or consists alone in the fact that in order to affirm or deny. in me that I can conceive no other idea to be more great it is it is indeed the case that for the most part this will that causes me to know in that in some manner I bear the image and similitude of God. this. the lowest grade of in and rather evinces a lack or negation : knowledge than a for if I always recognised clearly what was true and good. : not to do rather it it (that is. both by reason of the knowledge and the power which. is not of itself the source of its my errors is very ample and veiy perfect of of understanding for since I kind — any more than is — for the power understand nothing but by the power no doubt that not possible ought. pursue or shun those things placed before us by the understanding. rather increase it this indifference which I feel. inward — the my more freely do choose and embrace And undoubtedly both divine grace and natural knowledge. I lean to the one of the good whether thought I recognise the reasons and true are to be found in or whether God so disposes I my it. far from diminishing liberty.Of v the True and God the False it is 175 [or infinite]. while in immense I It is free-will alone or liberty of choice which find to be so great . Hence not swayed to one side is rather than to the other by lack of reason. v^For although the power of conjoined with reason of . there I that I I understand. and which God has given all me I for understanding. I do not restrain it within the same bounds. and by inasmuch as in God it extends to a great many it nevertheless does not seem to me greater if I consider it things formally and precisely in itself for the faculty of will consists alone in our having the power of choosing to do a thing or choosing render its object. I should never have trouble in deliberating as to what judgment or choice I should make. but extend it also to things which I do not under- . From all this I recognise that the power of will which I have it is received from God . to affirm or deny.

my mind it comes to pass me. . But if I abstain from giving my judgment on any thing when I do not perceive it with sufficient clearness and distinctness. 1 no longer make use as I should of my free will. it easily falls into error and sin. it is evident that I deceive myself even though I judge according to truth.176 stand : Meditation IV and as the will is of itself indifferent to these. or rather here suppose in by which that I am what I am. or the false for the true. or . it But if 1 determine is plain that I act rightly and am not deceived. And all this indifference does not only extend to matters as to which the understanding has no knowledge. and I I I believed this with so much the greater freedom or spontaneity as possessed the less indifference towards it. however probable are the conjectures which render me disposed to form. the simple knowledge that I have that those are conjectures alone and not certain and indubitable Of this reasons. not only know that I exist. it and found that from the very followed very clearly that I fact that I considered this question myself existed. I have had great experience of late when I set aside as false all that I had formerly held to be absolutely true. and chooses the evil for the good. standing should always precede the determination of the will. suffices to occasion me to judge the contrary. but also in general to those which are not apprehended with perfect clearness at the moment when the will is deliberating upon them : for. I could not prevent myself from believing that a thing not that I so clearly conceived was true : found myself compelled to do so by some external cause. on the I contrary. or even whether abstain from forming any judgment in the matter. for the sole reason that I remarked that it might in some measure be doubted. and if I affirm what is not true. differs from this corporeal nature. and 1 do not escape the blame of misusing my freedom for the light of nature teaches us that the knowledge of the underto . Now. but a certain representation of also presented to corporeal nature doubt whether this I and thinking nature which is . but simply because from great clearness in my mind there followed a great inclination of my will . inasmuch as that I am is a thinking thing. deny or affirm. when I lately examined whether any world I existed. this conies about only by chance. judgment respecting anything. For example. me to adopt the one I From I this it follows that am entirely indifferent as to I which of the two affirm or deny. whether both are not simply the same thing belief rather and I do not yet know any reason to persuade than the other.

these He has not bestowed upon me. is met with. by giving my and endowed with a understanding a clear and I distinct intelligence of all things as to R. but should be termed merely a negation [according to the significance given to these words in the Schools]. proper to the finite understanding not to comprehend a it is multitude of things. it appears that it nature is such that nothing can be abstracted from . but not found in the faculty which in the act in so far as it have received from God. although still remained to limited knowledge. and he finite . it is found in the act. I must God concurs with I forming the acts of the that is the judgment in which go astray.Of And it the True and the False 1 77 is in the misuse of the free will that is the privation which constitutes the characteristic nature of error I say. than could not do so. And. Privation. its and is so to speak indivisible. For in fact it is not an imperfection in God that He has -given me the liberty to give or withhold my assent from certain things as to which He has not placed a clear and distinct knowledge in . has no need of any concurrence from God. inasmuch as more perfection accrues if I my nature from the fact that x can form them. For given I have certainly no cause to complain that God has not intelligence me an is it is which is more powerful. in finally. As to the privation in it which alone the formal reason of not related error or sin consists. and since God as to a cause. or wrongfully withheld from me. because these acts are entirely true they depend on God to . the more reason have to render gratitude to the giver. possess. in so far as it I proceeds from me. and I should be far from charging Him with and with having deprived perfections which I me of. [without destroying it] and certainly the more comprehensive I it is found to ine be. and to give my judgment I readily on matters which less perceive that only understand obscurely. for since the will consists only of one single element. also not complain that will. H. viz. it is since to it is not a thing [or an existence]. which should ever have to 12 . I have every reason thanks to God who owes me nothing and who has given me I the perfections injustice. nor even / depends on Him. proper to a created understanding to to render all on the contrary. me so that never should err. and in a certain sense I and good. I or a natural light which since stronger than that which have received from Him. my not understanding to but it is without doubt an imperfection in me make a good use of my I freedom. easily nevertheI God could I have created free. have further no reason to complain that He has given me a will more ample than my understanding.

And certainly there can be no other source than that I which have explained . and hence cannot derive from what author — God. And further I have reason to be glad on the ground that the power of never going astray by the first He has not given me pointed out above. in so far as I consider myself alone. is He has at least left within my power the other means. I say. which to firmly to adhere to the is resolution never to give clearly judgment on matters whose truth although I not known me I I . I should have been much more perfect than I am. . is nought. for as often as I so restrain it my will within the limits of my I knowledge that forms no judgment except on it matters which are clearly and distinctly represented to understanding. Nevertheless I cannot deny that in some a greater perfection in the whole universe that certain parts should not be exempt from error as others are than that all parts should be exactly similar. for every clear and distinct without doubt something. and distinct understanding of it is 1 could never forget And easy for me to understand that. . having placed me in the world. Meditation or simply IV in by His engraving deeply so that my memory the resolution never to form a clear it. judgment on anything without having a it. cause of any error a conception [or God as who being supremely perfect. has not called upon me if to play a part that excels all others in distinction and perfection.178 deliberate . but also how I should act knowledge of the 1 peroeptio. And inasmuch perfection of man little is in this that the greatest consists. conception 1 its origin its is by the can never be deceived. for notice a certain weakness in my nature in that cannot continually concentrate so forcibly I my mind I shall on one single thought. if And I have no right to complain God. it seems to me that I and principal have not gained falsity by this day's Meditation. by attentive and frequently repeated it on my memory it. cannot be the and consequently we must conclude that such Nor have I only such a judgment] is true. which depends on a clear of all means and evident knowledge the things regarding which I can deliberate. but must of necessity have learned to-day what I should avoid in order that in order to arrive at a I may not err. and as that sense if there were only myself in the world. that never whenever as it have need of and thus accpiire the habit of never going astray. if God had created me so I could never it is err. meditation. impress fail to recollect it can yet. since I have discovered the source of and error.

figures. of God. and so well accords with it my that nature. I when I begin to discover them. situation And I not only do I know I these things with distinctness when consider them in general. but. that is in this quantity. and to see whether nothing certain can be known regarding material things. for without doubt shall arrive at this I my . I seems to me is learn nothing new. or recollect what I formerly knew— that to say. which cannot be esteemed as pure negations. and local movement. I must consider the ideas of them in so far as they are in my thought.Of the I True and the False end if I 179 devote truth. I can number in it many and attribute to each of its parts many sorts of size. the essence of material things. movements. that for the first time perceive things which were already present to I my had not as yet applied my mind to them. In the first place. or rather in the it is attributed. likewise [however little I apply my attention to the matter]. Meditation V. or which philosophers commonly object to which different parts. figure. To these I shall henceforth diligently give heed. although 12—2 . And what I here find to be most important is that I discover in myself an infinitude of ideas of certain things. I am able distinctly to imagine that quantity call continuous. and. whose truth that is so manifest. and see which of them are distinct and which confused. again. But before examining whether any such objects as I conceive exist outside of me. Now noting what must be done or avoided. Further. and other such things. Of cr'/sts. in order to arrive at a knowledge of the truth) my principal task is to endeavour to emerge from the state of doubt into which I have these last days fallen. the extension in length. that He Many other matters respecting the attributes of or God and my possibly (after own nature first mind remain for consideration . or depth. attention sufficiently to those things which perfectly understand and if I separate from these that which I only understand confusedly and with obscurity. I can assign to each of these movements all degrees of duration. discover an infinitude of particulars respecting numbers. but I shall on another occasion resume the investigation of these. finally. and. although they may possibly have no mind. breadth.

as pertaining to this object does really belong to may I not \ derive from this an argument demonstrating the existence of It is certain God that I no less find the idea of God. and which viz. that its three angles are equal to two right is angles. in me. to pure and abstract mathematics. form. and the other matters which pertain to arithmetic and geometry. since I have sometimes seen bodies triangular in shape because I can form in my mind an infinitude of other figures regarding which we cannot have the least conception of their ever having been objects of sense. that the greatest side subtended by the greatest angle. For example. but which possess natures which are true and immutable. demonstrated that although such that so long as I I all that I know clearly is true. there nevertheless in this figure a certain determinate is nature. which have not invented. the nature of my mind could not prevent myself from holding them to be true conceive them clearly . counted as the most certain those truths which figures. and I have already fully of the matter at all . But now. and 1 do not know any less clearly to and distinctly that an [actual and] eternal existence pertains . than that of any figure or number whatever it is. when imagine a triangle. and I can nevertheless demonstrate various properties pertaining to their nature as well as to that of the triangle. which now. it follows that all which I know clearly and distinctly it. that is t<» sty. and I I recollect that even I when was still strongly attached to the objects of sense. Nor does the objection hold good that possibly this idea of a triangle has reached my mind through the medium of my senses. recognise very clearly as pertaining to although never thought when I imagined a triangle for the first time. 1 and the I like. it or do not wish I it. the idea of a supremely perfect Being. Hence they are something. and which therefore cannot be said to have been invented by me. or essence. and these must certainly all be true since I conceive them clearly.180 existence outside of Meditation V although it is my thought. whether wish it. although there may nowhere in the world be such a figure outside is my thought. . in general. or ever have been. conceived clearly as regards numbers. and. in no wise depends on my mind. as appears from the fact that diverse properties of that triangle can be demonstrated. if just because I can draw the idea of something from my thought. And even is had not demonstrated I I this. within my power I and which are not framed by me. which I immutable and eternal. either to think or not to think them. and not pure negation for it is perfectly clear that all that is true is something.

than to conceive mountain which has no valley.e. I But. when I think of it with more 1/ clearly see that existence can its no more be separated its from the essence of God than can to triangle. of a . But a sophism is concealed in this objection for from the fact that I cannot conceive a mountain without a valley. although no God existed. it does not follow that there is any mountain or any valley in existence. and therefore. and hence that He not that my thought can bring this to pass. still from the fact that I conceive of a mountain with a valley. but. on the contrary. because the necessity which lies in the thing itself. it follows that existence really exists . the existence of I God would pass with to be. . in all For being accustomed other things to make a distinction between existence and essence. While from the fact that I cannot conceive God without existence. cannot in any way be separated one from the other. and just as I may imagine a winged horse. so I could perhaps attribute existence to God. it would seem that it does not follow that there is a God which exists for my thought does not impose any necessity upon things. it does not follow that there is such a mountain in the world similarly although I conceive of God as possessing existence. to whom is existence is lacking (that is whom a certain perfection lacking). not any less repugnance to our conceiving a God (that a Being supremely perfect) to to say.Of this nature God. or impose any necessity on things. since it would seem to present some appearance of being a sophism. and that we can thus conceive God as not actually existing. two right angles be separated from the essence of a is mountain from the idea of a valley and so there is. i. me as at least as certain as have ever held the truths of mathematics (which concern only numbers and figures) This indeed is not at first manifest. attention. but only that the mountain and the valley. is inseparable from Him. or the idea of a having three angles equal [rectilinear] . nevertheless. whether they exist or do not exist. . But although I cannot really conceive of a God without existence any more than a mountain without a valley. I easily persuade myself that the existence can be separated from the essence of God. that I concluded in the preceding Meditations were found to be false. For it is . that He exists 181 than 1 of some figure or know that all that which I am able to demonstrate number truly pertains to the nature of this figure although all or number. the necessity of the existence of God determines me to think in this way. although no horse with wings exists.

But when all consider which is figures are capable of being inscribed in the circle. whenever wish to consider it is a rectilinear figure composed only of three angles. it is necessary that I I should attribute to far as to Him And every sort of perfection. not here object that it is And we must to assert that in truth necessary for me God exists after having presupposed that is He possesses every sort of perfection. although all. false. be inscribed in the for supposing should be constrained to admit that the rhombus might be inscribed in the circle since it is a quadrilateral figure. just as thought this. absolutely essential that I should attribute to it all those properties which serve to bring about the conclusion that its three angles are not greater than two right angles. And first in consequence there a great difference between the false suppositions such as this. because is the image of a true and immutable nature cannot conceive anything but God himself to whose essence . a perfection) that this first and just as though not necessary for me ever to imagine any triangle. do not get so each one in (after enumerate them or to apply my mind to particular. and. derive the idea of from the storehouse of Him my mind. sO long as do not desire to accept anything which cannot is conceive clearly and distinctly. so to speak. yet. this necessity suffices to is make me conclude it is I having recognised that existence sovereign Being really exists . in the second place because in this it is not possible for position . even although I may I not then be considering this point in particular. is manifestly [We must it is not. nevertheless whenever first happens that I think of a and a sovereign Being. I cannot even pretend that this I the case. I not necessary to consider that circle .182 not within Meditation V power to think of God without existence (that is of a supremely perfect Being devoid of a supreme perfection) though it is my in my power to imagine a horse either with wings or without wings. granted that there one such God who now . however. which. and the true ideas born within me. 1 discern in and principal of which is that many ways that this idea is not something it I and depending solely on my thought. existence [necessarily] pertains . but that first of all. For really factitious. me to conceive two or more Gods is same exists. and. the of God. but that as quadrilateral figures can I a matter of fact it is my original supposition all was not necessary. it in no wise necessary that this I should think that I quadrilateral figures are of is number . I say. on the contrary. make any such I allegations because] although not necessary that should at any time entertain the it notion of God. since existence one of these.

And although amongst the matters which I conceive of in this way. whatever proof or argument 1 avail myself of. For is continual pressure of sensible things. a more manifest than that there is a God. we must always return to the point that it is only those things which we conceive clearly and distinctly that have the power of persuading me entirely. that He exists 183 that it is necessary that He should have existed from . which would easily cause me order to perceive it clearly. yet because I am also of such a nature that cannot have my mind constantly fixed on the same object in and as I often recollect having formed a past judgment without at the same time properly recollecting the reasons that led me to make it. while others only manifest themselves to those who consider them closely and examine them attentively still. some indeed are manifestly obvious to all. example. the latter are not esteemed as any less certain than the former. that without this knowledge impossible ever to know anything perfectly. if if my mind were not pre-occupied with prejudices. to change 1 my opinion. and itself my could thought did not find on all hands diverted by the than Him. if I were ignorant of the facts of the existence is 'Iu the idea of ' whom alone necessary or eternal existence comprised. in the case of every right-angled triangle. I I God. and that He must exist eternally and finally. it does is equal to the is opposite to the still.Of I see clearly all eternity. it may happen meanwhile that other reasons present themselves to me. because know an For the infinitude of other properties in God. although not so manifestly appear that the square of the base squares of the two other sides as that this base greatest angle . there would be nothing which I know more immediately and more easily there anything say. to whose essence alone existence pertains ? * And although for a firm grasp of this truth I I have need of a feel strenuous application of mind. after they have once been discovered. 2 From the moment that. that is to Supreme Being. it am naturally impelled to be true. And as regards God. I For although to believe I am of such a nature that as long as 2 I I under- stand anything very clearly and distinctly. when this has once been apprehended. but I also it remark that the certainty of other things depends on it so absolutely. at present not only myself to be as assured of it as of all that I hold as all most is certain. none of which can either diminish or change. rest. For .' French version. we are just as certain of its truth as of the truth of the other.' French version. .

— ? been impelled to give to be. and from that have inferred that what I perceive clearly and distinctly cannot fail to be true although I no longer pay attention to the reasons for which I have judged this to be true. although it but so soon as I abstain from attending to still recollect having clearly comprehended it. And this same knowledge extends likewise to all other things which I recollect having formerly demonstrated. apply my mind to its demonstration the proof. such as the truths of geometry and the like for what can be alleged against them to cause me to place them in doubt ? Will it be said that my nature is such as to cause me to be frequently deceived But I already know that I cannot be deceived in the judgment whose grounds I know clearly. Meditation V and thus I should have no true and certain knowledge.184 of God. if I am ignorant of there being a God. and not as yet knowing the rule whereby I assure myself of the truth. especially w hen I have frequently judged matters to be true and certain which other reasons have afterwards impelled false. for example. . Will it be said that I formerly held many things to be true and certain which I have afterwards recognised to be false ? But I had not had any clear and distinct knowledge of these things. my assent from reasons which I I have since recognised to be less strong than had at the time imagined them What further objection can then be raised ? That possibly I am dreaming (an objection I myself made a little while ago). consider the nature of a [rectilinear] triangle. when I only vague and vacillating opinions. to doubt of its truth and thus I have a true and certain knowledge of it. me to judge to be altogether But after 1 have recognised that there is a God because at the same time I have also recognised that all things depend upon Him. and I it not possible for me I not to believe this so long as . For can persuade myself of I having been so constituted by nature that myself even in those matters which that I can easily deceive r believe myself to apprehend I recollect with the greatest evidence and certainty. but Thus. provided that I recollect having clearly and distinctly perceived it no contrary reason can be brought forward which could ever cause me. or that all the thoughts which I now have are no more true than the phantasies of my dreams But even though 1 slept the ease would ? . 1 had . and that He is not a deceiver. 1 may easily occur that come to doubt I its truth. I who have some knowledge of the principles little of geometry recognise quite clearly that the three angles are equal to is two right angles.

unless I found a since in this aspect I perceive them clearly contradiction in attempting to conceive faculty of imagination which I possess. and distinctly. But if is immediately present to it. For there is no doubt that God possesses the power to produce everything that I am capable of perceiving with distinctness. that is He exists 185 is that clearly present to my mind absolutely And all so I very clearly recognise that the certainty and truth of knowledge depends alone on the knowledge of the true God. Conception. and I have never deemed that anything was impossible for Him.' French version. all God. just as easily as I conceive intellectionem.' Latin version. Of the Existence of Material Things. experience me. Further. not only of those which relate to intellectual matters. I remark in the first place the difference that exists between the imagination and pure intellection [or conception ]. ' 2 intueor. when I imagine a triangle. I desire to think of a chiliagon. I do not conceive it only as a figure comprehended by three lines. Meditation VI. I make use when is I apply myself to the consideration of material things. and of the real distinction between the Soul and Body of Man. in so much that. to inquire Nothing further now remains but things exist. For example. 3 .Of be the same. And now that I know Him I have other the means of acquiring a perfect knowledge of an infinitude of . And to render this quite clear. the and of which. I could not have a perfect knowledge of any other thing. for true. acie mentis. for when I attentively consider what imagination I find that it is nothing but a certain application of the faculty of knowledge to the body which and which therefore exists. but I also apprehend 2 these three lines as present by the power and inward vision of my mind 3 and this is what I call imagining. capable of persuading me of their existence is. I certainly conceive truly that it is a figure composed of a thousand 1 ' sides. tells it clearly. whether material these And certainly I at least know that may exist in so far as they are considered as the objects of pure mathematics. but also of those God Himself and which pertain to corporeal nature in so far as it is the object of pure mathematics [which have it no concern with whether exists or not]. 1 . . things. before I knew Him.

while in imagining in it turns towards the body. regard them my mind]. 1 it may happen that in imagining a chiliagon figure. or in [my my mind N for although . but I can also imagine attention of to the space I my mind to each of its five sides. form the distinction between a chiliagon and other polygons. do the as three sides of a triangle]. may be that by this means can imagine corporeal objects intellection only so that this mode of thinking differs from pure in its intellectual activity in inasmuch as mind itself. did not possess I it should doubtless ever remain the same it as now am. nor do so to speak. that the imagination could be . that is to say. in] the essence of I my nature. inasmuch as it differs from the power of understanding. by applying the and at the same time it which they And thus I clearly recognise that have need of a particular effort of mind in order to effect the act of imagination. I easily say.186 of a triangle that it is Meditation VI . And although in accordance with the habit I have formed of always employing the aid of I my imagination when think of corporeal things. which exists between imagination and pure intellection 1 in is remark besides that this power of imagination which is one. a figure of three sides only but I cannot in any way imagine the thousand present [with the eyes of sides of a chiliagon [as I I. And is I easily conceive that some body exists with which my mind itself to it conjoined it and united in such a it . from which it appears that we might conclude differs that depends on something which if from me. such as I do not require in order to understand. since it when does I it differs from that which I represent to myself nor or any other many-sided figure myriagon think of a serve my purpose in discovering the properties which go to in no way . enclose. it and there beholds understand. some manner turns on it and considers some of the ideas which it possesses in itself. in no wise a necessary element in I essence. yet it is confusedly represent to myself some is very evident that this figure not a chiliagon. . thus constituted true that body exists 1 and because I can discover no other intellectionem. it is quite true that can conceive its figure as well as that of a chiliagon without the help of my imagination . if it is something conformable to the idea which itself or has either conceived of I perceived by the senses. and I this particular effort of mind clearly manifests the difference . if But I the question turns upon a pentagon. way that it can apply consider when it pleases.

one from the other. And I first of all I shall recall to my memory those matters which hitherto held to be true. — a part. but this is only with probability. hands. sadness. and the foundations on which my belief has rested in the next place I shall examine the reasons which have since obliged me to place them in doubt in the last place I shall consider which of them I must now believe. I can derive any argument from which there will necessarily be deduced the existence of body. and. then. beneficial and hurtful. I perceived that I had a head. thirst. which were harmful. And certainly. and generally all the scents other bodies. it is right that I should at the same time investigate the nature of sense perception. of myself — is composed. But wit. anger. I and motions of bodies. the sea. which I have in my imagination. and remarked that a certain feeling of pleasure accompanied those that were beneficial. in order to examine them more conveniently. light and colour. which I call feeling. and all other tactile qualities. I cannot derive some certain proof of the existence of corporeal objects. and and sounds. And outside myself. or possibly even as the whole. Further others. and although I examine all things with care. many other things besides this corporeal nature which is the object of pure mathematics.Of convenient the Existence of explaining of Material Things. First of all. they seem to have reached my imagination. it was not . And inasmuch by the medium of which. in addition to extension. I And in addition to this pleasure and pain those and pain. and other similar appetites. the variety of which gave me the means of distinguishing the sky. remarked in them hardness. it. . heat. and all other members of which this body which I considered as senses. and other similar passions. to the colours. scents. I am in the habit of imagining pain. figure. the earth. I nevertheless do not find that from this distinct idea of corporeal nature. and that I should see if from the ideas which much better through the senses. further. 187 mode I conjecture with probability that body does exist. was sensible that this body was placed amidst many from which it was capable of being affected in many different I I ways. etc. I believe that. as having perceived them through the . and by the memory. feet. I apprehend by this mode of thought. considering the ideas of all these qualities which presented themselves to my mind. also experienced hunger. as also certain corporeal inclinations towards joy. and which alone I perceived properly or immediately. and other such things^ as I perceive these things although less distinctly. sounds.

and it was not my power not to perceive when it was present. and recognised that the ideas which I formed of myself were not so distinct as those which I perceived through the senses. nothing was more likely to occur to because likewise my mind than that the objects were similar to the ideas which were caused.188 without reason that different from I Meditation VI believed myself to perceive objects quite my I thought. I know not what. bodies from which those ideas proceeded . which clear. unless it were present to the organs of sense it. And in the same way it appeared to me that I had learned from nature eat. and finally I some. . and that they were most frequently even composed of portions of these last. however desirous might in be. or than those I found impressed on my memory. I received through the senses were in their And because the ideas much more lively. all fli<' other judgments which 1 formed regarding the objects of my . But when I inquired. so that they must necessarily have been other things. I could give no reason excepting that nature taught me so for there is certainly no affinity (that I at least can understand) between the craving of the stomach and the desire to mind. produced in me by some And having no knowledge of those objects excepting the knowledge which the ideas themselves gave me. {or found by experience that these ideas presented without themselves to I me my consent being requisite. or why this mysterious emotion of the stomach which I call hunger causes me to desire to eat. and not in the parts of other bodies which were separated from it. there follows sadness of and from the pleasurable sensation there arises joy. so that I could not perceive any object. to wit. Nor was it without some reason that I believed that this body (which by a certain special right I call my own) belonged to me more it properly and more strictly than any other for in fact I could never be separated I from it it as from other bodies . more any of those which I could of myself frame in meditation. and dryness of throat causes a desire to drink. . more proceeded from my mind. it appeared as though they could not have distinct than and even. why. I persuaded myself easily that I had no idea in my mind which had not formerly come to me through the senses. painful sensation. any more than between the perception of whatever causes pain and the thought of sadness which arises from this perception. from experienced in on account of all my appetites and affections. and so on. I And remembered that I had formerly made use of my senses rather than my reason. and was touched by the feeling of pain and the titillation of pleasure in its parts. own way.

is which are very general myself to feel the first that I never have believed I anything in waking moments which feel cannot also I sometimes believe myself to think that these things which objects outside of me. I do not in truth think that I should rashly admit all the matters which the senses seem to . had not much trouble For since nature seemed to cause from which reason repelled me. 189 senses. and to discover more clearly the author of my being. even in those founded on the internal as well for is there anything more intimate or more internal than pain ? And yet I have learned from some persons whose arms or legs have been cut off. appeared as quite . and that colossal summit in of these towers. that they sometimes seemed to feel pain in the part which had been amputated. I when I sleep. And although the ideas which receive by the senses do not depend on my will. by little destroyed all the faith which had rested in my senses for I from time to time observed that those towers which from afar appeared to round. of the author of my being. I saw nothing to prevent me from having been so constituted by nature that deceived eyen in matters which seemed to me might be to be most certain. and so in an infinitude judgments founded on the external of other cases I And not only in those founded on the external senses. And to those I have lately added two others. and as do not I seem to feel in sleep. when viewed from the bottom a certain member which pained me. The other was that being still ignorant. but senses. proceed from do not see any reason why I should have this belief regarding objects which I seem to perceive while awake. I me to lean towards I many things did not believe that should trust much I to the teachings of nature. or rather supposing myself to be ignorant. since possibly some faculty might be discovered in me — though hitherto unknown to me — which produced them. truth of sensible objects. which made me think that I could not be quite certain that it was found error . I And as to the grounds on which I I was formerly persuaded of the in replying to them. I did not think that one should for that reason conclude that they proceeded from things different from myself. since I before I remarked that these judgments were formed in me had the leisure to weigh and consider any reasons which might oblige make them. But now that I begin to know myself better. more closely observed statues raised on the tiny statues me to be seemed square.Of the Existence of Material Things^ etc. even although grounds of doubt • I felt pain in it. But afterwards many experiences to I me little .

and absolutely distinct from my body. Meditation but. w clearly and it suffices And first of because I know that things which I I apprehend distinctly can be created I by God as apprehend them. must be attached some subis corporeal or extended substance. as I shall say in a moment) possess a I am what I I am]. since they least may be . of position. that without an intelligent substance in which they reside. all 011 VI do not think that all I the other hand. if it it . And although possibly (or rather I body with which I am very intimately conjoined. made to exist in separation at by the omnipotence of God and it does not signify by what power this separation is made in order to compel me to judge them to be different I : and. inasmuch as it is only an extended and unthinking thing. observe also in the me some other faculties such as that of change like. different that am able to apprehend one thing apart from another is clearly and distinctly in order to be certain that the one from the other. it is certain that this I [that is to say. to use the language of the Schools] in their formal is concept. therefore. from which I infer that they are distinct from I me as its modes are from a thing. tinctly as a complete being while. my soul by which certainly. assumption of different figures and such which cannot be conceived. I have a clear and distinct idea of myself inasmuch as I am only a thinking and unextended thing. I possess a distinct idea of body. on the other. excepting that am a thinking thing. any more than can the preceding. to wit. and that meanwhile do not remark that any other thing I necessarily pertains to my nature or essence. in the fact that I I rightly conclude that my essence consists solely am is a thinking thing [or a substance whose whole essence or nature to think]. the faculties of imagination and without which I can easily conceive myself clearly and dis. and as. all. some kind of intellection comprised. and con- sequently cannot exist without faculties. on the one side. . they cannot is be so conceived apart from me. for [in the notion we have of these faculties. yet because. on the other hand. but no intellection at all. since in the clear and distinct conception of these there some sort of extension found to be present.190 teach us. is entirely it. but it is very clear that these to he true that they exist. and not to an intelligent Btance. I should doubt them universally. apart from some substance to which they are attached. or. and can exist without further find in myself faculties employing modes of thinking peculiar to themselves. just because I I know certainly that exist. feeling.

a very great inclination to believe [that they are sent to objects. He does not communicate to me these ideas immediately and by Himself. however. etc. all things which. it is and often even against my thus necessarily the case that the faculty resides in some way to the same. that is to say. that is. or some their reality is not formally. by the senses is in many instances very obscure and confused but we must at least admit that all things which I conceive in them clearly and distinctly. but only eminently.. speaking generally. or other creature more noble than body in which that same is contained But. pain and the like. a corporeal nature in which there that which it is contained formally [and really] objectively [and God by representation] in those ideas. contained. etc. nor yet by the intervention of some creature in which Himself. I me or] that they are conveyed to me by corporeal do not see how He could be defended from the accusation of deceit if these ideas were produced by causes other than corporeal objects. since God is no deceiver. if me [and I could in no or in way avail myself of there were not either in me some other thing another active faculty capable of forming and producing these ideas. which are either particular only. sound. are truly to be recognised as external objects. it is certain that although they are very dubious and uncertain. but this would be useless to it]. but. it is very manifest that eminently. such as light. that of receiving and recognising the ideas of things. l&l certainly further in is. and that consequently He has not permitted any falsity to exist in my opinion which He has not likewise given me the faculty of correcting. as I But this active faculty cannot exist in it me [inasmuch me without am a thing that thinks] seeing that does not presuppose thought. substance different from me in which all the reality which is is objectively in the ideas that are produced by this faculty or eminently contained. pure mathematics. that the sun less clearly is of such and such a figure. ever. as I is formally remarked all before. or which are and distinctly conceived.Of There is the Existence of Material Things. on the other hand. they are perhaps not exactly what we perceive by the Howsenses. me a certain passive faculty of persensible ception. I may assuredly hope to conclude that I have within . And is this substance is either a body. for example. Hence we must allow that corporeal things exist. As to other things. as. For since He has given me no faculty to recognise that this is the case. and also that those ideas are often produced in my will contributing in any . are comprehended in the object of since this comprehension . yet on the sole ground that God is not a deceiver.

that were not the case. when my body is hurt. inasmuch as surround am formed of body and may receive different impressions agreeable and disagreeable from the other bodies which it. but that am not am very it only lodged in my closely united to I it. now understand no other thing than either God Himself or else the order and disposition which God has established in created things. I. tastes. I should clearly understand the fact without being warned of it by confused feelings of hunger and thirst. heat. etc. But there are many other things which nature seems to have taught me. But there is nothing which this nature teaches me more expressly [nor more sensibly] than that I have a body which is adversely affected when I feel pain.. etc. . And also from the fact that amongst the^e different sense- perceptions some are very agreeable to it is me and soul) others disagreeable. but which at the same time I have never really received . although possibly these are not really at to them. for I merely a thinking thing. who am that feel pain. For all these sensations of hunger. pain. just by sight when something is damaged in his as the sailor perceives . are in truth none other than certain confused modes of thought which are produced by the union and apparent intermingling of mind and body. vessel and when my body has need of drink or food. which nature teaches me there in some truth contained for by nature. and by my nature in particular I understand no other thing than the complexus of all the things which God has given me. And certainly from the fact that I am sensible of different sorts of colours. Moreover. thirst. hardness. sounds. I very all easily conclude diverse that there are in the bodies from which all these sense-perceptions proceed certain variations which similar answer to them. and others sought after. which has need of food or drink when I experience the feelings of hunger and thirst. hunger. Nature also teaches me by these sensations of pain.. is of all there no doubt that in all things . considered general. should not should perceive wound by the understanding only.192 Meditation VI And first me is I the means of arriving at the truth even here. of which some are to be avoided. body as a pilot in a and so to speak so intermingled with For this if seem to compose with it one whole. and so on nor can I doubt there being some truth in all this. nature teaches me that many other bodies exist around mine. thirst. etc. scents. quite certain that I my body (or rather myself in my entirety. that I I vessel.

without r. that in a bitter or sweet body there . but which have been brought about in certain habit which I my mind have of forming inconsiderate judgments on easily things. and so on in other instances towers. and thus it may happen that these judgments contain I some all error. without having [carefully and maturely] mentally examined them beforehand. . . since in this sum many which I things are com- prehended which only pertain to mind (and to these in speaking of nature) such as the notion do not refer have of the fact that what has once been done cannot ever be undone and an I infinitude of such things which know by the light of nature it comprehends many other matters besides which only pertain to body.Of the Existence of Material Things. the same taste. and seeing that longer here contained under the of weight which it name of nature. the and all other distant bodies are of the same figure and size off to as they appear from far this there I I our eyes. etc. such as the quality like. it is For it seems to me that_ and not mind and body in conjunction. signification For here I I take nature in a more limited things given than when term it the sum I of all the me by God. that is requisite to a knowledge of the truth in regard to such things. 193 by a from her. that in a white or green body there I the same whiteness or is greenness that perceive . although a star makes no larger an impression on my eye mind alone. Thus. But the which me to flee from things and seek after the things which . and are no [without the help of the body]. than the flame of a little candle there is yet in it me no is real or positive propensity impelling me to believe that it not greater than that flame years. possesses and the with which I also do not deal . for example. I etc. nature here described truly teaches cause the sensation of pain. h. communicate to me the sentiment of pleasure and so forth but I do not see that beyond this it teaches me that from those diverse sense-perceptions we should ever form any conclusion regarding things outside of us. but I have judged to be so from my earliest any rational foundation. And although in approach13 . the opinion which there senses is is hold that space in which nothing that affects void . But in order that in should be nothing which I really do not conceive distinctly. Take. understand when I should define exactly what say that am taught somewhat by nature. [or makes an is impression on] there is my that in a body which warm is something entirely similar to the idea of heat which is in me . that the stars. for in talking of nature I only treat of those things given by God to me as a being composed of mind and body.

that there is something in it. that in this case nature teach — may be I excused. and in which I seem to have sometimes detected error [and thus to be directly deceived by my own nature]. because these perceptions of sense having been placed within me by it nature merely for the purpose of signifying to my mind what whole of which clear things are beneficial or hurtful to the composite forms a part. and not to desire the poison which to it . But I have already sufficiently considered how. tiveness perhaps be said here that the cause of their decepis that their nature corrupt. because a sick is man . falsity enters into the judgments I make. So also. there is at the same time no reason in this which could in the fire persuade me that there something resembling this heat . notwithstanding the supreme goodness of God. But we not unfrequently deceive ourselves even in those things which we are directly impelled by nature. To take an example. as in other similar things. being is finite in nature. but that does not is remove the difficulty. except that my not omniscient. they can me nothing but what is most obscure and confused. VI even and is in approaching it a little too near I feel pain. in fact. I must not from that conclude that these spaces contain no body for I see in this. I yet avail I myself of them as though they were absolute rules by which might immediately determine the essence of the bodies which are outside me. that I have been in the habit of perverting the .194 ing fire I feel Meditation heat. unknown and thus nature is I can infer nothing from this is fact. and also respecting the internal sensations which I possess. as to which. none the less truly God's creature than he who in health and it is therefore as repugnant to God's . although there are spaces in which I find nothing which excites my senses. and being up to that point sufficiently and distinct. any more than there is in the pain something resembling it all that I have any reason to believe from this is. which excites in me these sensations of heat or of pain. since man. whatever it may be. at which there cer- tainly no reason to be astonished. as happens with those are sick desire to drink or eat things hurtful to It will is who when they them. the agreeable taste of some food in which poison has been intermingled may induce me to partake of the poison. order of nature. Only here a new difficulty is presented one respecting those things the pursuit or avoidance of which is taught me by nature. at the same time. and thus deceive me. for it only induces me to desire food in which is find a pleasant taste. can only have knowledge the perfectness of which to limited. It is true.

105 the other. I easily would be as natural to this body. blood and skin. yet in regard to the composite whole. and thus to augment its malady and do harm to itself. less goodness for the one to have a deceitful nature as as a clock it is for composed of wheels and counter-weights no is exactly observes the laws of nature does not show the time properly. and to be move the nerves and other parts in the way requisite for drinking. nevertheless mode is of explaining nature very different from the other. muscles. which compares a sick I man and a badly constructed clock with the idea which have of a healthy man and a well made clock. it would not cease to have the same motions as at present. For this but a purely verbal characterisation depending entirely on my thought. and as. for it disposition of its organs]. considering the use to which the clock has been its destined by maker. and entirely satisfies the maker. to suffer the parchedness of the throat signifies to the mind the feeling of thirst. when it has no indiswhich usually disposed by this parched feeling to position. etc. inasmuch as apart from the need to drink. I have reason for thinking that it does not indicate the hours correctly does not follow the order of nature when. and in consequence depend upon the mind [as opposed to veins. But certainly although in regard to the dropsical body its it is only is so to speak to apply an extrinsic term when we say that nature corrupted. it I may say that it from the order of . exception being made of those movements which are due to the direction of the will. to be impelled to drink for its good by a similar cause. for it to have thirst when 13—2 . in the same way. and as. that it is is to say. wishes of its when it than when it badly made. as it is natural to it. to the mind or soul united to this body. deflects And its although. though there were no mind in it at all. but according to the other interpretation of the term nature understand something therefore not without which is truly found in things and which some truth. but a real error of nature. supposing it to example. I drinking does harm to the conservation of health. recognise at the same time that this last is nature when if the throat is dry.Of And the Existence of Material Things. considering the machine of the human body as having been formed by God in order to have in itself all the movements usually manifested there. not a purely verbal predicate. if I consider the body of a man as being a sort of machine so built up and composed of nerves. and it is it is hence extrinsic to the things to which applied I is . the throat is parched . that those which operate by the recognise that be. dropsical.

then. for there is not one of these imaginable by this me which my mind I cannot easily divide into parts. yet if a foot. I In order to begin this examination. in the cord first between the two. conceiving. feeling. whenever disposed same particular way. so regarded from being fallacious. But it is quite otherwise with corporeal or extended objects. to wit. I am aware that nothing has been taken away from my mind. myself am only a thinking thing. in the man place. we pull the last part D. or some other part. although meanwhile the other portions of the body may be differently disposed. when I consider the inasmuch as I mind.196 Meditation it. although this more remote part does not act at all. I had not already learned from other sources. when I feel pain in my foot. and the mind is For. also. and which conse. cannot be properly speaking said to be its parts. I cannot distinguish in myself any parts. . conveys the same thing to the mind. as is testified by innumerable experiments which it is in the unnecessary here to recount. for example. inasmuch as body entirely indivisible. which. be united to the whole body. quently do not recognise as being divisible would be sufficient to teach me if I that the mind or soul of man it is entirely different from the body. from that in which it is common sense 1 is said to reside. receive the impressions brain. I notice. being 1 A BCD [which part A will not is in tension] if sensus communis. is by nature always divisible. or an arm. VI thus it still drinking would be hurtful to inquire And remains to how the goodness of God does not prevent the nature of here say. And the faculties of willing. but apprehend myself to be clearly one and entire and although the whole mind seems to . first that there is a great difference between mind and body. as a matter of fact. that is to say. or further notice that the all mind does not from the parts of the body immediately. and the last part D were to remain unmoved. for it is one and the same mind which employs itself in willing and in feeling and understanding. is separated from my body. that the nature of body is such that none of its parts can be also moved by another part a little way off which cannot be moved in the same way by each one of the parts which are As. which. etc. the be moved in any way differently from what would be the case if one of the intervening parts B or C were pulled. my knowledge of physics teaches me that this sensation is communicated by means of nerves dispersed through the foot. but only from the its perhaps even from one of smallest parts. And in the same way.

pain. and then excite established in order to cause a certain the movement which nature has to be affected by a sensation of pain represented as existing in the foot. to wit. Thus. when they are contracted in the foot. it gives a sign to the . and there is therefore nothing in them which does not give testimony 1 to the power and goodness of the God [who has produced them ]. 2 spini dorsae medullam. 1 Similarly. it mind may happen that although their extremities which are in the foot are not affected. But experience makes us aware that all the feelings I notice finally that since each of the with which nature inspires us are such as I have just spoken of. movements which are in the portion of the brain by which the mind is immediately affected brings about one particular sensation only. at the brain which is their same time contract the inmost portions of the extremity and place of origin. for example. . in order to reach from the leg to the brain. but only certain ones of their intervening parts [which pass by the loins or the neck]. we cannot under the circumstances imagine anything more likely than that this movement. 197 extended like cords from there to the brain. mind which makes it feel somewhat. might have produced consciousness of itself either in so far as it is is in the brain. but none of all this would have contributed so well to the conservation of the body. their movement. passing through the medulla of the spine 2 to the inmost parts of the brain. this action will excite the same movement in the brain that might have been excited there by a hurt received in the foot. in such a way that this same movement in the brain would have conveyed something quite different to the mind for example. or as it in some other place between the foot and the brain. or it might finally have produced consciousness of anything else whatsoever. Latin version only. And the same holds good of all the other perceptions of our senses. the loins. causes mind to be affected by that one which is best fitted and most generally useful for the conservation of the human body when it is in health. the back and the neck. in consequence of which the mind will necessarily feel in the foot the same pain as if it had received a hurt. when the nerves which are in the feet are violently or more than usually moved.Of the Existence of Material Things. as though in the foot. by which the mind is excited to do its utmost to remove the cause of the evil as dangerous and hurtful to the It is true that God could have constituted the nature of man foot. amongst all the sensations which it is capable of impressing on it. the thigh. But because these nerves must pass through the tibia. etc. or as it is in the foot.

from the fact that drinking is it usually essential for the health of the is body. better that it it should mislead on this occasion than deceive us cases. a certain dryness of the throat its . on the other hand. were always to when the body is in good health is and so on in similar And subject. as does. From this it is quite clear that. inasmuch as supreme composed of mind and body. For knowing that my senses more frequently indicate to me truth than falsehood respecting the things which is concern that which beneficial to the body. and. but sometimes comes from quite a different cause. instances. and by their means the in the is internal portions of the brain and this movement causes there sensation of thirst. I my my understanding which already has discovered the causes of . it were in the foot. the same movement which usually is produced when the foot is detrimentally affected. certainly this consideration of great service to me. pro- duced which moves nerves. and the for since the same movement capable of causing but one sensation in the mind. and this sensation is much more frequently excited by a cause which hurts the foot than by another existing in some other quarter. notwithstanding the it is goodness of God. or even in the brain itself.198 Meditation VI is when we desire to drink. And I ought to set aside all the doubts of these past days as hyperbolical and errors. And although the parchedness of the throat does not always proceed. besides that. the nature of man. as case with dropsical patients. the is yet much . it is reasonable that it should convey to the mind pain in the foot rather than in any other part of the body. being able to make all use of my of memory in order to connect the present with the past. pain will be experienced as though sense will thus naturally be deceived in the brain is . always to avail myself of many of them in order to and being able almost examine one particular thing. but in some part of the nerves which are extended between the foot and the brain. because in this case mind the nothing more useful to us than to become aware that we have need to drink for the conservation of our health and the same holds good in other . not in the foot deception. cannot be otherwise than sometimes a source of For if there is any cause which excites. not only in enabling me to recognise all the errors to which my nature is but also in enabling me to avoid all them or to correct them more easily. and ought no longer to fear that falsity may be found in matters every day presented to me by my senses. it if.

But when I perceive things as to which which they proceed. without any interruption. could not while I as fast was awake. and the time at which they appeared to me when. particularly that very common uncertainty respecting . if. and we must end acknowledge the infirmity of our nature. so that me and disappeared I know from whence the form came nor whither it went. . the Existence of Material Things. I am perfectly assured that these perceptions occur while am waking and not during of such matters. nothing evidence by any one of them which forth by the others. etc. my I life. follows that I repugnant to what is set it For because God this. if someone. which I have of them with the whole course of sleep. we must confess that the life not deceived in of am man is very frequently subject to error in respect to individual in the objects. rather than a real I man. my memory. inasmuch as our memory can never connect our dreams one with the other. as it unites events which happen to us while we are awake. 199 ridiculous. in no wise a deceiver. as a matter of fact. and that and in which they are. I can connect the perceptions know distinctly both the place from . or with the whole course of our lives. And. And I ought in no wise. But because the exigencies of action often oblige us to make up our minds before having leisure to examine matters carefully. which I could not distinguish from the waking state for at present I find a very notable difference between the two.Of sleep. to examine them. quite suddenly appeared to as do the images which I see in sleep. to doubt the truth brought to is after having called up is all my senses. is and my understanding. it would not be without reason that I should deem it a spectre or a phantom formed by my brain [and similar to those which I form in sleep].

.

THE PRINCIPLES OF PHILOSOPHY .

The Principles of Philosophy was published on six occasions by the Elzevirs in Holland. H. but the titles of the untranslated paragraphs have been given.PREFATORY NOTE TO THE PRINCIPLES. The French version frequently differs considerably from the Latin. The first edition was brought out in 1644 in Latin. E. Only a part of the work is here translated. . taste. have been completed for some years later since its completion This trans- made from the Latin version collated with the French. It cannot. and Descartes' lifetime. S. A visit France was made just before the publication of the book. however. he found. and when it seems desirable to indicate the difference this is done by means of square brackets. and from these the nature of their contents can be gathered. which had appeared in excellent form as might have been expected from the reputation of the publishers. During a return journey to Holland. which he hoped would have taken place before he started. his friends Picot busy with the distribution of his Mersenne and book. so that he might have taken with him copies for presenting to his friends. After paying visits of a business sort to his family. Descartes occupied himself with reading Picot's translation of his Principles into French —a translation which Baillet says he Descartes wrote a preface on lation is found much to his in 1647. on arriving at Paris. it was the only one that appeared during to His publisher indeed complained of the small- ness of its sale.

which 1 may here serve as Preface. the design I had in writing it. But and this although I it should be my business to write this preface because ought to know these things better than any one else. and that by wisdom we not only understand prudence in affairs.e. the and the invention Picot. both for the conduct word philosophy of his life and i. because that which has been taught them has not satisfied them makes me think that it woulo^ be a good thing to add a preface which would expound the subject-matter of the book. beginning with the most ordinary matters. 1 Abbe Claude . and I I leave it me as though they ought to be treated of in your discretion to communicate to the public to of all desired to explain in it whatever you deem desirable. but also a perfect knowledge of all things that man can know. The version of my Principles which you have taken the trouble to make is so polished and well-finished that it causes me to hope that the work may be read by more persons in French than My only apprein Latin.SELECTIONS FROM THE PRINCIPLES OF PHILOSOPHY OF RENE DESCARTES. and the use to be derived from it. or else who hold philosophy in evil esteem. should have first what philosophy is. Author's Letter to the Translator of the book. and that it will be better understood. hension is that the title may repel certain people who have not been nourished upon letters. for the conservation of his health the translator into French. such as that this signifies the study of wisdom. I can on my own account promise nothing but a summary of the principal points which seem to it . Sir.

we are entitled to hold that what distinguishes us from savages and barbarians. Speaking accurately. tion of these first causes. it is not only useful to live with those who apply themaddition. and the is pleasure of seeing everything that is revealed to our sight.204 of all Principles of Philosophy the arts . It is also necessary that these Principles should have two conditions attached to them first of all they should be so clear and evident that the mind it it is of man cannot doubt their truth when attentively applies itself to consider them: in the second place on them that the know- ledge of other things depends. enjoy the beauty of colour and the guidance than to close this these last is eyes and trust to of another. and by the same means light. that is . in alone is would have been pointed out that as regards the individual. But better than to hold them closed. things but it who has a complete knowledge of the truth of all may be said that men have more wisdom or less think that in this there is according as they have more or less knowledge of the most important truths. but it is incomparably better to set about it oneself. and that the civilisation and refinement of each nation is proportionate In this way a state can have to the superiority of its philosophy. is not comparable to the satisfaction which given by the knowledge of those things which are opened up to us by philosophy. I should in the next place have caused the utility of this it philosophy to be considered. so that the Principles can be known so without these last. to say. and that it is in order that this knowledge should subserve these ends. We must accordingly try to deduce from these Principles the knowledge of the things that depend on them.e. it selves to this study. so that in order to study to acquire (which is properly termed philosophising). and shown that since the whole range of it extends over human knowledge. . no greater good than the possession of true philosophy. i. we must begin with the investiga- of the Principles. And finally. all And I nothing regarding which the learned do not concur. It is really only God alone who has Perfect Wisdom. essential that it should be derived it from first causes. And. that there shall be nothing in the whole series of the deductions made from them which shall not be perfectly manifest. living without philosophy is just having the eyes closed without trying to open them . but the other things cannot reciprocally be known without the Principles. and not have any but oneself to act as guide. just as it is doubtless much better to avail oneself of one's own to eyes for the direction of one's steps.

The first of these contains only notions which are of themselves so clear that they may be acquired without any meditation. i. and to what degrees of conversation held with their authors. devote their constant attention to the search for the . And for the fourth we may add to this the reading. even although it is frequently ignorant as to wherein that good consists. And I am likewise able to assure myself that there are many who would not fail to make the search if they had any hope of success in so doing. is none other than the knowledge of the truth through its first causes. considered by the natural reason without the light of faith.Authors Letter this for 205 our manners and study is more necessary life. I should here have succinctly explained in what all the knowledge we now possess wisdom we have attained. not of all books. sources of their nourishment is but men. There does not exist the soul so ignoble. so firmly attached to objects of sense. for this is a species of consists. are not exempt from this desire any more than others on the contrary. Those most favoured by fortune. But since we are prevented from believing these doctrines by experience.e. is acquired by these four means for I do not place divine revelation in the same rank. I am persuaded that it is those very people who yearn most ardently after another good more perfect and supreme than all those that they possess already. because does not lead us by degrees. than the use of our eyes in the guidance of our The brute beasts who have only in their bodies to preserve. it does not sometimes turn away from these to aspire after some other greater good. were they well argued and expressed. but especially of those which have been written by persons who are capable of conveying good instruction to us. And it seems to me that all the wisdom that we usually possess only it . which true source of nutriment. And this sovereign good. ought to is its make their principal care the search after wisdom. honour and riches. it would not be difficult to persuade men of them. the wisdom whose study is philosophy. The third. and knew to what an extent they were capable of it. but raises us at a stroke to an . what the conversation of other men teaches us. those who have abundance of health. The second all that which the comprehends experience of the senses shows us. whom the principal part the mind. for the regulation of is our conduct in steps. which shows us that those who profess to be philo- sophers are frequently less wise and reasonable than others who have never applied themselves to the study. And because all these things are absolutely true. that .

of those who tended too much to the side of doubt. their disciples was as to whether every there or whether were some things which were certain. twenty years. and was content to set down the things. The first and principal whose writings we possess. both on the one side . are Plato and Aristotle. contrary to all the reasonings of the astronomers. extended it even to the actions of its so that . Principles of Philosophy There have indeed from all time been great men who have That road tried to find a fifth road by which to arrive at wisdom. so that those who succeeded them were more bent on following their opinions than in forming better ones of their own. supposing it to depend on the senses.206 infallible belief. into extravagant errors for certain of those life. who and for doubt. only difference that exists is that the former. things that seemed to him to be probable. trusted to them entirely. And this carried them. was not followed for long. following the steps of his master Socrates. The main dispute between thing should be doubted. ingenuously confessed that he had never yet been able to discover anything for certain. that the* sun it is no larger than disputes is appears. and possessed no other principles than his master's. But these two men had great minds and much wisdom acquired by the four methods mentioned before. To such a point was this carried that it is said that Epicurus ventured to affirm. incomparably more elevated and assured than these other four. A fault is which may be observed in most the two opinions that since the truth a mean between which are maintained. and this gave them great authority. had disciple for less candour. and the true principles from which reasons may be deduced for all that which we are capable of knowing and it is those who have made this their special work who have been called philosophers. At the same time I do not know that up to the present day there have been any in whose case this plan has succeeded. and that of the others has been fact that in in some degree corrected instances the senses by the recognition of the many . between whom the is to seek out the first causes . on the other hand. they omitted to exercise ordinary prudence in conduct who supported the doctrine of certainty. and although he had been Plato's of stating them. each disputant removes himself so much the But the error farther from it the greater his desire to contradict. he entirely changed the method and proposed them as true and certain although there was no appearance of his having ever held them to be such. and on the argued those other. for this end adopting certain principles whereby he tried to account for other Aristotle.

And although I respect them all and would never wish to incur the odium of denouncing them. or else. when it has evident perceptions and that while we only possess the knowledge which is acquired by the first four degrees of wisdom. w e do not for nature of what is all know the it called gravity. I can give a proof of my assertion which I do not think any one of them will gainsay. from neglecting it. principle which not evident can be evident even though they are deduced from them in a manner which is evident and valid. from The same may be said of the vacuum and of atoms. and all other similar things which have been adopted as their And none of the conclusions deduced from a principles by some. mercury. and these minds were so much occupied with this. youth. 20/ At the same time I do not know that it has been removed by showing that certainty is not in the senses.Authors Letter deceive us. And if they have discovered any truth this has only come to pass above mentioned. that is. we should not doubt those things that . sulphur. nor in consequence cause them to advance one step in the search after wisdom. for it forms the sole teaching in the Schools . the reason or principle which causes bodies to descend thus. and this for granted is that all have taken some particular principle which they have not perfectly For example I have known none of them who did not understood. the greater part of those in later times who aspired to be philosophers. but entirely only in the understanding. presuppose weight in terrestrial bodies. of heat and cold. to do so by the evidence of From lack of having known this truth. if there be who have known it. All the same by means of certain of the four methods I do not desire one whit to detract . attributing diverse opinions to his. but although experiment proves to us very clearly that the bodies we r call weighty descend that towards the centre of the earth. and we must derive elsewhere. and is from this it follows that none of the reasonings which they rested on principles such as these could give them any certain knowledge of anything. of dryness and damp. appear to be true in what concerns the conduct of should not hold them to be so certain that we life. while yet we may not change our minds regarding them when obliged reason. have blindly those followed Aristotle. that they were incapable of attaining to a knowledge of true Principles. so that frequently they have corrupted the sense him which he would and those who have not followed him (amongst whom many of the best minds are to be found) have yet been imbued with his teaching in their of his writings. not recognise as were he to return to this world . and of salt.

are but these two conditions that are essential in true principles. are those which I have put forward in this book. by rejecting all those propositions in respect to which could find the slightest occasion doubt . or who. I These comprise the whole of the principles of which make I use respecting immaterial or metaphysical things. so that though we are afterwards put back into the right way. the more we cultivate them and the more carefully we apply ourselves to derive from them various consequences. and that what reasons so being unable to doubt of itself and yet doubting all else.208 Principles of Philosophy from the honour to which each of them obliged to say for the consolation of those may aspire. From this we must conclude that those who have learnt least about all that which has hitherto been named philothat just as in travelling while which we desire to go. we cannot arrive at our destination as soon as if we had not walked in the wrong direction before so when our principles are bad. I should have desired to set forth the reasons which serve to prove that the true by which we may arrive at that highest point of wisdom in which the sovereign good of the life of man consists. are the most capable of apprehending the truth. the first that the principles must be very clear. to wit. the further we are moving from the knowledge of the truth and from wisdom. the longer . thinking that we are philosophising very well. clear. not what we I call our body but what we call our soul or thought.e. we turn our backs on the place to and quicker we walk the further we recede from the place we are making for. first of all And I can easily prove that they are very in by the manner for which I have found them. are in this way when application was all made the most evident and clear of that the human mind can know. After having made these matters very clear. have taken the being or existence of this thought as the first principle from which I have very clearly deduced the following all : viz. all Thus in considering that he who would doubt things cannot yet in is doubt that he exists while he doubts. I am only who have never studied. being the source of matters of which all truth. for it is certain that those which could not be rejected to their consideration. sophy. has not created in us an underit standing liable to be deceived in the judgments that it forms on has a very clear and distinct perception. I i. that there are bodies . And only two are requisite for that. that there is a God who is the author of that is in the world. and the second that from them we may deduce all other things for there principles . from which very clearly deduce those of corporeal or physical things.

without forcing the attention unduly upon it. that is to say. said of those who commenced with the ancient it philosophy. they take the trouble to consider are therein explained. who has recognised them as the principles of philosophy. But although all the truths which I place in my Principles have been known from all time and by all men. that those who read them with is attention will have reason to persuade themselves that there principles all no need to seek other than those I have brought forward. nevertheless there has never yet been any one. perusing also the works of others.e. I should also have here added a word of advice as regards the this book. in order to arrive at the most exalted knowledge of which the this will human mind is after capable. with the sole exception of the existence of God. how many diverse questions and if. The other reason is that they have been and even received as true and indubitable by known from all time. h.Author's Letter extended in length. and because God can neither be seen nor touched. And more especially be the case if. I should have been able to say to them that those who are imbued with doctrines have my much in understanding the works of others and in recognising their true value than those so who I are not imbued . as principles from which may be derived a knowledge of all which proves the clearness of the principles things that are in the world : that it is why it here remains to me to prove that they are such. and although this consider have so explained all those matters with which have had occasion to deal. I by inviting that I my readers to peruse this book. And appears to me that I cannot do is better than cause this to be established by experience. 209 breadth and depth. in sum. which has been placed in doubt by certain people because they have ascribed too much to the perceptions of the senses. may be arrived 14 . all men. or stopping at difficulties which may be met with. I the principles deduce the truth of other things. as far as I know. that the more they have studied the less are they fitted rightly to apprehend the truth. which have diverse figures These. having read my works. method of reading which is that I should desire that it may first of all be run through in its entirety like a novel. so that a general knowledge r. they observe how few are the probable reasons that can be given to explain the same questions by principles differing from mine. I I have not treated of every thing. and this is diametrically opposite to what have just i. are all and move from which in diverse ways. For although impossible. in order that they And may undertake less trouble this with greater ease. that is to say.

is found. or understand the whole of its bearing. if it is be examined more carefully. it almost always happens that those of moderate intelligence neglect to study because they do not consider themselves capable of doing so. a followed in our self-instruction. But in addition to the draw- backs of prejudice from which no one is entirely exempt. and that the others who are more And from this it comes that they eager. But though the reader cannot follow the argument adequately throughout. and even of attaining to all I the profoundest sciences. must be deduced from them but by very evident nothing clear and may For since the principles are to reasoning. up tor a third time. and that if still remain. often accept principles which are not really evident. that there are almost none of them so dull or slow of understanding that they are incapable of high feelings. that there nothing in my writings which they are not capable of completely if understanding I they take the trouble to examine them. and in order to make very clear the end have had in view in publishing them. have noticed on examining the nature of many different minds. and continue to difficulty where places the pen with a Then if the book is taken read without interruption to the end. Following on this. To begin has merely the common and imperfect knowledge which man who as yet may be all acquired by the four methods before mentioned. and from them derive consequences which are uncertain. should above . hasten on too quickly. I venture to say that he certain will discover the solution of the greater part of the difficulties which have formerly been marked. and if the I have treated .210 at of tlie Principles of Philosophy matters of which found that they deserve to and after that. while also will warn the others that even the most superior understanding require much time and attention to comprehend all the matters I which I have designed to embrace in them. although it is those who have studied the false sciences most deeply whom they harm the most. we have all sufficient intelligence comprehend the conclusions that depend on them. That is why I desire to is assure those who too greatly disparage their powers. I would like here to have explained what seems to me to be the order which should be with. he must not It is only necessary to mark therefore immediately cast it aside. their solution will be discovered on a further perusal. reader has the curiosity to inquire about their causes. were they trained in the right way. it may be read a second time in order to notice the sequence of my reasoning. that And also be proved by reason.

water and fire. viz.Author's Letter 211 try to form for himself a code of morals sufficient to regulate the actions of his life. whose trunk is physics. It is thereafter necessary to the loadstone and other minerals. sciences. like air. inquire individually into the nature of plants. and we After that it ought above all other things to endeavour to live well. and above all of man. it is good for him to — practise the rules for a long time on easy as those of mathematics. and of is all the clear and simple notions which are in us. so the its main use of philosophy learn till is dependent on those of Although. is amongst which the explanation of the principal attributes of God. skill in and simple questions such Then when he has acquired a certain discovering the truth in these questions he should begin seriously to apply himself to the true philosophy. The second is physics in which. But just as it is not from the roots or the trunk of the trees that one culls the fruit. are all the other sciences which are useful to man. mechanics and morals is — I mean the highest and most perfect moral science which. or how to make know understood by even to repeat. I am of ignorant of almost in all of these. of the immateriality of our souls. after having found the true principles of material things. And since this is very dependent on custom. he should likewise study logic properly speaking the things that we is — not that of the Schools. animals. and whose branches. the zeal which have always the reason shown trying to render service to the public my causing to be printed ten or twelve years ago certain essays I on things which appeared to have learned. which issue from this trunk. medicine. because this does not brook any delay. thus corrupting rather than increasing good sense but the logic that teaches us how best to direct our reason in order to discover those truths of which we are ignorant. those that many words we do not know. so that we may afterwards be able to discover the other Thus philosophy as a whole is like a tree whose roots are metaphysics. presupposing a complete knowledge of the other sciences. because only a dialectic which teaches others. respecting without forming any judgment on them. The first part of these 14—2 . we examine generally how the whole universe composed. and then in particular what is the nature of this earth and of all the bodies which are most commonly found in connection with it. These reduce themselves to three principal ones. however. the last degree of wisdom. the first part of which is metaphysics. I is parts that we cannot the end. which contains the principles of knowledge. but only from the extremities of their branches.

and the loadstone. and generally all the universe Then the nature of this earth. when it the replies which I have made to them. but whose volume has been increased. life. by the Objections which many very learned persons have sent me in their regard. where the same subject I usually I treated. because the invention of the telescope. and of the air. foreseeing the difficulty which would by many in understanding the foundations of metaphysics. weight. an explanation of the first laws or principles of nature. myself to and such like. appeared to me that these preceding treatises had sufficiently prepared the mind of readers to accept the Principles of Philosophy. professed to show that found certain matters of which men were previously ignorant. the comets. had and means to incite many more may yet be disall men to the search after be I felt From this time onwards. such heat. book of Meditations is tried to explain the principal points in a which not very large. i. the planets.e. finally. The other the second I parts were three Treatises : the first Of the Dioptric Of it intended to be philosophy to are useful to I and the last Of Geometry. which is there described. in order The other three parts contain that it may be properly understood. water. By this means I believe have commenced to expound the whole of philosophy in . which Metaphysics. I likewise published them. is composed. light. for these are the bodies which may most commonly be found everywhere knowledge. as also all the qualities observed in these bodies. in order by this truth. and whose matter has been much illuminated. In the Dioptric shown that we could make sufficient progress in attain by its means a knowledge of those arts which Meteors. where I summarised the principal rules of logic and of an imperfect system of morals which may be followed provisionally while we still know none better.212 Principles of Philosophy essays was a Discourse on the Method of rightly conducting one s y Reason and seeking Truth in the Sciences. thus to afford occasion for believing that covered. is dealt with more particularly. them into four parts. differ- In the treatise on Meteors endeavoured to make clear the I is ence which exists between the philosophy which that Finally in the Geometry cultivate and taught in the Schools. the manner in which the heavens and fixed stars. and by Then. the first and I divided the book containing of which contains the principles of is what may be called the First Philosophy or That is why it is better to read beforehand the Meditations which I have written on the same subject. one of the most I difficult ever attempted. fire. all that is most general in Physics. about as it.

The last and principal fruit of these . The second fruit is that in studying these Principles. being perfectly clear and certain. In this regard they will have an effect contrary to that of the ordinary philosophy. i. and thus to become wiser. morals and mechanics. trusting that posterity will pardon me fail henceforward to work for its good. and not seeing that I can expect that aid. were of the possessed means of making all the experiments necessary to me in order to support and justify my reasoning. . it The third fruit is that the truths which they contain. On the other hand the controversies of the Schools. are possibly the chief causes of the heresies and dissensions which now exercise the world. All this I should have to do in order to give to mankind a body of philosophy which is complete and I do not feel myself to be so old. yet the satisfaction which it brings is always more lasting and solid. we shall little by little accustom ourselves to judge better of all things with which we come in contact. the earth. although frequently the truth does not so tion as does falsity much affect our imagina- and pretence. will remove all and thus dispose men's minds to gentleness and concord.e. I conceive it to be henceforward my duty to content myself with studying for my own if I private instruction. that I should not venture to endeavour to achieve this design. The we must derive from discovering in which we have hitherto been ignorant for may . far I believe I In order. had they never learned subjects of dispute. But seeing that for this end great expense is requisite to which the resources of an individual like myself could not attain were he not given assistance by the public. to show in already been of service to how myself to have my fellowmen. for it may it easily be observed in those who are known as pedants. I do not find myself so I far removed from a knowledge of what remains. . because it seems less wonderful and more simple. animals. But in order to carry this plan to a conclusion. shall here state what are the fruits which first is I believe the satisfaction which them certain truths of be culled from my Principles. minerals. that renders them less capable of reasoning than they would have been at all. plants. I should afterwards in the same way explain in further detail the nature of each of the other bodies which are on and above all man then finally treat exactly of medicine. by insensibly making those who practise themselves in them more captious and self-sufficient. I do not so much despair of my strength. however.Author s Letter its 213 order without having omitted anything which ought to precede I the last of which have written.

and of whom had even was so assured of * his intelligence that I did not I him to have any opinion which . ut vix quicquam ab illo scriptum putem quod pro irieo non libenter agnoscain.. ' should not gladly have avowed as my own for he published a year ago a book entitled Fundamenta Physkae. they may in a short time spoil all that I have done. and denied certain truths of metaphysics upon which the whole of physics ought to rest. passing by little from r one to the other. although he had apparently said nothing regarding physics and medicine which he had not derived from my writings — from those published as well as from another fell still imperfect regarding the nature of animals which into his hands — yet because he had transcribed badly.'* (Page 282.Henri Regii Ultrajectini.) . and here to beg readers never to attribute to it me any opinion unless they find expressly stated in my works. occasionally to meet with other truths and there is no way in which we can better prove the falsity of those of Aristotle. acquire in time a perfect knowledge of the w hole of philosophy and attain to the highest degree of wisdom. and if because it is commonly such men who are most ready to write books.. edit. in 8. I am obliged entirely to disavow his work. little by to perfection through practice. yet because they contain something that and true and little whose effect is revealed by experience. A° 1040.214 Principles is Principles of Philosophy that by cultivating them we may discover little many truths which I have not expounded. <ipu<l Ludovicum Elzivirium. I have lately had experience as to this regarding one of them who might have been I expected to have followed written 'that believe I me most closely. and their intro- writings are accepted as mine. by following them. that even with quite solid foundations they cannot build anything that is firm and secure. and never to accept anything as true in see 1 my writings or elsewhere. Fuudamenta Physices. changed the order. which they have been followed.) . Gisbertum Voetium 1643: ". they come So.acutissimo et perspicacissirao ingenio Regii tantum tribuo. [Anutelodami. and thus. from which I have carefully tried to banish them. all For in the arts we perceive how although at the first they are rude is imperfect. when we have true principles in philosophy we cannot . unless they it to be very clearly deduced from true Principles. duce uncertainty and doubt into my mode of philosophising. than by pointing out that no progress has been attained by their means in all the centuries in fail. Epistola llenati Des-Cartes ad celcbcrrimum Virum D. princeps.in which. I know very well that those w ho make such haste use r so little circumspection in what they do. or as representing my opinions.

causes them to perceive how important it is to continue in the search after these truths. owing to the defects which availing themselves of them they have observed in that which has hitherto been in vogue. But finally. to what perfection of us.Author's Letter I 215 well know likewise that many centuries may pass until all the truths which may be deduced from these principles are so deduced. if the and those of all other men. may behold its happy issue. I life. and the great array of truths which may be deduced from them. difference which is observable between these principles and to wisdom. but which should be investigated with care and expense by the most intelligent of men. . am convinced that no one will to observe to what a degree of what happiness they may lead be found who will not attempt to occupy himself with so profitable a study. and also because the majority of the best minds have formed such a bad conception of philosophy as a whole. that they will not be able to discover a better. and because it will be unlikely that the same people who have the capacity of will have the means of contriving them. because the greater part of those which remain to be discovered depend on certain particular experiments which chance circumstances will never bring about. or at least will not favour and endeavour to assist with all his I might those who employ trust that posterity themselves in this way with success.

above all in this place in which I shall try to set down the seen in Principles of truth. I me is certain. Eldest Daughter of Frederick. which has accrued to me from the works which I have already published. and here shall write philo- sophically. for its example. The great result and of being able occasionally to have converse with one I whose qualities are so estimable that conceive it to be a public service It to set them before posterity natter. Madam. Count Palatine and Elector of the Holy Roman Empire. and being further removed from . would ill me to or even to write things as to which I become have no is certain knowledge. just as in the rest of the book. which not being so frequent as other vices which are contrary to them. those who have studied put nothing in this rendered letter That is why I shall of which experience and reason has not in the exordium. The I apparent. the distinction between the apparent virtues and the is there also a distinction between those true virtues which virtues which call proceed from an exact knowledge of the truth and others that are accompanied by ignorance.To the most Serene Princess ELIZABETH. has been that through them I have had the honour of coming under the notice of your Highness. And the generous modesty which all the actions of your Highness suffices to assure me that the simple and unaffected judgment of one believes. King of Bohemia. are properly speaking but vices. will who writes but what he be more agreeable to you than the ornate praises of the art of compliment. Great true .

and spare no effort in learning that of which they are ignorant. and may be comprised under the name fear of devotion. are usually held in greater esteem than they.Dedication them than the 217 virtues which occupy an intermediate position. this is why. and possesses all the other virtues but these are so united together that none take the predominance over others and . and in actions to do allows what he believes to be best. praise. Thus likewise the prodigal is much more frequently praised than the liberal. moderate. Further. inasmuch as the understanding of some not as good as But although those who are inferior in mind may and may render themselves acceptable to God by their virtue. and despair of courage. although they are much more less. and nothing is more easy than for the superstitious and hypocritical to vice. the perception of the understanding and the disposition of the will. a highly perspicacious intellect. But those pure and perfect virtues which proceed from the knowledge of good alone. perfect than the virtues that the admixture of some defect causes to shine forth. Many thus it is of the true virtues do not proceed from true knowledge. so far as his nature him to be so and by this alone he is just. and is acquire a reputation for great piety. And the virtues which are thus accompanied by some imperfection differ from one another and have likewise been given different names. are all of the same nature. of wisdom. is truly wise. since in your case no diversions of the Court nor that . be as wise as their nature permits. of two things requisite to the wisdom thus described. if they only form a firm and constant resolution to do what they judge to be right. temerity often opposed to timidity as a virtue to a more esteemed than true fortitude.e. but there are some which likewise proceed from a sort of error frequently the case that simplicity is the cause of kindness. . yet because the ordinary man remarks them they are not accorded the same i. to For whoever forms a firm and constant resolve always all his make use of reason to the best of his power. are endowed with that of others. will doubtless attain to a higher point of wisdom than the others. And these three things are found perfectly in your Royal Highness. it is only that which consists in the will that all is men may alike possess. . and taking very special care in reference to their self-instruction. courageous. Thus since there are many more it people who is fear danger too much than those who fear too little. yet those who while possessing a constant desire to do well.

But what .218 Principles of Philosophy ordinarily mode of education which condemns princesses to ignorance. all. that though it fortune has perpetually attempted to injure you unjustly. : enhances my for admiration most. . but life. have been capable of preventing your study of all that is best in And the incomparable excellence of your the arts and sciences. but in fitly who has a young many Princess whose countenance and years would more represent one of the Graces than a Finally for all I Muse or the sage Minerva. intellect is evident in the fact that in a very short time you have mastered the secrets of the sciences. there are many who find them most obscure. Des-Cartes. but I The devoted servant Of your most Serene Highness. has you or cast you down. of no mind but yours to and which therefore merits to be termed incomparable. while those who cultivate geometry have no propensity and so true is this that I know for the study of First Philosophy which both studies are equally congenial. and obtained a perfect knowledge of them myself. I And is this constrains me to accord such veneration that to you. than I have in subscribing myself as wisdom). But I have yet another proof very special to inasmuch as I have never met any one who understood so For generally and thoroughly all that is contained in my writings. even amongst the most learned and intelligent and I notice in almost all that those who grasp things which pertain to metaphysics with ease have a dislike to geometry. all not only remark in your Highness that is requisite also a mind to attain to that is the highest and supremest wisdom. requisite on the part of the will or the Benignity and gentleness are there failed to embitter so conjoined with majesty. all is that so varied and perfect a knowledge of the sciences does not reside in some ancient doctor years been given over to contemplation. since it consider this work not only due just the study of treats of Philosophy (which also have no greater pride in my reputation as a philosopher.

and apparently there seems no way in which we can deliver ourselves from these. while as yet we had not the entire use of our reason. so that we may discover with greater clearness which are absolutely true. OF THE PRINCIPLES OF HUMAN KNOWLEDGE.THE PRINCIPLES OF PHILOSOPHY. Principle III. so far as this is possible. FIRST PART. I. many judgments thus precipitately formed prevent us from arriving at the knowledge of the truth. That we ought to consider as false all these things of which we may doubt. That we ought not our life to make use of this doubt for the conduct of meantime. It will even be useful to reject as false all these things as to which we can imagine the least doubt to exist. As we have once on a time been children and have judged of the things presented to our senses in various ways. Principle That in order one's life to doubt to examine into ths truth. and most easy to know. Principle II. unless all we undertake once in our lives to doubt things in which the slightest trace of incertitude can be found. it is necessary once in of all things. in the But use of this meantime it is to be observed that we are to make doubt only when we are engaged in contemplating the .

we are frequently obliged to follow opinions which are merely probable. because the opportunities for action would in most cases pass away before we could deliver ourselves from our doubts. or through some other. of all sensible things. as frequently happens with two courses of action. even in the things that since this does not way that we shall always be we believe ourselves is to know if seem less possible than our being occasionally the case.' 'Whether the thoughts that come French version. Why we may likewise doubt of the demonstration of mathematics. have held as perfectly certain and self-evident reason all is what we see to be false.220 truth. we shall in the first place doubt if. Principles of Philosophy For. even of the demonstrations of mathematics and of its principles which we formerly thought quite selfevident. We shall also doubt of all the other things which have formerly seemed to us quite certain. that He For we are still ignorant of whether He may best not have desired to create us in such a deceived. deceived. One reason is that those who have fallen into error in reasoning on such matters. we must yet select one of them. Principle V. yet the less perfect we suppose the author to be. we do not perceive the probability of the one more than the other. first place because we know that our : senses have before deceived and that prudence directs us not to trust too much in what has even once deceived us in the second place because in sleep we continually seem to feel or imagine innumerable things which have To those who thus resolve to doubt all. Principle IV. there are any that really exist in : the us. the more reason have we to believe that we are not so perfect that we cannot be continually deceived. which experience tells us And we think that an omnipotent God is not the author of our being. But because we desire to apply ourselves only to the search after truth. but a yet more important that we have been told that God who created us can do desires. or things which we have imagined. and that we subsist of ourselves. And when. Why we may doubt of sensible things. there is apparently no mark by which they can with certainty distinguish no existence. as regards the conduct of our life. sleep from the waking state 1 . 1 others. to us in sleep are as false as are the .

we who doubt these things are not for there is a contradiction in conceiving that what thinks does not at the same time as it thinks. This. while we already w e think. nor bodies. and this is the first knowledge that we obtain when we philosophise in an orderly way. local motion.Part I Principle VI. we observe very clearly that there is no extension. consequently this notion of thought precedes that of things and is all corporeal the most certain . nor heaven. all While we thus reject that of which we can possibly doubt. and even should he prove to be all-powerful and deceitful. that occurs to one who philosophises in an Principle VIII. is and feign that it is false. is the distinction way to discover the nature of mind and between it and the body. we still experience a freedom through which we may abstain from accepting as true and indisputable those things of which we have not certain knowledge. but only thought alone and . This furnishes us with the distinction which exists between the soul and the body. then. therefore I am.Will which causes us giving assent to dubious things. And hence this conclusion all / think. or any such thing which may be attributed to body. it is easy to suppose that there no God. and that we possess neither hands. since we still doubt whether there perceive that are any other things in the world. but we cannot in the same way conceive that . is the first and most certain of orderly way. 221 That we possess a Free. and thus obviate our ever being deceived. feet. to abstain from and thus prevents our falling into But meanwhile whoever turns out to have created us. For. which pertains to our nature. That we cannot doubt our existence without existing while we doubt. error. nor nor indeed any body . or between that which thinks and that which is corporeal. T . figure. Principle VII. exist. in considering what the best we are who suppose that all things apart from ourselves [our thought] are false.

or I walk. I have availed myself or will afterwards avail myself. my not absolutely certain think I because I may be that.222 Principles of Philosophy Principle IX. assertion now refers becomes quite true because my only to my mind. What By willing. things which were perfectly simple in themselves . order to think we must and what is and such like certainty. and if by seeing and walking is mean the action of conclusion my is eyes or my I legs. I did cogitatio. are here the same thing as thought. what existence. place. Principle X. be. see or walk. That conceptions which are perfectly simple and selves clear of them- are obscured by the definitions of the Schools. 1 exists. although never open my eyes or if move from my I 2 . which alone is concerned with my feeling or thinking that I see and I walk. 2 sensu. thought 1 is. first did not for all that deny that we must is of all know what and that is knowledge. and all. and that they are not to be numbered as amongst those capable of being acquired by study [but are inborn in us]. . imagining. For if I say I I see. itself to tlierefore I am is and most certain which presents I those who philosophise in orderly fashion. because they seem to me And I have often noticed they that philosophers err in trying to explain by definitions logically constructed. which of themselves give us no knowledge of anything that of being put on record. in . which : the work of it my I body. thereby render them but more obscure. And that is why not alone understanding. as often happens in sleep. the same thing perhaps might occur had not a body at or But if I mean only to talk of it my sensation' my consciously seeming to see or to walk. I therefore am. the word thought I understand all that of which we are con- scious as operating in us. this proposition And when the first I stated that I think. but also feeling. I do not here explain various other terms of which perfectly clear of themselves. but because these are not think them worthy notions of the simplest possible kind.

possibly no this earth existing at but it not possible that I who form judgment and my mind which judges and so in other cases. if I persuade myself that there is an earth because I touch or see it. touched with their hands. should be non-existent. thus. how the knowledge which we possess of our mind not only precedes that which we have of our body. by that very same fact. properties pertain to nothing I should be persuaded that I my is thought exists .Part I Principle 223 XL How we may know But our mind better than our body. they did not distinctly comprehend the nature of the mind. and that they had a greater assurance of this than of any other thing. tion. Principle XII. that no qualities or and that where some are perceived there must necessarily be some thing or substance on which they depend. And the same light shows us that we know a thing or substance so much the better the more properties we observe in it. To take an example. which does not even much more certainly compel us to a consciousness of our thought. And we certainly observe many more qualities in our mind than in any other thing. inasmuch as there is nothing that excites us to knowledge of whatever kind. . 1 Per se ipsos. it must be observed that it is very manifest in order to understand by the natural light which is . and by a yet stronger reason. but is also more evident. because is it may be that think I touch the earth even though there all. TJie reason why everyone does not comprehend this in the same way. For although they had no difficulty in believing that they themselves existed. in our souls. and to which they wrongly attributed the power of percepquestion]. yet because they did not observe that by themselves 1 they ought merely to understand their minds [when metaphysical certainty was in and since on the contrary they rather meant that it was their bodies which they saw with their eyes. Those who have not studied philosophy their in an orderly way have held other opinions on this subject because they never distinguished mind from their body with enough care.

it premises from which they are derived 1 are attended cannot always devote this attention to them [when But since remembers deduction]. tlu- But when the mind which thus knows itself but still doubts all other things. the result is equal^ and so on. that ' if equals are added to equals. And just as perceives that is necessarily involved Praemissas ex nuibus. Principle XIV. . the fact that the necessity comprehended the When mind it afterwards considers the diverse conceptions which it has and when there discovers the idea of a Being who far is omniscient. Now mind it perceives these and other facts to be true so long as the to. all the other ideas is has of things which but one which it i absolutely necessary and it eternal. From this it is easy to demonstrate that the etc. That the existence of God may be rightly demonstrated is from in of His existence have which we conception of Him.224 Principles of Philosophy Principle XIII. For example the mind has within itself the ideas of number and figure it has also. conceptions this. it The frames mind if likewise discovers certain common ideas out of which various demonstrations which absolutely convince us of their truth we give attention to them. it is anything outside itself which corresponds beyond any danger of falling into error. and while it contemplates these simply and neither affirms is nor denies that there to these ideas. it sees clearly it has been deceived even that it has great cause to doubt the truth of such conclusions. the conclusion and yet cannot recollect the order of its and conceives that it may have been in created of such a nature that what is most evident. and to realise that it can have no certain knowledge until it is acquainted with its creator. amongst its ordinary . looks around in order to try to extend its knowledge further. recognises not merely a possible and it contingent existence. In what sense the knowledge of all other things depends on knowledge of God. it first of all finds in itself the ideas of a multitude of things. which is the most important of it all . omnipotent and absolutely in it it perfect. as in clearly perceives. three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles.

we shall doubt whether the idea which we form of Him is not one of those which we frame at pleasure. but merely contingent existence. it may easily occur that when we do not steadily contemplate this absolutely perfect Being. In the same way from the existence is fact that it perceives that necessary it comprised in the idea which it and eternal has of an absolutely perfect Being. H. it is triangle has three angles equal to two right angles. Further. the more cause also be more perfect. will The mind clusion if it be the better assured of the truth of this conit observes that is does not possess the idea of any other thing wherein existence necessarily contained. has clearly to conclude that this absolutely perfect Being exists.Part I in the idea of the triangle that it 225 should have three angles which absolutely persuaded that the are equal to two right angles. since it in existence is necessarily contained. are considered only as modes of thinking. That prejudice prevents many from knowing clearly for the existence of God. nor does it represent a chimera. or one to the essence of which existence does not pertain. the necessity Our mind would have no trouble truth if in persuading itself of this . but that it a true and immutable nature. That necessary existence is not similarly included in the notion we have of other things. is when we reflect on the various ideas that are in is "not us. Principle XV. but they are 15 . That the more should its objective perfection there is in our ideas. And is from this it realises that the idea of an absolutely perfect Being not framed in it is by means of itself. it easy to perceive that there much difference between them when they R. Principle XVI. it were wholly free from prejudice to begin with but inasmuch as we are accustomed to distinguish essence from existence in all other things. which cannot be non-existent. and as we can at will imagine many ideas of things which neither are nor have been. Principle XVII.

So. His perfections. and that is. and the other another and their cause must be more perfect as what they represent of their objects is more perfect. That we may thus demonstrate that there is a God. This is quite certain and manifest to those who have accustomed themselves to the contemplation of God and to turn their attention . For the whole of the ingenuity involved in the idea which possessed by this man objectively. For this is just the same as in the case of someone said to have the idea of a machine in the construction of which there is much skill displayed. Principle XVIII. that is. because we find within ourselves the idea of a God. or a supremely perfect Being. not must exist in its first and principal cause whatever that may only objectively or representatively. in God once in Him and it follows from this most manifestly that they . e. are there still. of the perfection it possesses. on considering the immensity . . since the one represents one thing. from a God who truly exists. we are constrained to admit that we can consider it only as emanating from an all-perfect Being. whether he saw somewhere a similar machine made by another. an original. or whether he were endowed with such force of mind that he was able . we have reason to ask how he obtained the idea. we are able to investigate the cause which produces this idea in us but after. bat also formally or eminently. which as a matter But as we do not in any of fact comprehends all the perfections.g. but also that it is impossible for us to have any idea of anything whatever. That although we do not comprehend there is yet nothing which the whole we know so clearly as Nature of God. if there is not within us or outside of us. or whether he had a thorough knowledge of the science of mechanics. we must conclude that they reside in some other nature or at least that they were different from ours. of himself to invent the machine without having seen anything similar anywhere is else. be.226 Principles of Philosophy widely different in another way. as in a picture. and that the more perfect cannot proceed from the less perfect so as to be thus produced as by its efficient and total cause. For it is not only made manifest by the natural light that nothing can be the cause of nothing whatever. all those absolute perfections of which we have the way possess idea. Principle XIX.

being more simple and not being limited by anything that may obscure them. since it has always been present in us. .Part I to 227 His infinite perfections.' A sentence is added 'There is also no speculation which can better aid in perfecting our understanding. That we are not the cause of ourselves. and which is more important. cannot comprehend them. Principle XXI. for this upon the other. And we can easily recognise that Quia cogitationem nostram magis implent. by God. and because. we must yet inquire who then is the author of our Being. what we do conceive of them is much less confused. they occupy our mind more fully 1 . The French version is being more simple and not being limited. being finite. when j we have a notion of some machine in which there is much skill displayed. inasmuch as the consideration of an object unlimited in its perfections fills us with satisfaction and assurance. we yet conceive them more clearly and distinctly than any material thing. viz. and because we cannot even recollect when the idea which we have of a God has been communicated to us by God. it does not be a moment afterwards. L. possessing as we do the idea of the infinite perfections which are in God. and never follow that and from the we first shall we now are. is to say. observe the nature of time or of the duration of things of such a kind that its parts do not depend one co-exist . because then he would have given himself all the perfections of which he had cognisance and consequently he could not subsist by any other than by Him who possesses all these perfections in Himself. to conserve us. That the mere duration of our oj God. if some cause the fact that — same that that 1 produced us — does not continue so to produce us . that is. But since everyone does not observe this. though we do not comprehend them because the Nature of the Infinite is such that we. but that God is. because. than this. Principle XX. ' 15—2 . we sufficiently well know the manner in which we have acquired this knowledge. life suffices to prove the existence We is cannot doubt the truth of this demonstration so long as we .' different. and tlmt consequently there is a God. For. of nature ] Because the light makes it very clear that whoever knows something more perfect than himself cannot be the author of his being.

nor is He the originator of sin. but that He understands and wills not indeed as we do. much power that He can conserve us out much the greater. We possess in this the great advantage in proving the existence of idea 1 . but of or He who Himself must by so God.228 there that is Principles of Philosophy no strength has so in us whereby we may conserve ourselves. and does not perceive by means of the we do. For there are many things in the world which are in some respects imperfect. For when reflect on the idea of Him which is implanted in us. creator of and that in fine he has in Himself all that in which is we can clearly recognise any infinite perfection or good that not limited by some imperfection. That in recognising explained.' . omniscient. in divisibility is Thus that for in corporeal nature included in it is local extension. in so far as may God known by the light of nature alone. for. we conclude that God is possessed of no senses. That God senses as is not corporeal.' Fr. the source of all goodall things. it is certain God us to 2 not body. we perceive that He is eternal. everypassivity — : thing that really exists that evil 1 . Per ejus scilicet ideam. and is divisibility indicates imperfection. ness and truth. 'yet because the sensations that are in us are there through impressions which proceed from 2 elsewhere. And although of some advantage there is have senses. Principle XXIII. reason conserve Himself. way by His that we recognise at the same time what He we is in so far as the weakness of our nature permits. for he does not will the evil of sin because is nothing real. rather not require to be conserved by any other. is in fine. be the existence of God in the manner they here we also recognise all His attributes. omnipotent. by operations which are in some way distinct one from another. but ever by one identical and very simple action. Latin 'quia tamen in omni sensu passio est. although it is we remark since accordingly not possible them certain perfections that any of these exist in God. and that He understands and wills and effects everything that is. He Principle XXII. yet because in all sensations and that indicates dependence.

Principle XXVI. if Thus God reveals -to us or to others certain things concerning Himself which surpass the range of our natural power of intelligence. if. But in order that we may undertake this task with most security from error. God has revealed. will thus never hamper ourselves with disputes about the since undertake to would be absurd that we who are finite should decide anything regarding it. as also in the objects of His creation. such as the mysteries of the incarnation and the Trinity. and if we try from the notions which exist naturally in our minds to deduce it. even though And it is that we must believe all that above the range of our capacities. for in this way we shall obtain a perfect science. from the knowledge which we possess of His we pass to an explanation of the things which He has created. nature. to the knowledge of his creatures. that is. although we it may not clearly understand them. is infinite and that we are altogether finite. Principle XXV. we shall doubtless follow the best method of philosophising. are For we should not think strange that in the immensity of His nature. because who demand whether the half infinite number is even only those who imagine their mind . the creator of all things. a knowledge of the effects through their causes. such its as the extension of the world. we must our understanding and the power of God infinite. there many things beyond the range of our comprehension. of an infinite line and whether an it is odd and so on. 229 That in passing from is finite. is Being thus aware that God alone that is the true cause of all or can be. we shall have no difficulty in believing them. We infinite. That we must not try to dispute about the infinite. but just consider that all that in which we find no limits is indefinite. and by this means in it it. trying to comprehend so to speak regard it as finite. we must recollect that God. That is why we do not or care to reply to those is infinite. the divisibility of parts. etc. the number of the stars.Part I Principle XXIV. the knowledge that God recollect that exists.

we observe no limits. But regarding Him as the efficient cause of all things. and in the because we are quite certain that He second place in regard to other things. while we regard things in which. the French.' (This. we shall not for that they are infinite. consider that the quantity is indefinite. we should not take so much upon ourselves as to believe that God could take us into His counsels. translation is to obviate the use of the terms positive and negative. And our part. we shall merely try to discover by the 1 'As regards other things we know that they are not thus absolutely perfect because although we observe in them certain properties which appear to have no limit. cannot be discovered by us 1 .230 to be infinite Principles of Philosophy who appear for to find it necessary to investigate such in questions. may be divided into we shall parts whose number And because we cannot imagine so to create more. but merely hold that state them to be indefinite. \ What is the difference between the indefinite and the infinite ? And we because in shall name these things indefinite rather than infinite in order to reserve to God alone the name of infinite. because we do not in the same way positively understand them to be in every part unlimited. we yet know that this proceeds from our lack of understanding and not from their natures. and can have none. Thus because we cannot imagine an extension so great that we cannot at the same time conceive that there may be one yet greater.) 2 shall not stop to consider the ends which God has set before Himself in the creation of the world and we shall entirely set aside from our philosophy the search for final causes. if they exist. the final. many stars that it is impossible for God we shall suppose the number to be indefinite. we shall say that the magnitude of possible things is indefinite. but only into the efficient Finally we shall not seek for the reason of natural things from the end which for God or nature has set before him in their creation 2 .' French version. Principle XXVIII. ' We . all a certain sense. And because we cannot divide a body into parts which are so small that each part cannot be divided into others yet smaller. That we must not inquire into causes of created things. first of all Him alone we observe no limitation whatever. and so Principle XXVII. in other cases. but merely negatively admit that their limits.

Principle XXIX. men. if it is clear and distinct. compass. so He He absolutely true and the source of that it evidently a contradiction that He should deceive us. yet the Principle XXX. ' . inasmuch as it apprehends it clearly and distinctly. that we senses must trust to this natural light only so long as nothing contrary to it is revealed by God Himself . for they are we perceive anything by our senses. either waking or sleeping. applied to those attributes of which He has been willing we should have some knowledge. Lat. It should also protect us against all the other reasons already mentioned which truths of mathematics should of the clearest. attingere Lat. The now be above suspicion. which is incomplete. we had for doubting. and it cannot consequently be attributed to God. that is to say that should be properly and positively 2 the cause of the errors to which we are conscious of being subject. And consequently all that delivers us from it the we perceive clearly doubts put forward above. 1 . or the faculty of knowledge which God has given can never disclose to us 3 any object which is not true. Proprie ac positive. . that is. That God is not the cause of our errors. for deceit For although the capacity would seem to be a mark of subtlety of mind amongst will to deceive proceeds only from malice. us. or fear. what must be concluded regarding the effects that we perceive by the but we must keep in mind what has been said. that seemed most clear. Because we should have had reason to think God a deceiver if He had given us this faculty perverted. Fr. is The that is first is of God's attributes which falls to be considered here all light.' Veitch's Trans. and this Whence follows that the light of nature. or weakness. is true. or such that we should take the false for the And this should deliver us from the supreme doubt which encompassed us when we did not know whether our nature had been such that we had been deceived in things true [when using the faculty aright]. we shall easily assure ourselves And if 1 2 This clause is not in the French version. and if we separate it from what is obscure and confused. n'appercoit. inasmuch as it comprehends it.Part I light of nature that 231 He has placed in us.

Principle XXXII.232 of Principles of Philosophy is what the truth. the one of which consists in perception. Principle XXXIII. That we deceive ourselves only when we form judgments about anything insufficiently known to us. That our errors in respect of God are but negations. and the other . if perceive anything. 1 sentire. are just different methods of perceiving 2 . while in respect of ourselves they are privations or it defects. will. we it are in no danger of misappre. the perception of understanding and the action of the For all the modes of thinking that we observed in ourselves may be related to two general modes. is But as frequently happens that although God into error. When we hending it. denying. we do not judge of one way or the other and even when we judge of it we should not fall into error. " percipiendi. provided that we do not give our assent to what we do not know clearly and distinctly but what usually misleads us is that we very frequently form a judgment although we have no very exact knowledge regarding that of which we judge. affirming. In this way so far as He concerned they are but negations. Thus sense-perception 1 but desiring. I subject here. That in us the there are but two modes of thought. if not a deceiver we fall we desire to investigate the origin and cause of our errors in order to guard against them. and conceiving things that are purely intelligible. . or the operation of the will. doubting. since do not require to say more on this particular have treated of it fully in the Meditations on I I Metaphysics. while in respect to us they are defects or privations. holding in aversion. Principle XXXI. in volition. all these are the different modes of willing. much on our intellect and that they are not such as to require the actual assistance of God in order that they is may be produced. and what intend to say later will serve to explain it more accurately. or in the operation of the understanding. we must take care to observe that they do not depend so as on our will. imagining. .

I is the will is requisite for judgment as well as under- admit that we can judge of nothing unless our understanding made use of. And although God has not given us an understanding which is omnipotent. That the will is more extended than this cause. we must not for that reason consider that originator of our errors. Principle XXXVII. He is is the For all created understanding finite. That and it will should extend widely is in its nature. for our giving our assent to what we have in some manner perceived. because we perceive nothing which may be the object of some other will. And no wonder if it happens that we are Principle XXXVI. even of the immensity of the will that is in God. the understanding. is it Nor.Part I Principle 233 XXXIV. Principle XXXV. is the greatest perfection in man to be able to act by its . we should have a perfect and entire knowledge of a thing for we often give our assent to things of which we have never had any but a very obscure and confused knowledge. necessary that . and that our errors proceed from Further. because there is no reason to suppose we can judge of what we in no wise apprehend but the will is absolutely essential . Our errors cannot be imputed to God. this there is beyond that which we apprehend clearly. The will. and that this what renders him deserving accordance with of either praise or blame. That the principal perfection of man is is to have the power of acting freely or by will. in order to form any judgment whatever. the That standing. may in some measure be said to be the infinite. and it is of the nature of finite understanding not to embrace all things. on the other hand. the perception of the understanding only extends to and is always very limited. so that we it. to which our will cannot also extend. the few objects which present themselves to easily extend it when we do deceived.

the defects of our mode of action. and by so doing we are masters of our actions and thereby merit praise to the in a peculiar way or blame. while the power held over the This is why we universe by God is altogether absolute and free. Principle XXXVIII. should be grateful for the good things He has granted us and not complain that He does not bestow from His bounty all that we knew He might have dispensed. we have no right for all that to we should demand For although amongst us men. than when it is made of necessity. That freedom of the will Finally it is is self-evident. because it is ever the same whether our judgment be true And even though God could have given never have this of us so incisive an intellect that fallen into error. For the power which some men possess over others has been instituted for the purpose of their hindering evil from being done by others. or in the is some fault in our . is judged to be its cause. method but manner in which we use our freedom or false. That our errors are our nature. for at the same time as may be counted as one of we tried to doubt all things and even supposed that He who created . We had before a very clear proof of this. that this the first and most ordinary notions that are found innately in us. Principle XXXIX. but not of and that the faults of these subjects may often be attributed to other masters. And for the when we choose what is true. We praise the workman who has same reason due to us when made the machines because he has formed them with accuracy and has done so freely and not of necessity. It is very true that whenever we err there of action. the case is not the same with regard to God. he who could prevent an impending evil and yet who does not so do. since their actions are performed necessarily. who is not to be Him. so evident that we are possessed of a free will that can give or withhold its assent. much more credit is the choice is made freely.234 means. for all that there is no defect in our nature. regarded as responsible for our errors though endowed with the power to prevent them. that is Principles of Philosophy freely. For we do not praise automatic machines although they respond exactly movements which they were destined to produce. but never to God.

Part I

235

us employed His unlimited powers in deceiving us in every way,

we

perceived in ourselves a liberty such that

from believing what was not perfectly that of which we could not doubt at such a time

we were able to abstain But certain and indubitable.
is

as self-evident

and

clear as anything

we can ever know.
Principle XL.

That we likewise know certainly that everything
of God.

is

pre-ordained

But because that which we have already proves to us that His power is so immense that
for

learnt about
it

God

would be a crime us to think ourselves ever capable of doing anything which He

had not already pre-ordained, we should soon be involved in great difficulties if we undertook to make His pre-ordinances harmonise with the freedom of our will, and if we tried to comprehend them
both at one time.

Principle XLI.

How

the

freedom of

the

will

may

be reconciled with

Divine

pre-ordination.

Instead of this, we shall have no trouble at
that our thought
is finite,

all if

we

recollect

and that the omnipotence of God, whereby He has not only known from all eternity that which is or can be, but also willed and pre-ordained it, is infinite. In this way we may have intelligence enough to come clearly and distinctly to know that this power is in God, but not enough to comprehend how He
leaves the free action of

man

indeterminate

;

and, on the other

hand, we are so conscious of the liberty and indifference which
exists in us, that there
is

nothing that we comprehend more clearly

and

perfectly.

For

it

would be absurd to doubt that of which we
its

inwardly experience and perceive as existing within ourselves, just
because we do not comprehend a matter which from

nature we

know

to be incomprehensible.

Principle XLII.

How, although we do
will,

not will to err,

we yet err by our

will.

But inasmuch as we know that all our errors depend on our and as no one desires to deceive himself, we may wonder that
err at
all.

we

We

must, however, observe that there

is

a great

236

Principles of Philosophy
and willing to give sometimes found. For
err,

deal of difference between willing to be deceived
one's assent to opinions in

which error

is

although there
hardly one who
that

is

no one who expressly desires to
to be found.

there

is

is

not willing to give his assent to things in which
is

unsuspected error
it is

And

it

even frequently happens
should be sought
real

the very desire for knowing the truth which causes those
it

who

are not fully aware of the order in which give

for, to

judgment on things of which they have no
fall

know-

ledge and thereby to

into error.

Principle XLIII.

That we cannot err

if

we

give our assent only to things that

we

know
if

clearly

and

distinctly.

But it is certain that we shall never take the false as the true we only give our assent to things that we perceive clearly and
Because since God
is

distinctly.

no deceiver, the faculty of know-

ledge that

He

has given us cannot be fallacious, nor can the faculty

of will, so long at least as

we do not extend

it

beyond those things
truth could not be

that

we

clearly perceive.

And
are

even

if

this

rationally demonstrated,

we

by nature

so disposed to give our

assent to things that we clearly perceive, that

we cannot

possibly

doubt of their truth.

Principle XLIV.

That we shall always judge
clearly perceive,

ill when we assent to what we do not judgment although our may be true; and that it

frequently

is

our memory that deceives us by leading us

to believe
us.

that certain things

had been

satisfacto?'ily established

by

It is also quite certain that

whenever we give our assent

to

some

reason which

we do not exactly understand, we either deceive ourselves, or, if we arrive at the truth, it is only by chance, and It is true that thus we cannot be certain that we are not in error. it happens but rarely that we judge of a matter at the same time as we observe that we do not apprehend it, because the light of nature teaches us that we must not judge of anything that we do not understand. But we frequently err when we presume we have known certain things as being stored up in our memory, to which on recollection we give our assent, and of which we have never
possessed any knowledge at
all.

Part I
Principle XLV.

237

What a

clear

and

distinct perception

is.

There are even a number of people who throughout all their lives perceive nothing so correctly as to be capable of judging of it
properly.
vertible
distinct.

For the knowledge upon which a certain and incontrojudgment can be formed, should not alone be clear but also I term that clear which is present and apparent to an

attentive mind, in the

same way as we

assert that

we

see objects

clearly when, being present to the regarding eye, they operate
it

upon
is

with sufficient strength.

But the
clear.

distinct

is

that which

so

precise
itself

and

different from all other objects that it contains within
is

nothing but what

Principle XLVI.
It
is

shown from

the

example of pain that a perception

may

be

clear without being distinct, but it cannot be distinct unless it is
clear.

When,
pain
is

for instance, a severe pain is felt, the perception of this

may be

very

clear,

and yet

for all that

not distinct, because
1

it

usually confused by the sufferers with the obscure
its

judgment
which

that they form upon

nature, assuming as they do that something

exists in the part affected, similar to the sensation of pain of

they are alone clearly conscious.
clear without being distinct,
also clear.

In this

way perception may be
distinct without being

and cannot be

Principle XLVII.

That in order to remove considered what there is that

the prejudices
is

of our youth, it must be clear in each of our simple 2 notions.

Indeed in our early years, our mind was so immersed in the
body, that
it

knew nothing

distinctly,
it

although

it

perceived

much

sufficiently clearly;

and because

even then formed many judg-

ments, numerous prejudices were contracted from which the majority

become free. But in order that we may now free ourselves from them I shall here enumerate all these simple notions which constitute our reflections, and distinguish whatever is clear in each of them from what is obscure, or likely
of us can hardly ever hope to
to cause us to err.
1

'false,'

French version.

2

'first,'

French.

238

Principles of Philosophy
Principle XLVIII.

That
the

all the objects

of our perceptions are

to be

considered either

as things or the affections of things, or else as eternal truths ;

and

enumeration of things.
I distinguish all

the objects of our knowledge either into things
,

or the affections of things 1 or as eternal truths having no existence

outside our thought.

Of the things we consider
all

as real, the

most

general are substance, duration, order, number, and possibly such

other similar matters as range through
I

the classes of real things.
classes of real

do not however observe more than two ultimate

things

— the

one

is

intellectual things, or those of the intelligence,

that
is

is,

pertaining to the

mind

or to thinking substance, the other
i.e.

material things, or that pertaining to extended substance,
Perception, volition, and every
;

to

and willing, pertain to thinking substance while to extension pertain magnitude or extension in length, breadth and depth, figure, movement, situation, divisibility of things into parts of themselves, and such like. Besides these, there are, however, certain things which we experience in ourselves and which should be attributed neither to mind nor body alone, but to the close and intimate union that exists between the body and mind as I shall later on explain in the proper place 2 Such are the appetites of hunger, thirst, etc., and also the emotions or passions of the mind which do not subsist in mind or thought
body.
of knowing
.

mode

alone, as the emotions of anger, joy, sadness, love, etc.
all

;

and, finally

the sensations such as pain, pleasure, light and colour, sounds,

odours, tastes, heat, hardness, and all other tactile qualities.

Principle XLIX.

That eternal truths cannot be enumerated
not requisite.

thus,

and

that this

is

have hitherto enumerated are regarded either as the qualities of things or their modes.
I

What

[We must now

talk of

what we know as eternal
it
is

truths.]

When

we apprehend that

impossible that anything can

1 'le premier contient toutes les choses qui ont quelque existence ; et l'autre, 'I toutes les veritez qui ne sont rien hors de notre pensee,' French version. distinguish all the objects of our knowledge into two species; the first contains the second all the truths which have no all things which have an existence existence outside our thought.' 2 Part iv. art. 189, 190 and 191.
;

Part I
be formed of nothing, the proposition ex nihilo nihil
considered as an existing thing, or the
fit is

239
not to be

mode

of a thing, but as a

certain eternal truth which has its seat in our mind,

and

is

a
:

common
'

Of the same nature are the following It is impossible that the same thing can be and not be at the same time,' and that 'what has been done cannot be undone,' 'that he who thinks must exist while he thinks,' and very many other propositions But [this the whole of which it would not be easy to enumerate. is not necessary since] we cannot fail to recognise them when the occasion presents itself for us to do so, and if we have no prejudices
notion or axiom.
to blind us.

Principle L.

That

these eternal truths are clearly perceived, but not

by

all,

by

reason of prejudice.

As
they

regards the

common

notions, indeed, there

is

no doubt that

may

be clearly and distinctly perceived, for otherwise they
;

would not deserve to bear this name but it is also true that there are some that do not in regard to all men deserve the name equally
with others, because they are not equally perceived by
however, that
I
all.

Not,

believe the faculty of knowledge to extend further

with some

men than

with others

;

it is

rather that these

common

opinions are opposed to the prejudices of

some who are thereby

prevented from easily perceiving them, although they are perfectly
manifest to those

who

are free from these prejudices.

Principle LI.

What substance
in the

is,

same

sense to

and that it is a name which we cannot God and to His creatures.

attribute

As regards these matters which we consider as being things or modes of things, it is necessary that we should examine them here one by one. And when we conceive of substance, we merely
conceive an existent thing which requires nothing but itself in
order to exist.

To speak
is

truth, nothing but
is

God answers

to this

description as being that which

absolutely self-sustaining, for

we

perceive that there

no other created thing which can exist without

being sustained by his power.
does not pertain univoce to

That God and

is

why

the word substance

to other things, as they say

240

Principles of Philosophy
is,

in the Schools, that

no common signification

for this appellation

which

will

apply equally to

God and

to

them can be

distinctly

understood.

Principle LI I.

That

it

may

be attributed univocally to the soul

and

to body,

and

how we know

substance.

Created substances, however, whether corporeal or thinking,

may

be conceived under this

common concept

;

for

they are things
exist.

which need only the concurrence of God in order to
substance cannot be
is

But yet
it

first

discovered merely from the fact that
is

a thing that exists, for that fact alone

not observed by us.
its

We

may, however,

easily discover it
it is

by means of any one of
is

attributes because

a

common
we

notion that nothing

possessed

of no attributes, properties, or qualities.

For

this reason,

when we

perceive any attribute,

therefore conclude that
it

some existing
is

thing or substance to which
present.

may

be attributed,

necessarily

Principle LIII.

That each substance has a principal
attribute of the

attribute,

and

that

the

mind

is

thought, while that of body is extension.

But although any one
substance which constitutes
all

attribute
is

is

sufficient

to

give

us a

knowledge of substance, there
its

always one principal property of

nature and essence, and on which
in length,
;

the

others

depend.

Thus extension

breadth and

depth, constitutes the nature of corporeal substance
constitutes the nature of thinking substance.

and thought
all

For

else that
is

may
in

be attributed to body presupposes
of
is

extension,

and

but

a mode

this

extended

thing

;

as

everything that we find

mind

but so

many

diverse forms of thinking.

Thus, for

example, we cannot conceive figure but as an extended thing, nor

movement but
and
will,

as in an extended space

;

so imagination, feeling,

only exist in a thinking thing.

But, on the other hand,

we

can conceive extension without figure or action, and thinking as is without imagination or sensation, and so on with the rest
;

quite clear to anyone

who attends

to the matter.

Part I
Principle LIV.

241

How we may have clear and distinct notions of thinking substance,
of corporeal substance, and of God.

We may thus
substance,

easily

have two clear and distinct notions or
all

ideas,

the one of created substance which thinks, the other of corporeal

provided we carefully separate

the

attributes

of

thought from those of extension.
distinct idea of
I

We can also have a clear and an uncreated and independent thinking substance,

1

we do not suppose that this idea represents to us alTttectris- exhibited in God, and that we do not mingle anything fictitious with it, but simply attend to what is evidently contained in the notion, and which we are aware pertains to the nature of an absolutely perfect Being. For no one can deny that such an idea of God exists in us, unless he groundlessly asserts that the mind of man cannot attain to a knowlede of God.
that
is

to say, of God, provided that

Principle LV.

How we
and number.

can also have a clear understanding of duration, order,

We
tion,

have a very different understanding of duraorder and number, if, in place of mingling with the idea that
shall likewise

we have of them what properly speaking pertains to the conception of substance, we merely consider that the duration of each thing is a mode under which we shall consider this thing in so far as it continues to exist and if in the same way we think that order and number are not really different from the things that are ordered and numbered, but that they are only the modes under which we
;

consider these things.

Principle LVI.

What

are modes, qualities,

and

attributes.

And, indeed, when we here speak of modes we mean nothing more than what elsewhere is termed attribute or quality. But

when we consider substance as modified or diversified by them, I avail myself of the word mode and when from the disposition or variation it can be named as of such and such a kind, we shall use the word qualities [to designate the different modes which cause it to be so termed] and finally when we more generally consider that
;

;

R. h.

16

242

Principles of Philosophy

these modes or qualities are in substance

we term them

attributes.

And
.

because in

God any

variableness
or qualities
;

is

incomprehensible,

we cannot

ascribe to

Him modes

but simply attributes.

And

even in created things that which never exists in diverse way, like existence and duration in the
enduring
attributes.

thing,

should

be called not qualities

any existing and or modes, but
in

them

Principle LVII.

That
thought;

there are attributes

which pertain
are.

to things

and

others to

and what duration and time
Thus
its

Some

of the attributes are in things themselves

and others are

only in our thought.

time, for example, which

from duration taken in

general sense and which
is

we we
1

distinguish
describe as
;

the measure of movement,

only a

mode

of thinking

for

we do
is

not indeed apprehend that the duration of things which are moved
is

different

from that of the things which are not moved, as
if

evident from the fact that

two bodies are moved

for the space of

an hour, the one quickly, the other slowly, we do not count the time longer in one case than in the other, although there is much

more movement in one of the two bodies than in the other. But in order to comprehend the duration of all things under the same measure, we usually compare their duration with the duration of the greatest and most regular motions, which are those that create Hence this adds nothing years and days, and these we term time.
to the notion of duration, generally taken,

but a mode of thinking.

Principle LVIII.

That number and
Similarly

all universals are simply

modes of thought.

number when we consider it abstractly or generally and not in created things, is but a mode of thinking and the same is true of all that which [in the schools] is named universals.
;

Principle LIX.

How

Universals are formed

genus, species, difference,

and what are the five common property and accident.
all

ones:

Universals arise solely from the fact that we avail ourselves of

one and the same idea in order to think of
1
'

individual things

is

only a

mode

of thinking that duration,'

French version.

Part I
j

243

which have a certain similitude and when we comprehend under the same name all the objects represented by this idea, that name
is

universal.

For example, when we see two stones, and without

thinking further of their nature than to remark that there are two,

we form in ourselves an idea of a certain number which we term the number of two and when afterwards we see two birds or two trees, and we observe without further thinking about their nature, that there are two of them, we again take up the same idea which we had before, which idea is universal and we give to this number the universal name 'two.' And in the same way when we consider a three-sided figure we form a certain idea which we call the idea of a triangle and we afterwards make use of it as a universal in representing to ourselves all the figures having three sides. But when we notice more particularly that of three-sided figures some have a right angle and others have not, we form the universal idea
; ;

;

of a rectangular triangle, which being related to the preceding as to

a more general,

may
If

be termed species

;

and the right angle

is

the

universal difference by which right-angled triangles are distinguished

from

all others.

we further observe that the square of the
is

side

which subtends the right angle
triangle,
if
r

equal to the squares of the two
Finally

other sides, and that this property belongs only to this species of

we may term

it

a [universal] property of the species.
triangles are

w e suppose that certain of the

moved, and others

moved we should take that to be a universal accident of the same; and it is thus that we commonly enumerate the five
are not
universals, viz. genus, species, difference, property, accident.

Peinciple LX.

Of distinctions, and firstly of real
But
as to the

distinction.

number

in things themselves, this proceeds
;

from
is

the distinction which exists between them
three sorts,
viz.

and distinction

of

modal, and of reason. The real is properly speaking found between two or more substances; and we can
real,

conclude that two substances are really distinct one from the other

from the

sole fact that

we can conceive the one

clearly

and distinctly
effect all that

without the other.

For in accordance with the knowledge which
are certain that
distinct idea.

we have
of which

of God,

we

He

can carry into
is

we have a
have,
e.g.

That

why from

the fact that

we now

the idea of an extended or corporeal substance,

16—2

it is we are able to conceive the square figure without knowing that without knowing that of this moved. they would yet remain really distinct one from the other notwithstanding the union because however closely God connected them He could not set aside the power which He possessed of separating them. Of the modal distinction. or conceive in separation. And even if we suppose that God had united a body to a soul so closely that it was impossible to bring them together more closely. is If. a stone is moved and along with that square. either us. substance of the stone. and if it does exist. between figure lecting modal distinction or movement and the corporeal substance in which There is. The former we recognise by the fact that we can clearly conceive substance without the mode which we say differs from it. sorts of modal distinctions. of one substance is As for the distinction whereby the mode different from another substance. and reciprocally. and that in that he conscious us is because each one of one portion of thinking he can shut off from himself thinking or extended. and the substance of which it is the mode. and those things which God can separate. Principle LXI. really distinct. the one between the mode properly speaking. common for example. is all other substance. but we can conceive neither the one nor the other without recognising that both subsist in one substance.244 although we do all. are . and the other between two modes of the same substance. we may be aware that it is moved it is square but we cannot have a conception movement and figure unless we have a conception of the . while we There are two cannot reciprocally have a perception of this mode without perceiving the substance. Principles of Philosophy riot yet know certainly whether such really exists at it we may yet conclude that it may exist . similarly may conclude that each of really distinct from every other thinking substance and from every corporeal substance. for example. any which we can demarcate in our thought must be Similarly distinct from every other part of the same substance. a both exist: there is also a distinction between affirming or recol- and the mind. thinks. we regarded. and made a single thing out of the two. its characteristic is that we are able to recognise the one mode without the other and vice versa. i.e. or conserving them one apart from the other. As to the other kind of distinction. or from the .

do not differ from the body which is to us the object of them. it is have a distinct knowledge of the same substance. or else as movement from duration than modal . differ only in we consider 3 as though they existed thought both from the objects of which they are the thought and from each other in a common object 4 . excepting so far as we sometimes think confusedly of the one without the other. as the 245 of one movement that body is different from another body or from mind. corrected to duratio. the natures of intelligence and corporeal substance 'doute'in French version. fact that or between two such attributes of is This distinction made manifest from . 3 and then they is In the Latin edition dubitatione ratione. Principle LXIII. and at the time simply to distinguish it was sufficient for my purpose them both from the real. and the other that of body. . inasmuch as the one constitutes the nature of mind. it appears to me we should call it real rather because we cannot clearly conceive these modes apart from the substances of which they are the modes and which are really distinct. is different . the stance if a clear we cannot have a clear and distinct idea of such a subwe exclude from it such an attribute or we cannot have idea of the one of the two attributes if we separate from it For example. duration all only distinct from substance by thought 2 . is Finally the distinction of reason attributes without which it. such as the extension of body and its property of divisibility. I recollect having elsewhere conjoined this sort of distinction with modal distinction (near the end of the Reply made to the First Objection to the Meditations on the First Philosophy). because there to exist is the other.' French version. have distinct conceptions of thought and extension. and the modes of thinking which in the objects. no substance which does is Inot cease when it ceases to endure. 4 ' and generally all the attributes which cause us to have diverse thoughts of the same thing. but then it was not necessary to treat accurately of these distinctions. Principle LXIL between substance and some not possible that we should Of the one of its distinction created by thought. or the one from the other. 2 ratione. How we may We may likewise 1 consider thought and extension as constituting .Part I mode of another substance.

without regarding whether it thinks or is extended. as mind and body. the situation of parts.246 Principles of Philosophy /must not be considered otherwise than as the very substances that think and are extended. apart from the substances in which they of our taking are. . retaining the same size. less in length.. substances of which they are the modes. and take them for what they while. such and their movements. on the contrary. or which pertain to extension. but because all we distinguish accurately that which does comprehend from other notions.e. Principle LXIV. provided that we consider them simply as modes of the things in which they are and as for motion we shall best understand it. provided that we do not think of them as substance or things separate from Because when we regard others. For we experience some difficulty in abstracting the notions that we have of substance from those of thought or extension. an extended substance. 1 ratione. if we wish to consider them actually are or depth. substance that is. as all figures. we disthe in as them tinguish them from these substances. if we inquire . is not more distinct because it comprehends fewer it properties. or to know a substance substance alone. may be extended in many different ways. and the diverse modes of extension. that will have the effect the ideas of them as self-subsisting things and thus confounding mode and substance. . We may likewise consider thought and extension as the . in as far as we consider that one and the same mind may have many different thoughts. sometimes being greater in length and less in breadth and sometimes on the contrary greater in breadth and We then distinguish them modally from substance. but simply as modes of things. How we may likewise know their diverse modes. imagining. willing. for we know them It is moreover more easy in this way very clearly and distinctly. such as understanding. recollecting. Principle LXV. modes which are found in. for they in truth do not differ but in thought 1 and our conception . How we may also conceive them as modes of substance. than that thinks. and they may be conceived not less clearly and distinctly. We shall similarly best apprehend the diverse modes of thought etc. i. and that one body.

without taking into account the force that produces its it. however. some other part But there is no reason that we should be obliged to T we feel in our foot. is our foot. as will clearly appear in what follows. we thought that we saw something which existed outside of us and which clearly resembled the idea of colour which we then experienced in ourselves. a clear knowledge of our sensations. have judged from our youth up that all things we have been accustomed to have sensation have had an and that they have been entirely similar to the sensation. Principle LXVI. for both these are prejudices of our youth. we perceived a certain colour. most difficult to include in the to observe this condition. affections. Principle LXVII. although we frequently err in the judgments we form of them. in regard to our senses at least. and from the habit of judging in this way we seemed to see this so clearly and distinctly as to be convinced that it is certain and indubitable. or mind or our perception. That we frequently deceive ourselves in judging of pain itself. of our body. and of which we are intimately conscious. but as being in our hands. which sun [as it is in us] . Thus. even those which have to do with agreeable sensation and pain. for example. for example. of which existence outside our thoughts. For us. that is the idea which we have formed of them. if we take care judgments we form of them that only which we know to be precisely contained in our perception of them. The same is true in regard to all our other sensations. everyone of us. That we also have and appetites. which I shall nevertheless endeavour to set forth in own place. although we do not believe that these feelings exist outside of we are not wont to regard them as existing merely in our feet. It is. because we. There remain our sensations. affections and appetites. nor that the in mind hich exists anything beyond our w light which we imagine ourselves to see in the sun really is in the believe that the pain. . as to which we may likewise have a clear knowledge. when.Part I 247 only about locomotion.

are clearly perceive in all bodies. it is with much greater clearness than what causes us to say that coloured. as has known by us in a quite different way from that in which colour is known in the same body. when we consider them simply as sensations or thoughts. we yet know this it property in which causes us to call it figured. or any of the properties which. or duration. or situation. figure. How we may clearly distinguish in such matters that which we know from that in which we may err. he is will find that he really ignorant of it. odour. taste. or figure or we consider that size in movement (local movement if at least. colour. or pain. etc. But when we desire to judge of such matters as existing outside of our mind. for philosophers by imagining other sorts of motion than this. or number. because he something resembling the sensation of colour if which he experiences. For although in observing a body we are not less assured of its existence from the colour which we perceive in its regard than from the figure which bounds it. have rendered its nature less intelligible to themselves). And when anyone says that he sees colour in a body or feels pain the same as if he told us that he there saw was absolutely ignorant of its nature. Principle LXIX. we can in no wise conceive what sort of things they are. But in order that is from that which obscure we may here distinguish that which is we ought to observe that we have a and other things of the clear clear sort or distinct knowledge of pain. That we know magnitude. and those properties which we been already described. quite differently from and pain. as hitherto mentioned.248 Principles of Philosophy Principle LXVIII. . This will be more especially evident the body which is perceived. yet he investigates what is repre- sented to him by this sensation of colour or pain appearing as they do to exist in a coloured body or suffering part. colour etc. or else For although when that he did not know what he saw or felt. it is or felt something but persuades himself that he has some knowledge of supposes that there or pain is it. should be attributed to the senses. he examines his thoughts with less attention he perhaps easily in one of his limbs.

figure. because we do not observe this. falling for which sensation comes to us). as our senses or understanding show us. etc. But there is a great deal of difference in our manner of judging. on the contrary. and then supposing that we have a clear perception of what we do not perceive at all.. into error that. that it is the same as though we said that we perceive us. from so far are t we from it. or remark in these objects certain other qualities like magnitude. by one of which we shall avoid error. such as they are. or else we call the body was so [slightly] affected that no great good nor evil was experienced. it is easy to allow ourselves to fall into the error of holding that what we call colour in objects is something entirely resembling the colour we perceive. which we clearly exist in objects know are or may be in objects. number. But when we think we perceive a certain colour in objects although we have no real knowledge of what the name colour signifies. so long as there is is something in objects of we believe that which we have no knowledge (that in things. for. something in the objects of whose nature we were ignorant. some good. such sensations were encountered as tastes. but which yet caused a very clear and vivid sensation in is and which termed the sensation of colours. 249 That we may judge in two ways of sensible things. yet. That childhood. we rather are less likely to judge rashly of a thing provide against we which we have been forewarned we do not know. and we can find no intelligible resemblance between the colour which we suppose to and what we are conscious of in our senses. to and principal of our years of life the mind was errors is to be were these as yet referred to anything existing outside the fact was merely that pain was pleasure experienced felt itself. . but or if when the body received when the body was hurt. while by the other we shall fall into error. Principle LXXI. It is thus evident when we say that we perceive colours in objects.Part I Principle LXX. the principal cause of error is found in the prejudices of It is here that the first For in the first so closely allied body that it applied itself to nothing but those thoughts alone by which it was aware of the things which affected the body. nor found.

And we have prejudices way been imbued with a thousand other such from infancy.250 Principles of Philosophy which in truth repre- smells. sent nothing to us outside of our mind. because the sensations of hardness and weight were much more strongly felt. colours. and we experienced it to be either hot or cold. the mind which was that it can of its closely allied to it. is The mind at the same time also perceived magnitudes. although it did not yet observe this distinction between the two.' French version. followed after what was useful and avoided what was harmful. and attributed to them not alone magnitudes. light. . it did not hold them to be larger than such flames. Moreover because it did not as yet remark that the earth turned on its own axis. heat. movements and the like. reflecting on the things which it followed after or avoided. but which vary in accordance with the diversities of the parts and modes in which the body affected figures. according as the impressions that there was made on body were more or less strong. the sensations of which it perceived that these things caused in it. cold. And as all other things were only considered in as far as they served for the use of the body in which it was immersed. which in later youth we quite forgot we in this had accepted without sufficient examination. but also tastes. And afterwards when the machine of the body which has been so constituted by nature own inherent power turn here and there. movements. it was more ready to apprehend that it was immovable and that the surface was Hat. mind judged that there was belief more or less reality in each body. Hence came the much more substance or corporeal reality in rocks or metals than in air or water. And because the stars did not give more light than tiny lighted candles. 1 . by turning fortuitously this way and the other. And thus it was that air was only regarded as anything when it was agitated by some wind. and as if they bad been known by means of our senses or implanted in us by nature. etc. remarked first of all that they existed outside itself. outside thought. 1 ' body to the part of the brain to which vary according to the movements which pass from all parts of our which it is closely united. or at least capable of existing. and the like. smells.. sound. which were exhibited to it not as sensations but as things or the modes of things existing. and other such properties which it apprehended as things or modes of things. and that the superficies was curved like a sphere. figures. admitting them as though they were of perfect truth and certainty.

as will be clearly shown later on. we have great difficulty in imagining anything from this first conception. for example.Part I Principle LXXII. and finally. or because in the first years of our life we are so much occupied with that we have acquired a greater facility for imagining and feeling thinking in this way than in any other. but from preconceived opinions. although astronomical reason us that they are amongst the largest — so greatly does prejudiced opinion affect our beliefs. besides acquiring the habit of so-doing. The third cause its is that our mind fatigues itself when it applies . while there are many others that are intelligible and . no longer wholly subject to the body. whether because it derives this nature from its union with the body. yet it is it not easy to eradicate the false from our memory. it is And by we do not perceive any object as it in itself sense alone. mind cannot pause to consider any one thing with attention without difficulty and fatigue. we find that much of the judgment that we before had formed it is false. being it. attention to the objects which are not present to the senses and that we are therefore in the habit of judging of these not from present perceptions. 251 That the second cause of our errors is that we cannot forget these prejudices. comes to pass that most men in life perceive nothing but in a confused way. they persuade themselves that there is body. and so long as remains there may be the cause of many errors. that there is no body which since in truth nothing that can subsist but is not sensible. Thus. things that are imaginable are those that exist in extension. Though in coming to years of maturity. since our objects it applies itself with the greatest difficulty to those which are present neither to the senses nor to the imagination. motion and figure. . when the mind. does not refer everything to but also inquires into the truth of things as they are in themselves. Principle LXXIII. it comes about that many men are unable to believe that there is any substance unless it is imaginable and For they are ignorant that the only corporeal and even sensible. and since of all Further. since from our earliest years we imagined stars to be different tells minute bodies.

all that has to be observed in order to philosophise correctly. and as we more easily recall to memory words than things. We should afterwards hold an orderly review of the conceptions which we have within us. rid ourselves of our prejudices. In things. words which And finally. we shall a knowledge of many propositions which are we have of . and apply ourselves to the research of all the truths we are capable of knowing. Principle LXXV. into the truth of all other things. or because they think that those who informed them although this is correctly understood their signification. nor even shown that any body exists at yet appears to me have already said may serve to enable us to distinguish those of our conceptions that are clear and distinct from those in which there is obscurity and confusion. . we can scarcely conceive of anything so distinctly as to be able to separate completely that which we conceive from the words chosen to express the same. and accept as true those and only those which present themselves to In this way we shall know. That is if we desire to philosophise seriously. In addition to the notions likewise find within us God and our thoughts. first of all that we exist. and as we commit to memory our thought in connection with these words. until. because we attach all our conceptions to words for the expression of them by speech. our apprehension as clear and distinct. And the not the place in which to treat particularly of I this matter. A summary of why. inasmuch as that what I have not yet dealt with the nature of all. their attention to words rather than and this is the cause of their frequently giving their assent to terms which they do not understand. we discover them to be true. since God is their cause. either because they believe this way most men apply that they formerly understood them. and at the same time that there is a God on whom we depend and after having considered His attributes we shall be in a position to inquire we must. it human body. on applying to them further examination. and must take great care sedulously to set aside all the opinions which we formerly accepted. to The fourth cause is that we attach our concepts do not accurately answer to the reality. inasmuch as our nature is to think. in the first place.252 Principles of Philosophy Principle LXXIV.

etc.. all we should impress on our memory as an infallible what God has revealed to us is incomparably more certain than anything else and that we ought to submit to the Divine authority rather than to our own judgment even though the light of reason may seem to us to suggest. We shall also find there the idea of a corporeal or extended nature which may be moved. it would be unworthy of a philosopher to accept anything as true which he has not ascertained to be such. maturity. But in things in regard to which Divine authority reveals nothing to us. something opposite.. than to the reasoning of Above rule that . as.Part I 253 eternally true.' French version. that nothing cannot be the cause of anything. And comparing in this their order] [what we now know by examining those things with our former confused knowledge. divided. and also of the etc. Principle LXXVI. to prefer the Divine authority to our perceptions 1 . such as those of pain. etc. excluding this. that is to judgments formed without consideration in childhood. sensations which affect us. for example. and to trust more to the senses. to me that That we ought but. taste. the principles of And in these few precepts it appears human knowledge are contained. 1 'reasonings. we should not assent to anything which we do not clearly perceive. we shall all acquire the custom of forming clear and distinct conceptions of that we can know. colour. although we do not as yet know the cause of our being so affected. . with the utmost clearness and evidence.

yet because we have doubted this before and have placed it in the rank of the prejudices of our childhood. To begin with we feel that without doubt is our perceptions proceed from some thing which different from our mind. or merely permitted it to be caused in us by some other object which possessed no extension. and object . because deception is repugnant to His nature. from God. since each one affects clearly dependent on the object which inquire whether that our senses. etc. and appear to discern very plainly that the idea of it is due to objects outside of ourselves to which it is absolutely similar. Principle I. or motion. is It is true that we may But inasmuch as God.SECOND PART. But God cannot deceive us. breadth. or ourselves. depth. or some other different from God. there would be nothing to prevent Him from being regarded For we clearly apprehend this matter as different as a deceiver. and give if rise to the sensations we have of colours. the various parts of which have various figures and motions. smells. or our mind. it is now requisite that we should inquire into the reasons through which we may accept is this truth all with certainty. pains. OF THE PRINCIPLES OF MATERIAL THINGS. as has been explained. For it not in our power to have one perception rather is than another. What are the reasons for our having a certain knowledge of material things'! Although we are all persuaded that material things exist. figure. we perceive. or rather are stimulated by sense to apprehend clearly and distinctly a matter which is extended in length.. God immediately and of Himself presented to our mind the idea of this extended matter. And .

itself alone. and that while by their means we are made aware of what in external bodies can profit or hurt this union. pertain to it is it but only in so far as is united to another thing. and depth. That the nature of body consists not in weight. those properties which all we extended objects. or coloured. . It likewise know that the body of man is closely united to may be concluded also that a certain body is more closely united to our mind than any other. but in extension alone. and nor mind is conscious that these do not arise from in so far as it is a thinking thing. from the fact that pain and other of our sensations occur without our foreseeing them that . and possessing clearly perceive to pertain to is 255 an object extended in length. nor colour and so on. That in things. reflecting carefully on the Principle IV. In this way we shall ascertain that the nature of matter or of body in its universal aspect. For [after this observation] we shall without difficulty set aside all the prejudices of the senses and in this regard ideas implanted therein upon our understanding alone.Part II hence we must conclude that there breadth. How we the mind. or one that affects our senses in some other way. or heavy. extended and mobile. by by nature. which called the human body. And this extended object is called by us either body or matter. nor in hardness. the perceptions of the senses do not teach us ivhat is really but merely that whereby they are useful or hurtful to mans composite nature. Principle III. they do not present them to us as they are in themselves unless occasionally and rely accidentally. But this is not the place to explain the matter further. It will be sufficient for us to observe that the perceptions of the senses are related simply to the intimate union which exists between body and mind. Principle II. does not consist in its being hard.

so that when rarefied they have greater extension than when condensed and some have even subtilized to . rare bodies are those interstices filled parts there are many between whose with other bodies and those . whoever will examine his own thoughts and refuse to admit anything which he does not clearly perceive. feel the bodies in that part retreated as soon as our hands approached of and yet we have no reason to believe that the bodies which recede in this way would on this account lose what makes them bodies. a substance extended in length. But as regards rarefaction and condensation. shows us that weight. The when we conceive that there is extension in length. Principle V. and all the other qualities of the kind them. whether the true nature of body consists solely first is The that prevalent opinion that most bodies are capable of being- rarefied and condensed. For as regards hardness we do not know anything of with them all it by if. but when they come in contact whenever we moved our hands in some direction. will not allow that there these processes but a change of figure [in is anything in the body rarefied or condensed]: that is to say.256 Principles of Philosophy it is but solely in the fact that breadth and depth. we are not in the habit of saying that there is a body. . breadth and depth only. sense. Principle VI. That this truth regarding the nature of body is obscured by prejudices regarding rarefaction and the vacuum. we should never hardness . There still remain two reasons which may cause us to doubt in extension. In what way rarefaction takes place. excepting that the portions of the hard bodies resist the motion of our hands . colour. it remaining meanwhile entire: thus follows that the nature of body depends on none of these. that is perceived in corporeal matter. It follows from this that The same reason the nature of body does not consist in hardness. and its quantity from its extension. it may be taken from it. which second reason is that most people persuade themselves is a mere negation. such an extent that they desire to distinguish the substance of a body from its quantity. but only space and further empty space.

is For although when air any of the pores which are we do not see nor any new body that is added to occupy them. R. we do not suppose that for this reason each part of the sponge is more extended than when it is compressed and dry. i. That rarefaction cannot be way. without the addition to it of a new extended substance. than to conclude in consequence of that rarefaction. it is yet less consonant with reason to suppose something that unintelligible in order to give a merely verbal explanation of how bodies are rarefied. whose parts. very easy to explain rarefaction in this manner though not in any would be undoubtedly contradictory to suppose that any body should be increased by a fresh quantity or fresh extension. finally it And quantity or extension. their being further Principle VII. but only that its pores are wider. H. owing to removed from one another. although we do not For there is no reason perceive this new body with the senses. as will be more clearly shown below.Part II 257 are called dense bodies. either render these distances less than they were. that there are pores or interstices which become greater. I intelligibly explained in any other am indeed unable to say why this rarefaction of bodies has been explained by some as the result of augmentation of quantity rather than by the example of the sponge. which obliges us to believe that we should perceive by our senses And we perceive that it is all the bodies which exist around us. and which are filled with some new body. but to the other bodies which occupy these interstices. without the addition of a substance having other. And yet it does not possess less extension than when the parts occupied a greater space. or water are rarefied rendered large. Just as when we see a sponge filled with water or some other liquid. a new body. on the other hand. 17 . in which case the body is rendered so dense that cannot be denser. by approach- ing one another.e. and that it is therefore distributed over a larger space. Because it is impossible to conceive any addition of extension or quantity. or remove them it altogether. For we ought not to attribute to a body the extension of the pores or the interstices which its parts do not occupy [when it is rarefied].

or to any other ten conceive a continuous quantity of ten feet without thinking of some extended substance of which it is the quantity. ten. we can comprehend the number feet. conceive it without thinking of that determinate substance. but [so improperly that] easy to see that harmony with 1 their thoughts. confusedly conceived as something incorporeal. although we do not attend to this measure of ten feet because it is clear that the thing conceived is the same in any one part of that space as in the whole. Although however. not in reality but only in our conception. when distinguished from is its quantity. and leave to extension. That corporeal substance. In reality it is however impossible that even the least part of such quantity or extension can be taken away without taking away likewise an equal amount of substance . as also a continuous quantity of ten without attending to any particular determinate substance. to take an example. not the least part of the substance its can be removed without our diminishing quantity and extension by the same amount. when they distinguish substance from extension or they either mean nothing by the word substance. but yet we can . because the conception of the number of ten is plainly the same. That quantity and number quantity and is numbered. differ only in thought 1 from what has For quantity differs from extended substance. or number from what is numbered. whether considered in reference and we cannot to the measure of ten feet. I cannot think that they regard it otherwise this than as I have just said . that true idea of it is this corporeal substance. And vice versa. feet. on the other hand. . Principle IX. quantity. Thus.258 Principles of Philosophy Principle VIII. which they nevertheless their words are not in call an accident. some express themselves otherwise on subject. ratione. we may consider the whole nature of corporeal substance which is comprised within a space of ten . or they for merely form in their minds a confused idea of incorporeal substance which they falsely attribute to corporeal.

259 What space or internal place is. we attribute to extension a generic unity. or else because with the change of their qualities the stone reason considered to have lost tion its is not for that nature as body. and depth. stones so transparent that they had no colour weight. we reject from it all that is not essential to the reject hardness. Space or internal place and the corporeal substance which is contained in it. such as stone. and depth comprised in our idea of space. are not different otherwise than in the mode in which they are conceived of by us. and yet would not cease to be a body let us in the next place reject colour. breadth. whereby we determine this space. nor do the two mutually differ. provided that. For. on the contrary. so that after having removed from a certain space the body which occupied it. because if In the first place.Part II Principle X. the same extension in length. but also of that which called a vacuum. After examina- we shall find that there is nothing it is remaining in the idea of body . in space. constitutes body. which constitutes space. excepting as the nature of the genus or species differs from the nature of the individual. we may the stone were liquefied or reduced to powder. and preserves the same position in relation to certain other bodies. heat. it nature of body. then. not only of that which is and is full of body. breadth. excepting that this is extended in length. we do not suppose that we have also removed the extension of that space. and all the other qualities of the kind either because they are not considered as in the stone. because it appears to us that the same extension remains so long as it is of the same magnitude and figure. because we have often seen . And it will be easy for us to recognise that the same extension which constitutes the nature of body likewise constitutes the nature of space. in truth. in order to discern the idea that we have of any body. 17—2 . and the difference between them consists only in the fact we consider extension as particular and conceive it to change just as body changes. because finally again we reject is we see that fire although very light yet body . would no longer possess hardness. that in body Principle XL from In what sense it may be said that space is not different corporeal substance. and we may reject cold.

and But meantime we suppose that inseparable from the stone itself. the same extension of place occupied by the stone remains. space is. air. and even to a vacuum. The reason is that the words place and space is signify- nothing different from the body which merely designate other bodies. some difference in our mode of conceiving it for if we remove a stone from the space or place where we conceive that the extension of this stone has also been removed from it. What external place of this is. and approaching another. though the place which it formerly occupied has been taken up with wood. because we consider this to be singular. . How them was. if precisely the we suppose that the earth moves. if there be such a thing. For example. water. if we consider a man seated at the stern of a vessel when it is carried out to sea. we are persuaded that there are no points in the universe that are really immovable. because we now consider extension in general. There however. provided that it is of the same magnitude and figure as before. and does not change it. wood. air. if But at length . and preserves the same situation in regard to the external bodies which determine this space. is different from body in our mode of conceiving it. because that place determined by certain immovable points which we imagine to be in the heavens. its magnitude. said to be in a place. and and situation as regards For it is necessary in order to determine this situation . figure. if regard be paid to the neighbouring shores in relation to which he is constantly receding from one. and that it makes same way from west to east as the vessel does from again appear to us that he east to west. we consider to be immovable and according as we regard different bodies we may find that the same thing at the same time changes its place. water. and all other bodies. or even has been supposed to be empty. he may be said to be in one place if we regard the parts of the vessel with which he preserves the same situation and yet he will be found continually to change his to observe certain others which : position. we shall conclude that there is nothing that has a permanent place except in so far as it is fixed by our thought. as will presently be shown to be probable. and any other bodies. Principle XIII. And further. and it appears to us that the same is common to stones. it will who is seated at the is stern does not change his position.260 Principles of Philosophy Principle XII.

Part II Principle XIV. breadth and depth but we sometimes consider place as in the thing it. because place indicates situation more expressly than magnitude or figure while. thus we never distinguish space from extension in length. we simply mean that situated in a certain manner it in reference to certain other things and when we add that that it is occupies a certain space or place. . which surface which is is but a mode or that we mean the common a surface that it is is not a part of one body rather than of the other. we say that the place also is and when the situation is changed. mean that occupies the same space as the other changed. so long same magnitude and figure. and space are however different. 261 Wherein place and space differ. And it is to be observed that by superficies we do not here mean any portion of the surrounding body. suppose that a ship is carried along in one direction by the current of a stream. And hence if we say that it is . although it does not possess exactly either for all that its it magnitude or its figure . but merely is the extremity which between the surrounding body and that . and sometimes as outside of . a particular place. often we on the we more speak of For we frequently say that a thing has succeeded to the space. think of the latter when contrary. Principle XV. we should not imagine that the body which was surrounded by it had for all that changed its place. How And placed. Internal place is indeed in no way distinguished from space but we sometimes regard external place as the superficies which immediately surrounds the thing placed in it. but we do not . external place is rightly taken to be the superficies of the surrounding body. we likewise mean the of a definite magnitude or figure [so as exactly to fill space]. and that as it always considered the same. The terms place of another. although the same magnitude and figure exist as a thing is in before. and is impelled by a contrary wind in another direction retains the . if it meanwhile preserved the same situation in Thus if we regard to other bodies that are regarded as immovable. surrounded. For although all the surrounding body with its superficies is changed. place .

there is necessarily also substance. Principle XVII. because absolutely inconceivable that nothing should possess extension. we have reason to conclude For. we do not mean a place or space in which there is absolutely nothing. we say that it is . is because the extension of space or not different from that of body. ' . does not exclude all body. As exist.which is supposed to be void. Principle XVI. from the it is a substance. even though it be full of water similarly we say a vessel is empty. in the ordinary sense. That it is contrary to reason is to say that there is a vacuum or space in which there absolutely nothing. it is i. it is loaded only with sand. . i. extended in that I it is mere fact that a body is length. evident that such cannot internal place. place we are ready to admit that it remains in the same although we see that the whole surrounding superficies is in a state of change.' version. or depth. it may resist the impetuous same way that a space is empty when it contains nothing sensible.262 in Principles of Philosophy its an equal degree. when. so that situation is not changed with regard to the banks. That a vacuum. expected to find there. we ought to conclude also that the same is true of the space. but only a place in which there are none of those things which we Thus because a pitcher is made to hold empty when it contains nothing but air or if there are no fish in a fish-pond. water. in place of keeping in mind succeed in presenting us should comprehend by these words vacuum and nothing what we we afterwards suppose that in the space which is termed vacuum violence of the wind and finally we say in the .e. in the philosophic sense of the word. even though it for we are not contain created matter and self-existent substance wont to consider things excepting those with which our senses And if. regards a vacuum is a space in which there no substance. in place of the merchandise which it was designed to carry. we say that there is nothing in it. And when we take this word vacuum in its ordinary sense. that since there is in it extension. — 1 consider bodies near to us excepting in so far as they cause in our organs French of sense impressions strong enough to enable us to perceive them. breadth.e. so that . 1 .

so that there is not more contradiction in conceiving a mountain without a valley. After we have thus remarked that the nature of material substance consists only in its being an extended thing. there is an absolutely necessary one between the concave figure of the vessel and the extension considered generally which must be comprised in this cavity. seeing that there no necessary connection between the vessel and the body it contains. or that its extension is not different from what has been attributed to space it is however empty.Part II there is 263 all. And therefore. and yet that this distance should be nothing for distance is a it mode of extension. that we may be able to correct this error. Principle XVIII. the prejudice concerning the absolute vacuum is to be We our have almost all lapsed into this error from the beginning of is lives. For two bodies must touch when there is between them. and without extended substance cannot therefore exist. easy to discover that it is impossible that any . or that there should be a distance between them. is usually termed empty contains nothing but it is we were therefore to judge that the air contained in not a substantive thing. because a pitcher air. but nothing at we shall fall into the since it same error as if. than such a cavity without the extension which contains. as has already been frequently remarked. if it is asked what would happen if God removed its all the body contained in a vessel without permitting place being occupied by another body. we shall answer that nothing the sides of the vessel will thereby come into immediate contiguity with one another. How corrected. not only nothing sensible. for. we thought that God at least could remove all the body contained in the vessel without its being But in order necessary that any other body should take its place. cannot have extension. That this confirms what was said of rarefaction. Principle XIX. because nothing. it is necessary to remark that while there is no connection between the vessel and that particular body which it contains. or this extension without the substance which is it extended. because it is manifestly contradictory for these two bodies to be apart from one another.

or again it is easy to perceive that there cannot be more matter or corporeal substance in a vessel i when . For however small the parts are supposed to be.264 Principles of Philosophy one of these parts should in any way occupy more space at one time than another. For though God had rendered the particle so small that it was beyond the power of any creature to divide it. its divisibility remains [to the it is smallest extended particle] because from its nature such. our judgment would be contrary to the knowledge we have of the matter. absolutely speaking. And therefore. For there is and thus nothing which we . We likewise recognise that this world. because it is absolutely impossible that He should lessen His own omnipotence as was said before. is filled with gold or lead. Principle XXI. because wherever we to be in imagine a limit we are not only reality such as able to imagine beyond that limit spaces indefinitely extended. that is to say that they contain in . or corporeal substance in is a universal sense. which we do not thereby recognise to be and therefore if we judged it to be indivisible. can divide in thought. or any other body that is heavy and for hard. extended without still limit. We also know that there cannot be any atoms or parts of matter which are indivisible of their own nature [as certain philosophers have imagined]. yet because they are necessarily extended we are always able in thought to divide any one of them into two or more parts we know that they divisible are divisible. it it could not be divided into would not for all that be properly termed indivisible. than when it only contains air and appears to be empty the quantity of the parts of matter does not depend on their weight or hardness. but we perceive these we imagine them. And even should we suppose that God had reduced some portion of . Principle XX. and thus that it may be rarefied otherwise than in the manner explained above . He could not deprive Himself of His power of division. That from this may be demonstrated the non-existence of atoms. matter to a smallness so extreme that smaller. That extension of the uwld is likewise indefinite. but only on the extension which is always equal in the same vessel.

now occupies all the imaginable spaces where these other worlds could alone be. because we clearly perceive that the matter whose nature consists in its being an extended substance only. Principle XXIII. for I and do not consider that we ought to conceive any other in nature). Principle XXII. that it can be divided. inasmuch as they have said that nature was the principle of motion and rest. is nothing more than the action by which any body passes from one place to another. This the philosophers have doubtless observed. For. we perceive by thought alone makes no difference to but the variation in matter. that the earth and heavens are formed of the same matter. / properties which we and consequently is clearly perceive in it may be reduced to the to its parts. and we All the know this by the simple fact of its being extended. Principle XXIV. and there cannot be a plurality of worlds. That all the variety in matter. or moved according For all its capable of all these affections which partition can arise from the motion of its parts. the idea of extension that we perceive in any space whatever is quite evidently the same as the idea of corporeal substance. or all the diversity of its forms.Part II 265 them corporeal substance indefinitely extended. depends on motion. And just as we have remarked . or diversity in its forms. and by nature they understood that by which all corporeal things become such as they are experienced to be. can conceive no other kind. It is thus not difficult to infer all this. as has been already shown very fully. But motion (i. There is therefore but one matter in the whole universe. depends on motion. they would all be formed of this matter from which it follows that there cannot be a plurality of worlds.e. viz. and that even were there an infinitude of worlds. local motion. Thus the matter of the heavens and of from the earth is one and the same. What motion is in common parlance. it . and we cannot find in ourselves the idea of any other matter. in the vulgar sense. one.

not seem to I me to be accurately it is enough distinguished. XXVIII. thinks he is moving when he looks at the shore he has left.] Principle XXVI. since he not conscious of any action in himself. in order to show that the motion the mobile thing. titles of [The following are the have not been translated. What movement properly But if. Principle XXV. because he does not change his position in reference to Likewise. as fixed. and repose of that which is at rest. for these two do Further. let us consider what ought to be understood by motion according to the truth of the thing a determinate nature to it. oj That movement and rest are merely two diverse modes a body in motion. XXVII. in order to attribute that it is the transference of one part of matter or one body from the vicinity immediate contact with the vicinity it. understand that a is substance. always And in I say that it is the transportation and not either the force or the is action which transports. we may say. . because its parts. is we are accustomed to think that there no motion without action and that in the person thus seated rest there is cessation of action. but to the truth of the matter. of those bodies that are in and which we regard as in repose. and considers it place at the same time. That movement properly understood may be said only contiguous to that in motion. may more is properly be said to be in repose than in motion. By is one body or by a part of matter it under- stand all that which transported together. into I of others. but not if he regards the vessel he is on. is. although in themselves may be composed of many parts which have other motions. For he who is seated in a ship setting sail. the subsequent propositions which That more action is not required for move- ment than for rest. speaking looking not to popular usage. to relate to the bodies . just as figure mode of the mobile thing and not a a mode of the figured thing. not in that which moves .266 Principles of Philosophy above that the same thing its may be said to change and not to change we can say that it moves and does not move at the same time.

the division of matter is in fact into an indefinite number of particles. it lies. although these are beyond observation.Part II XXIX. The first law of nature that each thing as far as in continues always in the same state. Why it comes about that the movement which separates is two mutually contiguous bodies attributed to the one rather than to XXXI. In what consists the power of each body to drive or to . that The manner in which not doubt of this division takes place. its existence. loses nothing of its movement . bodies moving How From in each movement there is a complete circle of together. XLIII. XLI. and we must it. Of the movement of projectiles. and thus things which move in a circle always tend to recede XXXIX. it loses as much as it passes over to that body. the other. if it XL. the XXXII. resist. XXXV. from the centre of the circle that they describe. meets one less strong. any but at XXX. Nor does which we consider as it 267 those contiguous bodies relate to rest. this it follows that XXXIV. and that which is once : moved always continues so to move. XXXVIII. is properly speaking peculiar XXXIII. The third law: that a body that comes in contact with another stronger than itself. That God is the First Cause of movement and that the universe. the How How there may be innumerable different movements in same body. The second law of nature: that all motion is of itself in a straight line. although we do not com- prehend XXXVI. XLII. to every body can be movement which regarded as many. rule. He always preserves an equal amount of movement in XXXVII. The proof of the first part of this The proof of the second part.

LX. That the particles of fluid bodies are moved with equal the slightest force suffices to force in all directions. the application of these rules is difficult. it When a fluid body moves as a whole it in any direction itself. LI. but a part also from the surrounding fluid. how much the movement of any and that by the following XLVL XLVII. „ second. LVI. LV. What are hard bodies. The proof of the above. part of That if any particles of it. Movement is not contrary to movement. L. „ „ sixth. pushed by another hard one. exist in the fluid. „ „ „ XLIX. rules. LIL LIII. that does not hold good in LIX. LVI 1 1. seventh. does not its motion from it. a fluid are more slowly moved this than a hard body existing in the fluid. receive all That a hard body. fifth. That there nothing that joins the parts of hard bodies excepting that they are in repose.268 Principles of Philosophy XLIV. LIV. How it may be determined bodies is altered by the impact of other bodies. but to repose and determination of a movement in one direction. is and what fluid bodies. than it That yet it cannot receive a greater velocity from that fluid it is struck. to its determination on the other. has from the hard body by which LXI. And move the hard bodies that LVII. third. because That each body is affected by many others at the same time. fourth. XLVIII. necessarily bears with a hard body which it contains in . XLV. The first.

LXIV. so Why there are bodies so hard that although they are small they are not easily divided by our hands. . LXIII. because the phenomena of nature may be explained by their means. and sure demonstration can be given of them.Part II LXII. 269 it is That we cannot say that a hard body moves. That I do not accept or desire any other principle in all Physics than in Geometry or abstract Mathematics. when carried along by a fluid.

not from the prejudices of the senses. if we suppose any limits to exist in them of which we have no certain knowledge. but that. the Creator. OF THE VISIBLE WORLD. we can explain all the commence with those which are the most general. is that we ought to beware This we should appear to we think too highly do if we supposed the lest universe to have certain limits not presented to our knowledge without at the same time being assured of the fact by divine revelation. philosophise correctly in this matter. The first is that we must ever keep before our minds the infinitude of the power and goodness of God. Having now ascertained certain principles of material things which were derived. That we ought to beware lest we presume too much in supposing ourselves to understand the ends which God set before Himself in creating the world. That we cannot think too highly of the works of God. which would be making our knowledge extend beyond . such as the But in order that we may general structure of the visible world. on the contrary. we may seem to be insufficiently sensible of the greatness and power of phenomena of nature. too beautiful. so that we cannot doubt of their truth. and too perfect. The second of ourselves. Principle II. Principle I.v* THIRD PART. but from the light of reason. and not fear to fall into error by imagining His works to be too great. we must take care lest. two things are to be observed. it is for us to examine whether from these alone And we shall and on which the others depend.

That the moon and the other planets derive light from . God has made it mind we could comprehend the ends which He set before Himself in creating the universe. That the light of the sun and fixed stars shine by their own light. to believe that God has created all things for us in as far affection toward as that incites us to a greater gratitude and Him. questions of Physics.] Principle IV. For although may be a pious thought. [The following are the titles of the subsequent propositions which have not been translated. X. and moon t VI. if it be but the and the being incited to all worship God by yet not at probable that all things have been created for us in such a manner that God has had seems to no other end in creating them. IX. or did exist. That the earth viewed from the heavens would not appear less otherwise than as a planet than Jupiter or Saturn. which have never been beheld or comprehended by man and which have never been of any use to him. What is the ratio between the distances and magnitudes of sun. earth. the sun. for And it me that such a supposition would be certainly ridiculous and inept in reference to we cannot doubt that an infinitude of things exist. as far as Morals are concerned. What is the distance between the other planets and the sun ? VII. because there is nothing created from which exercise of our we cannot means. That we may suppose the fixed stars to be as remote as we VIII. Of phenomena or experiments and what is their V. Principle In what sense it it III. derive minds its in considering it it is some use. and although it is in some respect true.Part III that which 271 persuaded ourselves that of our but this would be even more so if we was only for us that all things were created by God. can be said that all things were created for man. though now they have ceased to exist. use in philosophy. or even were we to suppose that by the powers . like.

the fixed stars to be extremely far That the sun. own heaven. That the hypotheses of Copernicus and Tycho do not if they are regarded simply as hypotheses. XXIV. but each one has a vast space around it void oj other fixed stars. That we must suppose from Saturn. but not so the planets. That the sun differs from flame inasmuch as it has no need of aliment. That the heavens carry with them all the bodies that they XXVI. That these same phenomena of the planets may be explained by various hypotheses. carefully XX. properly speaking. motion to the earth than does Copernicus. That is the the reason of the light of the earth and that of the planets XII. XXVIII. That the heavens are fluid. XXV. . but that it is carried along by XXVII. still That the earth rests in its it. XV. That all the fixed stars do not turn in the same sphere. XIII. same. XIV. That the same may be considered true of all the planets. like flame. That the hypothesis of Ptolemy does not satisfactorily explain the phenomena. XXII. the moon. the sun may be placed in the number of fixed stars. and more truthfully than Tycho. although they are carried along. but in reality more. XXI. but for pass from one place the to another. That That when it is new. differ That in words Tycho ascribes less. XXIII.27'2 Principles of Philosophy XI. nor do any planets. consists of all that it does not a material which is very mobile. That the fixed stars remain always in the same position relatively to one another. does not move. The earth. XVI. XVII. XVIII. is illuminated by the earth. contain. That I deny the movement of the earth more than Copernicus. and the earth in the number of the planets. XIX.

Part III XXIX. R. XXXII. That all it can hardly be otherwise than that the causes clearly deduced are true. Of the That longitudinal motion. XXXVIII. XLI. H. on account of the greatness of of the fixed stars is requisite for the motion of the comets as they now appear in our heavens. XXXVI. the XXXIII. begin with. fixed stars. Acco?'ding to the hypothesis of Tycho is it ought to be said that the earth moved round also is its own centre. XXX. All the planets are carried round the sun by the heaven containing them. XXXIX. XXXI. XL VI. all phenomena can be explained very easily by this hypothesis. but not necessary to consider them as a whole to XLIII. Of the aberrations of the planets latitudinally. XXXVII. How the earth moon round the earth. All things that are seen in it is the earth may be counted as plienomena. phenomena. shall also here XLV. appear That I assume some propositions which to be false. forth are That I yet merely desire to assert that those which I set to be regarded as hypotheses. even . and XXXIV. And it moved annually round the sun. from which phenomena are XLIV. The propositions which I here assume as explaining all 18 . How also are the spots on the sun. XL. in speaking improperly and according vulgar usage but we may correctly say that other planets are moved. also revolves round its own centre. The movement of the heavens is not perfectly circular. How the planets are carried along. That this distance XLII. That no cJmnge of position in to the the earth affects a change of aspect in regard their distance. XXXV. That movement must not be attributed to 273 to the earth.

LXIV. How all particles of celestial matter become spherical. How How the bodies that move in a circle attempt to recede from the centre round which they move. light What bodies. the fixed stars are formed. LIII. That this tendency serves to explain all the properties of be seen so that light stars. LII. even may from this to cause as though coming Jrom though there ivas no force the poles produce it in these stars. LI. LXIII.274 Principles of Philosophy of these propositions does not prevent be deduced from them from being true and certain. LVI. How What the sun and is. It is for the same reason that the celestial matter tends to recede from all points of the circumference of each star or sun. LIX. That of each vortex oj the heavens touch the parts of other vwtices remote from their poles. light. LXI. LXV. That this striving is found in the this is the cause material of the heavens. inanimate LVII. LV. That there are three elements of this That thrte heavens can visible world. That around these more subtle matter. spherical particles there must be another That the particles of this more subtle matter can be divided very easily. LX. same time. also be distinguished in LIV. it. . great is the force oj this attempt. round. L. ought to be said of the striving after motion by How the in the same body tendencies towards different motion can exist at LVIII. XLIX. That of the sun and fixed stars being LXII. That the globules of this celestial matter do not mutually impede one another in this tendency. That these same particles are moved very quickly. XLVIL what may That the falsity XLVIII.

from the poles the of each vortex towards the and from the centime toward LXX. on the motion of one small body. How the light its of the sun tends towards the poles. 275 be That in such must a way that they work in harmony. round. other parts. LXXII. How How towards the ecliptic. Why those farthest less away are moved more quickly than those somewhat far off. easily. deflected. That these inequalities do not prevent its figure being LXXVI. LXIX. it diffuses itself itself not only towards LXXVIII. LXXIV. LXXIII. force is Whether equal at the poles and at the LXXXII. matter. That the poles of two vortices cannot touch one another. the these vortices movement of somewhat LXVII. beyond which all are of equal magnitude and for that reason are moved more quickly as they are farther from are smaller the sun. LXXVII. 18—2 . That That these vortices are of unequal magnitudes. first element while it moves betiveen the globules How the ecliptic. That the same thing cannot be understood regarding the matter of the second element. others as far remote as possible from it are moved. but also the light of the sun diffuses towards the poles. LXXX. LXXXI II.Part III LXVI. LXXI. Of the movements oj the of the second. LXVIII. LXXIX. LXXXI. That there are various inequalities in the position oj the body of the sun. the matter of the first element flows centre. That there are various inequalities in the motion of its LXXV. That the globules of the second element near the sun and are moved moi~e quickly than those more remote up to a certain distance. ecliptic. W/iat is tlie reason of this difference? is How the matter which composes the sun moved.

Among and among the smallest of all there are various ones of different magnitudes in the case of the first element. 'faculas' Latin.276 Principles of Philosophy LXXXIV. are moved in Whence it is that the globules of the second element different ways at once. That these particles coming from opposite poles are twisted contrariwise. LXXXVII. henceforward be called striated particles ? XCL XCII. That there are only three stripes these striated particles 1 in them. one to another. XCVIII. from which it follows that they are made clearly spherical. borne What is the form of those minute particles which will XC. LXXXVIII. . How from From this these particles spots are generated on the surface of the sun or the stars. from That such minute particles adhering to one another is are chiefly found in that matter of the first element which the poles to the centres of the vo?*tices. learned: the special properties of the spots may be XCVI. How rainbow appear. those same nearest to the sun are smaller than more remote. LXXXVI. That these minute particles of it that have the smallest velocity easily transfer what they have to others. and adhere LXXXIX. in the extremities of certain ones the colours of the How the 2 spots are turned into faculae or contrariwise. XCIII. XCIX. Why these spots are dissolved and new ones generated. 'flames' French version. XCIV. That there are various degrees of speed amongst the various particles of the first element. XCV. 'strias' Latin. 1 Into what kind of particles spots are dissokk 2 d. sun are borne along more quickly than those slightly further the LXXXV. Why Why also those nearest to the off. XCVII.

CXIV. CI I. CXII. the How the same spot can cover some one whole star. passages. some fixed stars disappear or suddenly appear without warning. CI. 277 is How from That the these the ether round the sun and stars generated. . That the same star can alternately appear and disappear. How these many spots are generated. there are many passages in the spots through which the striated particles easily pass.Part III C. Description of a star slowly disappearing. it can be destroyed before many spots have gathered How there can be very many spots around a star before vortex is destroyed. or striated particles cannot come back through them. CXIII. That the light of a star can hardly pass through a Description of a star unexpectedly appearing. CXVI. That other passages also intersect these crosswise. That sometimes a star is. CIV. can be destroyed. in whose centre CXV. CIII. Why How also those which come from one pole do not pass through the same passages as those which come from another. production and dissolution of spots depend on very uncertain causes. spot. CV. CXI. the whole vortex. of these passages. And that this ether and tliese spots are referred to the third element. CX. the matter of the first element flows through those CIX. its How star. CXVIII. around its CXVII. What the disposition why the CVII. and why apparent magnitudes of certain stars change. Why Why That the sun sometimes appears moi~e obscure. CVIII. That in all spots many of these passages are excavated by striated particles. is CVI.

Why comets are not seen by us when they are outside our heaven. Explanation of these phenomena. Of the beginning of the motion of comets. certain refraction from which this tail depends. and That solidity does not depend on the material alone. star. chevrons de feu. Latin . CXXV. or into CXX. the tail of a comet does not always appear in a direction directly opposite the sun. CXXXI. CXXXV. stars are seen in their true position. CXXVI. CXXIX.278 Principles of Philosophy CXIX a planet. Of the continuation of the motion of a comet through different vortices. and ashes white. CXXXIII. and incidentally why coals are black. CXXXIV. Whether fixed and what the firmament is. whole star. also on its solidity of bodies. How the celestial globules can be mwe solid than some CXXIV. How the light of a fixed star reaches as far as t/ie earth. be fixed. French. Explanation of the appearance of the tail. 1 Why trabes. CXXVIL CXXVIII. How How also they can be less solid. CXXIII. CXXXVII. How rays x also appear. Whither such a star is moved when it first ceases to CXXL' What we are to understand by what by their disturbance. but magnitude and form. CXXII. nor always directly towards it. PJienomena of comets. CXXX. CXXXVIII. . Of the Of a tail of a comet and vai'ious of its phenomena. some are more solid than any and some less. Explanation of this refraction. How a fixed star is changed into a comet. CXXXII. CXXX VI.

is Why Why very nearly the same face of the moon always turned towards the earth. . duration depends. CLII. all inequalities CLVII. Why moon moves faster than the earth. its CXLL CXLII. The ultimate and most general cause of which are found in the motion of mundane bodies. Of the first origin of all the planets. than others. and why its diverges less and heaven not round. CXLIII. CXLIX. CL. OS the beginning of the motion of a planet. The causes on which Second. . CLIII. CLIV.Part III CXXXIX. CLVL Why they gradually approach one to another. regular motion in conjunction than in is from quadrature. its the moon advances quicker. others. CLI. CXLV. Why the earth turns on its the own axis. Why distant from one the poles of the equator and the ecliptic are greatly another. or not at all. Why and certain planets are more remote from the sun that this does not depend on their magnitude alone. 279 Why such comets' tails do not appear round fixed stars or planets. Why the secondary planets which are round Jupiter move so quickly and those which are round Saturn move so slowly. Why those nearer to the sun move quicker than the and yet their spots move slowest. CLV. Fourth. Why the moon revolves round the earth. CXL VII. Fifth. CXLVI II. CXLIV. CXL. Third. First. CXLVI.

but less solid and less agitated than they. VI. That various left interstices of matter of the first and second element have been around them. Description of the third. V. VII. III. That they have had narrower passages between them. always below the thinner. . Description of the second. [The titles only are given of the I. That they are greater than the globules of the second element. first CLXXXVII propositions. That the particles of the third element which are in this third region ought to be somewhat large. the globules That XII. the beginning they have lain upon one another round X. VIII. The division of the earth into three regions and the descrip- tion of the first. IX. That the thicker were not XIII. explain the true nature of things. XI. What is the generation of the earth according to that hypothesis. OF THE EARTH. the nearer they were to the centre of the earth. of the second element were originally the smaller. That from the earth.PART IV. IV. That these can be changed by the first and second element.] Principle That a false hypothesis which we have already to used should be retained II.

continues the fourth. earth. Of the actions by whose agency these bodies were produced. How all parts of the earth are drawn downwards by that heavenly matter. and thus become heavy. is XXIV. to the XXV. if they are considered singly. what it is. are not heavy. how it moves the particles of the air. Why it Why the highest region of the earth was first divided into two different bodies. is XX. XVI. In what the lightness of heavenly matter consists. Of the Of the second effect of this first action. and first of the general motion of the celestial globules. liquids. Why penetrates fwrth&r than light.Part XIV. XXI. IV 281 Of the first formation of various bodies in the third region of the earth. How much That this gravity there in each body. XVII. XXVI. XV. light. XXXII. That gravity depresses bodies towards the centre of the XXVIII. which is light . Why it is not in their natural places that bodies XXVII. to How the solid light. which is heat . Of the first effect of this first action which makes bodies transparent. XXIII. . rarefies almost all bodies. XXX. that one body separates from the others. That all parts of the earth. gravitate. and how it when light is taken it away. XXXI. but XXII. quantity does not answer quantity of matter in each body. viz. and hard body can have enough passages transmit rays of XVIII. XXIX. third effect which makes drops of liquids round. and purifies XIX. Of Of t/ie third action. Explanation of the second action which called gravity.

it is easily tinned into XLIX. XLII. XLVI. has broken into various parts. the formation of another fourth body above the XXXIX. and partly remained below. That there are only two species of these particles in the lowest it. XXXIV. to west. How the third body has partly ascended above the fourth. of the earth.282 Principles of Philosophy Distinction XXXIII. and some space between and the fourth. of the terrestrial particles into three principal genera. Of the flow and the ebb of the sea. several others. third. has left How this third body has not been diminished it in mass. plains. LI. Of its Of now violent compression in certain machines. XL VIII. How a third body has been made between the two first. Why it is easily rarefied and compressed. LIII. That only particles of one sort are contained in that XXXVI. of the third. XXXVII. have arisen on XLV. XLIII. How many fissures How it were made in the fourth. seas. the tides are greater when the moon is full or new. XXXV. XLVII. XLIV. and why ice. <kc. How Of Of part of body C 1 has been divided into XXXVIII. Why Why water ascends for 6^ hours and descends for 6i hours. XLI. Why they are greatest at equinoxes. LI I. the surface Hence that mountains. the accretion of this fourth body and purification XL. the nature of water. What is the nature of air. Why air and water always 1 flow from east here. now into air. L. Diagram is shown . body.

LXII. vapours. into it. and how minium made. and acids from which are formed shoe- makers' blacking alum &c. Of the Of action of this heat. Why the sea is not increased by the fact that rivers flow LXVI. Of the exterior of the earth. LXV. it Why flow or ebb in lakes or swamps. sulphur &c. LVII. various kinds of stones and other sorts of minerals are produced. 1 towards the south and Made from vitriol. How from their various mixtures. nor does the sea become sweet. IV others. Of nitre and Of other salts different from sea salt. the earth. Why in certain wells the water is salt. LIX. LXVIL LXVIII. especially found in the roots of mountains LXXIV. LXXIII. 283 Why in the same latitude regions which have the sea to the east are more temperate than there is no LV. LXIIL into mines. LXX. How metals are brought is from the interior of the earth to the exterior. LVI. sour juices 1 . Why metals are not found in all parts of the earth. Of the principles of the chemists. spirits and exhalations ascending from the interior of the earth to the exterior. LXIX. Why they are east. LVIII. interior of LX. LXXI. and of the origin of springs. . Why springs are not salt. also salt is Why dug out of certain mountains. Of the Of nature of quicksilver. the nature of the interior of the earth. How Of the particulars of this cause should be investigated in individual shores. Of the oleaginous matter of bitumen. the inequality of the heat pervading the. and how metals ascend LXIV. LXXII.Part LIV. LXI. or why occurs on different shores at different hours.

Of sulphur. How fire Why conserved in its flame is pointed and smoke comes out of it. clay. and it is first excited. in Why fire quake. LXXVI. How Of the air and other bodies nourish the flame. How How How conserved.284 Principles of Philosophy That all mines are in the exterior of the earth and the interior can never be reached by digging. the collection How from How of the suns rays. XCV. breaks from certain mountains. is CI. Of those What bodies which extinguish fire. LXXXIV. . LXXXIX. motion of air toirards the fire. XC. an earth- LXXX. LXXXII. LXXV. Why there are usually several concussions and thus it lasts through several hours or days. LXXIX. LXXXI 1 1. as in hay XCIII. C. In lightning and in shooting In bodies which shine and do not burn. stars. How from dry woods. and similar XCIL shut up. struck out offlints. LXXVII. bitumen. in putrid woods. XCVII. How a candle is turns. by the mixture of different bodies. required in order that a body may be fit for nourishing fire. LXXXI. things. In lime sprinkled with water. LXXVIII. XCVI. XCVIII. How fire is lighted in cavities of the earth. LXXXVIL LXXXVIII. it is it its diversity from air. and other cases. stars. How from a single very violent movement. How an earthquake occurs. as in falling In drops of sea water. Why needs aliment. it is LXXXV. XCIX. XCIV. it. In things which grow hot and do not shine. LXXXVI. XCI. Of the nature of fire. and oil.

the degree of fire is altered. Why certain bodies may take fire. Of nitre. CXVIII. and charcoal. and first CX. CVII. How its particles are joined together. water with the greatest the force difficulty. CIX. CXXI. CXIX. Of the grains of this powder in which its special force CXVI. Of gunpowder made from of sulphur. Why of great fires increased by ivater or salt thrown on them. how made. CXI. insipid. Of the combination of sulphur and nitre. CXXV. bodies dry up and become hard. is Why it is liquid when it Why when it is white-hot and easily assumes CXXVI I. others not. Of lime. its effect is CXXIII. consists. Why fire remains for some time in red hot sulphur. Of charcoal. Of sublimates and That when CXXIL altered. cold it is very hard. the is flame of this powder especially acts towards objects above. CIII. CVI II. Of lanterns burning for a very long time. it is CXXIV. CXV. CXII. Why greatly dilated. Why of wine burns most CIV. IV 285 Why Why the flame from spirits spii'its of wine does not burn the wick. CXVII. and acid. What sort of bodies are those which are easily burned. CXIII. is CV. and CXI V. Of glass. Of waters burning. .Part CII. nitre. Of the other effects of fire. all shapes. bodies brought near it What What melt and boil. CVI. CXXVI. CXX. Of the motion of the particles of nitre. easily. coals. oils.

Why its brittleness diminishes Wiry it is if it is cooled slowly. That they go more easily through a magnet than through other bodies of the exterior of the earth. and in general why rigid bodies. That there are no passages in air or in water fit for receiving striated particles. CXLI. CXXXIII. CXLV. CXXX VII. CXLVI. What steel. How these passages are made fit to admit 1 striated particles coming from either direction. CXLIV. CXXXI. except in CXXXVI. is the and What difference between steel and other iron. Enumeration of the properties of magnetic virtue. melting. magnet 2 are. How steel is is the tempered. CXXX. Why there are these passages in iron. and iron. What 1 the poles of a ramentis. CXLII. is the CXXXIX. How striated particles flow through the passages of the CXLVII. difference between the passages of a magnet. the exterior of the earth. transparent. rigid. What steel' nature of a magnet. Why it is rigid like a bow. air. CXLI II. CXXIX. Repetition of those things said before which are required for its explanation. earth. CXLVIII. Why they are also in single filings of it.286 Principles of Philosophy CXXVIII. CXXXV. How it becomes coloured. Why steel is very hard. when they are bent. CXLIX. CXXXI V. That there are also none in any bodies of iron. sort of iron is How and any made by brittle. Why very brittle. That they flow with greater difficulty through water and the exterior of the earth than through the interior. CXL. of their own accord return to their former shape. CXXXII. chalybs. . CXXXVIII. Of the magnet.

CLXIX. CLI. CLXVIL CLXVIII. along Why an Why its oblong piece of iron does not receive except its length. itself towards another magnet in CLIII. . the Why magnetic force is weaker in the earth than in small magnets. CLXI. it more is communicated to by a more perfect magnet than by a less perfect. although it CLXII. the sphere same ivay as towards Why two magnets approach one another. which before being cut were joined. IV 287 Why these poles turn towards the earth's poles. Why even sometimes this declination alters ivith time. this its force. but decline from them variously. CLVIII. the Why two points which formerly were contiguous in CLVI. Why one magnet turns and inclines the earth. Why the also they slope at a certain angle towards its centre. Why Why they sometimes retreat from one another. accurately Why Why needles touched by a magnet always have the poles of their virtue in their extremities. fixed in by length of CLXI II. Why even the earth itself gives magnetic force to iron. brought near iron according to the various ways in which it is to the magnet receives the force in different ways. communicates a magnet loses nothing of power to iron. near it. CLV. it CLX. but is Why it force is communicated very quickly time.Part CL. to iron. also retreat from one another. and what is of activity of each. poles of magnetic virtue do not ahvays point to the poles of the earth. CLXV. CLIV. CLII. parts of the segments of a magnet. CLVII. Why Why steel is fitter to receive it than baser iron. CLXVI. CLXIV. Why Why Why there is the same force in each part of a magnet and in the whole. a magnet communicates its force to iron brought CLIX. same magnet are poles of a different virtue.

CLXXXVII. CLXXXI. it can be smaller than when poles are equidistant from the earth. although contrary. the spinning oj a wheel of iron hung. CLXXX. Why rust. diminishes Why the interposition t/ie of no other body hinders this. hinders its Why an iron plate joined to the pole of the magnet force of attracting or turning iron. CLXXVIL near to it Why Why Of a weak magnet or iron can drag away iron from a stronger magnet. resin and CLXXXV. help each other to CLXXIV. also diminish Of the force of attraction in amber. magnet is stronger than the north. a magnet. CLXXXII. cannot attract iron from a weaker magnet. the things which CLXXIX. however strong. scattered can be observed in won filings round a magnet. wax. From what has been said we see what may be the causes of all other remarkable results which arc usually referred to . in these northern regions the south pole of the CLXXVI II. similar things. iron. and a strong fire entirely removes them. CLXXXVI. not near to it How and why Why the force of one magnet increases or diminishes the force of another. What is the cause of this attraction in glass. Why Why its poles. sustain iron. them. Why a magnet attracts Why an armed magnet sustains much more iron than CLXXIII. CLXXXI V.288 Principles of Philosophy CLXX. Why in its a magnet set up upon one of its poles. is The same cause of this seen in the other bodies also. CLXXII. dampness and situation CLXXXIII. occult qualities. is not hindered by the force of a magnet from which it is CLXXV. CLXXI. Why unsuitable position of a magnet gradually its strength. a naked one. CLXXVI.

Part

IV

289

Principle CLXXXVIII.

Of what
man
I

is

to be

in order to

borrowed from disquisitions on animals and advance the knowledge of material things.

should add no more to this Fourth Part of the Principles of
I (as
I

Philosophy, did
other sections,

had formerly

in

my

mind) purpose writing

viz.

a Fifth
is

living things, that

of animals

and a Sixth Part, the fifth treating of and plants, and the sixth of man.

But because I am not yet quite clear about all of the matters of which I should like to treat in these two last parts, and do not

know whether I am likely to have make the experiments necessary]
add a
earlier
little

sufficient leisure [or

be able to

to complete them, I shall here
in order

about the objects of the senses

not to delay the

part too long to prevent [their lacking completeness or]
I

anything being amissing which

should have reserved for the
all

latter.

For up to

this point I
it

have described the earth, and

the visible

world, as if

were simply a machine in which there was nothing to

consider but [the] figure and

movements

[of its parts],

and yet our

senses cause other things to be presented to us, such as colours,
smells, sounds,
it

and other such
I

things, of which, if

I

did not speak,

might be thought that

had omitted the main part of the

explanation of the objects of nature.

Principle

CLXXX1X.
operates.

What

sensation

1

is,

and how

it

We
and

must know,
there that
;

therefore,
it

that although
its

the

mind

of

man

informs- the whole body,
it is

yet has

principal seat in the brain,

it

not only understands and imagines, but also

by means of the nerves which are extended like filaments from the brain to all the other members, with which they are so connected that we can hardly touch any part of the human
perceives

and

this

body without causing the extremities of some of the nerves spread over it to be moved and this motion passes to the other extremities of those nerves which are collected in the brain round the seat of the soul, as I have just explained quite fully enough in the fourth But the movements which are thus chapter of the Dioptrics. excited in the brain by the nerves, affect in diverse ways the soul
;

or mind, which
to

is

intimately connected with the brain, according
of

the diversity
1

the motions
2

themselves.

And

the

diverse

seusus.

is

united with,' French version.

R. H.

19

290

Principles of Philosophy

affections of our mind, or thoughts that immediately arise from
1 these motions, are called perceptions of the senses
,

or, in

common

language, sensations

2
.

Principle CXC. The different kinds of sensation; and firstly of the internal, that is, of the passions or affections* of the mind and of the natural appetites.

The

diversities of these sensations

depend

firstly

on the diversity

in the nerves themselves, and then on the diversities of the motions

which occur in the individual nerves.

We

have
;

not, however, so

many

individual senses as individual nerves

it is

enough merely
to

to distinguish seven chief different kinds,

two of which belong

internal senses,

and

five to the external.

The nerves which extend
and the other
interior parts

to the stomach, oesophagus, the fauces,

that serve for the satisfaction of our natural wants, constitute one
of our internal senses, which
is

called the natural appetite 4

.

The
all

minute nerves, which extend to the heart and the neighbourhood of
the heart, operate in the other internal sense which embraces
the emotions
5

of the

mind or

passions,

and

affections such as joy,

sadness, love, hate and the

like.

For, to take an example,
it

when

the blood

is

pure and well-tempered, so that

dilates in the heart

more readily and strongly than
the
little

usual, this so enlarges
orifices,

and moves
is

nerves scattered around the

that there
affects the

thence a

corresponding

movement
in the

in the brain

which
;

a certain natural sense of cheerfulness
nerves are

and as often as

mind with these same

same way, even although it be from other 6 Thus the imagination causes, they excite in us this same feeling of the fruition of some good does not contain in itself the sensation
.

moved

of joy, but it causes the animal spirits to pass from the brain to the

muscles in which these nerves are inserted
orifices of

;

and thus

dilating the

the heart,

it

causes these small nerves to

move
joy.

in the

manner which necessarily produces the sensation of when we are given news the mind first judges of it, and
it

Thus,

if it is

good

rejoices with that intellectual joy which is independent of any emotion 7 of the body, and which the Stoics did not deny to their

wise

man

[although they wished to regard him as free from

all

passion].
1

But as soon as

this
-

spiritual joy proceeds
sensus.
H 3

[from the

4 7

sensuuin perceptiones. appetitus naturalis.

affectibus.

5

comniotiones.

sensus, sentiment de joye.

commotio.

Part

IV

201

understanding] to the imagination, the spirits flow from the brain to the muscles about the heart and these excite a movement in the
small nerves by which another motion
is

excited in the brain which
.

gives the soul the sensation of animal joy 1

In the same

way when
same

the blood
heart,

is
is

so thick that

it

flows badly into the ventricles of the
it

and
a

not there sufficiently dilated,
quite
different

excites in the

nerves

movement
it

from the preceding,

which,

communicated
mind, although
sadness.

to the brain, gives a sensation of sadness to the

And

perhaps ignorant of the cause of the the other causes [which move these little nerves in
is

itself

the same way]

same sensation to the soul. But the other movements of the same small nerves produce other
likewise give the
affections,

may

such as those of love, hate,

fear, anger,

&c. in as far as
is,

they are merely affections or passions of the mind, that
as they are confused thoughts which the
itself alone,
its

in as far

mind does not have from
is

but because

it is

intimately united to the body, receiving

impressions therefrom.

For there

the greatest difference

between these passions and the distinct thoughts which we have of what ought to be loved, chosen, or shunned [although they are
often found together].

The natural

appetites such as hunger, thirst,

&c, are

likewise sensations excited in the

mind by means
all

of the

nerves of the stomach, fauces, &c. and are entirely different from

the will which we have to eat, drink, &c. [and to do

that

we

think proper for the conservation of the body]
will or appetition nearly

;

but because this

always accompanies them, they are called

appetites.

Principle CXCI.

Of the

external senses

and first of all of the
senses,

sense of touch.
five,

As regards the

external

everyone acknowledges
the same

because there are five different kinds of objects that stimulate the
nerves which are their organs, and because there
is

number

of kinds of confused thoughts excited in the soul by these motions
in the nerves.

In the

first

place there are nerves terminating in

the skin

all

over the body.

The skin

serves as a

medium by which

the nerves can come in contact with any material body whatever, and be moved by these wholes, in one way by their hardness, in another by their gravity, in another by their heat, in another by their humidity &c. and these nerves excite as many different
;

1

laetitia animalis.

19—2

292
Sensations in the

Principles of Philosophy

mind

as there are different
is

modes by which they

are moved, or their ordinary motion

prevented, and from this

a corresponding number of tactile qualities derive their names. Besides this, when these nerves are moved a little more vehemently

than usual, and yet in such a way that our body injured, this causes a sense of gratification which
agreeable to the mind, inasmuch as
of the
it

is

in nowise

is

naturally

gives evidence of the powers

body to which it is closely joined. But if this action [be strong enough to] cause our body to be in some way hurt, that gives And in this way we see why corporeal us the sensation of pain.
pleasure and pain, though absolutely contrary sensations, are almost
similar in the objects causing them.

Principle CXCII.

Of

Taste.

In the next place the other nerves spread over the tongue

and

the neighbouring parts, are diversely

moved by the

particles of the

bodies which are separated from one another and float in the saliva
in the

mouth, and thus cause the diverse tastes to be

felt

according

to the diversity of their

own

figures.

Principle CXCIII.

Of

Smell.

In the third place two nerves or appendages to the brain, for they do not go beyond the skull, are moved by the corporeal
particles separated

and flying in the air not indeed by any particles whatsoever, but only by those which, when drawn into the nostrils, are subtle and lively enough to enter the pores of the bones we call And from the diverse the spongy, and thus to reach the nerves.
motions of these particles, the diverse sensations of smell
arise.

Principle CXCIV.

Of Hearing.
Fourthly, two other nerves hidden in the inward cavities of the
ears receive the tremors
air, for

the air

and vibrations of the whole circumjacent agitating the small membranes of the tympanum at

same time disturbs a chain of little bones which are attached, and to which these nerves adhere, and from the diversity of these movements the sensations of different sounds arise.
the

Part

IV

29.3

Principle CXCV.

Of

Sight.

Finally the

extremities

of

the

optic

nerves,

composing the
air,

covering of the eyes called the retina, are not

moved by the

nor by any other material object, but only by the globules of the

second element, from which we derive the sense of light and
colours,

as I have already sufficiently explained in

the Dioptrics

and Meteors.
Principle CXCVI.

That
brain.
It is

the soul does not perceive excepting in as

far as

it is

in the

however

easily

proved that the soul
in the brain,

feels

those things that
of the body,

affect the

body not

in so far as it is in each
it is it

member

but only in so far as

where the nerves by their

movements convey
For, in the first

to

the diverse actions of the external objects
[in

which touch the parts of the body

which they are inserted]. place, there are many maladies which, though they

affect the brain alone, yet either disorder or altogether take

away

from us the use of our senses

;

just like sleep itself which affects the

brain alone, and yet every day takes from us during a great part of

our time the faculty of perception, which
us on awakening.
be healthy [as well as the

is

afterwards restored to

Secondly, from the fact that though the brain

members
if

in

which the organs of the

external senses are to be found],

the paths by which the nerves

pass from
sensation

the
is lost

external

parts to the brain are obstructed, that

in these external parts of the body.

And

finally

we sometimes feel pain as though it were in certain of our members, and yet its cause is not in these members where it is felt, but in
others through which the nerves pass that extend to the brain from

where the pain is felt. And this I could prove by innumerable experiments When here, however, one will suffice. a girl suffering from a serious affection of the hand was visited by
the parts
;

the surgeon, her eyes were usually bandaged lest seeing the dressing-

should have a bad effect upon her.
in,

After some days, as gangrene set

her arm had to be cut off from the elbow and several linen cloths

tied together were substituted in place of the

amputated limb,
;

in

such a way that she was quite ignorant of what had been done
while,

mean-

however, she had various pains,

sometimes in one of the

294
fingers of the

Principles of Philosophy

hand which was cut off, and sometimes in another. This could clearly only happen because the nerves which previously had been carried all the way from the brain to the hand, and afterwards terminated in the arm near the elbow, were there affected in the same way as it was their function to be stimulated for the purpose of impressing on the mind residing in the brain the sensation of pain in this and that finger. [And this shows clearly that pain in the hand is not felt by the mind inasmuch as it is in the hand, but
as
it is

in the brain.]

Principle CXCVII.

That mind is of such a nature that from the motion of ahmc the various sensations can be excited in it.
It

the

body

may,

in the

next place, be [easily] proved that our mind

is

of

such a nature that the motions which are in the body are alone
sufficient to cause it to

have

all sorts

of thoughts, which do not give
;

us any image of any of the motions which give rise to them
specially that there

and

may

be excited in
.

it

those confused thoughts
of all]

called feelings or sensations 1

For

[first

we observe that

words, whether
in

uttered by the voice
sorts of thoughts
ink,

or

merely written, excite

our minds

all

paper, with the

same pen and

ever so

little

over the paper in

and emotions. On the same by moving the point of the pen a certain way, we can trace letters
battles,

which bring to the minds of our readers thoughts of
tempests or
while
if

furies,

and the emotions of indignation and sadness

the pen be

moved

in another way, hardly different, thoughts
viz.

may

be given of quite a different kind,

those of quietude, peace,

pleasantness,

and the quite opposite passions of love and joy. perhaps reply that writing and speech do not immediately excite any passions in the mind, or imaginations of things different from the letters and sounds, but simply so to speak various acts of the understanding and from these the mind, making them

Someone

will

j

the occasion
things.

2
,

then forms for
shall

itself

the imaginations of a variety of

But what
?

and pleasurable

If

we say of the sensations of what is painful a sword moved towards our body cuts it,
is

from this alone pain results which

certainly not less different

from the local movement of the sword or of the part of the body
1

-

sensus, sive sensationes. understanding the meaning of these words.'
'

French version.

Part
which
is

IV
taste.
is

295

cut,

than are colour or sound or smell or

And
easily

therefore, as

we

see clearly that the sensation

of pain

excited in us from the fact alone that certain parts of our body are
locally disturbed

by the contact with certain other bodies, we may
is

conclude that our mind

of such a nature that certain local
all

motions can excite in
senses.

it all

the affections belonging to

the other

Principle CXCVIII.

That

there is nothing

known of external

objects

by the senses but

their figure,

magnitude or motion.
this,

Besides

we observe

in the nerves

no difference which may

cause us to judge that some convey to the brain from the organs of
the external sense any one thing rather than another, nor again
that anything
is

conveyed there excepting the

local

motion of the

nerves themselves.

And we
For

see that this local motion excites in us

not alone the sensations of pleasure or pain, but also the sensations
of sound and light.
if

we

receive a blow in the eye hard

enough
finger

to cause the vibration to reach the retina,
;

of sparks which are yet not outside our eye

on our ear to stop
shut up within

it,

we see myriads and when we place our we hear a murmuring sound whose
Finally

cause cannot be attributed to anything but the agitation of the air

which

is

it.

we can

likewise frequently

observe that heat and the other sensible qualities, inasmuch as they
are in objects, and also the forms of these bodies which are purely
material, such as e.g. the forms of
fire,

are produced in

them by the

motions of certain other bodies, and that these again also produce
other motions in other bodies.

And we

can very well conceive how*

the

movement

diversified

body can be caused by that of another, and by the size, figure, and situation of its parts, but we can
of one

in nowise understand

how

these same things

(viz.

size,

figure

and

motion) can produce something entirely different in nature from
themselves, such as are those substantial forms and real qualities which

many suppose to exist in bodies
in other bodies.

;

nor likewise can we understand

how

these forms or qualities possess the force adequate to cause motion

we know that our mind is of such a nature that the diverse motions of body suffice to produce in it all the diverse sensations that it has, and as we see by experience that some of the sensations are really caused by such motions, though we do not find anything but these movements to pass through the
But
since

296

Principles of Philosophy

organs of the external senses to the brain, we
in

may

conclude that we
like
light,

no way likewise apprehend that in external objects

colour, smell, taste, sound, heat, cold,

and the other

tactile qualities,

or

what we

call their substantial forms, there is

anything but the

various dispositions of these objects which have the power of moving

our nerves in various ways.

Principle CXCIX.

That

there is no
treatise.

phenomenon

in nature which has not been dealt

with in this

And
is

thus by a simple enumeration
in nature

it

may be deduced

that there

whose treatment has been omitted in For there is nothing that can be counted as a phenomenon of nature, excepting what we are able to perceive by the
this treatise. senses.

no phenomenon

And

with the exception of motion, magnitude and figure

[or the situation of the parts of each body],

which things

I

have

explained as they exist in every body, we perceive nothing outside
us by means of our senses, but light, colours, smells, tastes, sounds

and the

tactile qualities

;

and of

all

these

I

have just proved that
to us,

they are nothing more, as far as

is

known
is

than certain

dispositions of objects consisting of magnitude, figure,
[so well

and motion
the visible

have

I

demonstrated that there
it is

nothing in

all

world, in as far as
I

merely visible or sensible, but the things

have there explained].

Principle CC.

That there are no principles in this treatise which are not accepted by all men; and that this philosophy is not new, but is the most
ancient

and most common of
I

all.
it

But
I

likewise desire that

should be observed that although

have here tried to give an explanation of the whole nature of
I

material things,

have nevertheless made use of no principle which
all

has not been approved by Aristotle and by
of every time
;

the other philosophers
is

so that this philosophy, instead of being new,
all.

the

most ancient and common of
figure,

For
eacli

I

have only considered the

motion and magnitude of
follow from their

body, and examined what

must

mutual concourse according to the laws of

mechanics, confirmed as they are by certain and daily experience.

But no one ever doubted that bodies wore mixed and have diverse

Part
magnitudes and
figures,

IV

297

according to the diversity of which their
smaller,

motions also vary, and that from mutual collision those that are
larger are divided into

many

We

have experience of

this not alone

and thus change their figure. by one single sense, but by
;

several, e.g.

by touch, sight and hearing

we

also distinctly imagine

and understand this. This cannot be said of other things that come under our senses, such as colours, sounds, and the like, which are perceived not by means of several senses, but by single ones for their images are always confused in our minds, nor do we know what
;

they

are.

Principle CCI.

That certain
I

sensible bodies are

composed of insensible particles.
particles in each
will

consider that there are

many

body which

cannot be perceived by our senses, and this

perhaps not be

approved by those who take their senses as a measure of the things they can know. [But it seems to me to be doing great wrong to

human

reason
;

if

we do not consider that knowledge goes beyond
if

the seen]

for

no one can doubt that there are bodies so small that
only

they cannot be perceived by any of our senses,

we consider

what
little

is

being added each

moment

to those bodies which increase

by little, and what is removed from those which diminish in the same fashion. We day by day see a tree grow, and it is impossible to comprehend how it becomes larger than it was But before, unless by conceiving that some body is added to it. who has ever observed by means of the senses what are the
small bodies which are each day added to the plant that grows
?

Those at

least

who hold quantity

to be finitely divisible should
so

acknowledge that the particles
absolutely imperceptible.
at that

may become
indeed
it

small as

to be

And

should not be wondered

we are unable to perceive very minute bodies, for the nerves, which must be moved by objects in order to cause us to perceive,
are not very minute, but are like small cords which consist of a

and thus they cannot be moved by the minutest of bodies. Nor do I think that anyone who uses his reason will deny that we do much better to judge of what takes
quantity of yet smaller
fibres,

place in small bodies which their minuteness alone prevents us from
perceiving, by

what we
all

see occurring in those that
is

we do perceive
to

[and thus explain

that

in nature, as I

have tried

do in this

treatise], than, in order to explain certain given things, to invent all

or. of Democritus is not less different from ours than from the vulgar But Democritus also imagined that there were certain corpuscles that had various figures. if he explained cases.298 Principles of Philosophy have no relation to those that we perceive all sorts of novelties. to judge as to whether what I have written in philosophy possesses sufficient coherence in itself [and whether it is fertile enough in And inasmuch as because the considerayielding us conclusions. sizes and motions. from the heaping together and mutual concourse of which all sensible bodies took their origin and nevertheless his philosophy is by common consent universally To this I reply that it never was rejected by anyone rejected. .* French version. because in figures it he considered bodies smaller than those that can be senses. no one can doubt that there are in reality many such. and motions. in the second place it them. magnitude and motion has been admitted by Aristotle and all others. we are to judge of his opinions least from what has been preserved regarding his opinions. the existence of which in I deny is any body in so far as it is considered by itself. That the philosophy 1 . because this a quality depending on the relationship in respect of situation and motion which bodies bear to one another . any of which more difficult understand than all the things which we profess to explain by their means]. and the great array of qualities which it is many to are in the habit of assuming. because he attributed to them gravity. for perceived by the and attributed to them various sizes. that [such as are first matter. Principle CCII. which hypothesis I presupposed certain indivisible also completely reject. tion of figure. and it in finally because he had not explained in detail how all things arose from the concourse of the corpuscles alone. because corpuscles. it But this philosophy was rejected in the first place. his reasoning regard to certain [or such as was not in all cases by any means coherent was capable of proving to us that all nature can be If explained in the same way]. as well as by Democritus. and as I reject all that the 1 • from that of Aristotle and others. which was rejected because Democritus imagined a void about I demonstrate to be an impossibility in the third place . as has been already shown. substantial forms. . this at I leave it to others is the verdict we must give on his philosophy.

figures and situations of bodies insensible on account of their smallness alone. since I assign determinate figures. when I found like effects in the bodies perceived by our senses. To this I reply that I first considered generally the most simple and best understood principles implanted in our understanding by nature. almost always depend on certain organs minute enough to escape every sense. I judged that all the knowledge man can have of nature must be derived from this source alone. as if I 1 and examined the principal differences that could be found between the magnitudes. being confused and obscure. and what sensible effects could be produced by the various ways in which they impinge on one another. to the insensible particles of bodies.' .] Principle CCIII.Part latter has all IV I 299 reject practically supposed with this one exception. especially as no other mode of And for this end the example explaining them could be suggested. made of the requisite number of wheels. and the rules whereby these three things can be diversified by one another. since men necessarily make them. of certain bodies made by art was of service to me. excepting that the effects of machines depend for the most part on the operation of certain instruments. which rules The : first ' To are the principles of Geometry and Mechanics. someone will perhaps demand how I have come to my knowledge of them. for it is not natural for a clock. must always be large enough to be capable of being easily perceived by the senses. while it is that has been supposed by the others. to follows clause of this sentence is amplified in the French version as this I reply that I first considered generally all the most clear and distinct notions of material things to be found in our understanding. which. I considered that they might have been produced from a similar concourse of such bodies. How we may and motions of But arrive at a knowledge of the figures {magnitudes] the insensible particles of bodies. cannot serve to give us any acquaintanceship with anything outside ourselves. for I can see no difference between these and natural bodies. And it is certain that there are no rules in mechanics which do not hold good in physics. And finally. The effects of natural causes. magnitudes and motions had seen them. of which mechanics forms a part or species [so that all that less 1 is artificial is also natural] . and that finding none but those we possess of figures. whereas I admit that they do not fall under the senses. on the other hand. clear that this method of philosophising has no more affinity with that of Democritus than with any of the other particular sects. magnitudes and motions. but may on the other hand serve to impede it. because all the notions that we have of sensible things.

easily infer from these the manner in which others which they have not seen are made. for medicine and mechanics and in general all these arts to which the knowledge of physics subserves. to produce a particular fruit. so that by the operation of natural causes certain sensible effects are produced and one will be able to accomplish this quite as well by considering the succession of certain causes thus imagined. That touching the things which our senses do not perceive. we have no right to conclude on this account that they were produced by these causes.' French version. sufficient to it is explain what the possibilities are about the nature of their existence. when they know the use of a certain machine and see some of its parts. means he has chosen to employ]. since this succession is supposed to he similar BO far as sensible effects are concerned.300 Principles of Philosophy indicate the hours. or desired to do. have for their end only those effects which arc sensible. And it will be sufficient for the usages of life to know such causes. so from considering the sensible effects and parts of natural bodies. so doubtless there all is an infinity of different ways in which things that it we see could be formed by the great Artificer [without of these being possible for the mind of man to be aware of which admit . which though all they indicate the time equally well and are externally in similar. just as those who apply themselves to the consideration of automata. I have endeavoured to discover the nature of the imperceptible causes and insensible parts contained in them. than for a tree which has sprung from this or that seed. and which are accordingly to be reckoned among the phenomena of nature And lest it be supposed that Aristotle did. . in the beginning 1 'have for their end merely the application of certain sensible bodies to one another. as if they were true. it must be recollected that he 1 . . But here it may be said that although I have shown how all natural things can be formed. yet in nowise resemble one another in the composition of their wheels. Principle CCIV. This I most freely and I believe that I have done all that is required of me if I the causes have assigned are such that they correspond to all the phenomena manifested by nature [without inquiring whether it is by their means or by others that they are produced]. although false. though perhaps they are not what we describe them to be [and this is all that Aristotle has tried to do]. Accordingly. there For just as respects may be two clocks made by the same workman. expressly says in the first book of the Meteorologies. more than this.

fire. That such as nevertheless there it is a moral certainty that everything is has been shown to be. which certain 1 . that certainty may not injure the truth. we judge and more than morally. and the fabric of the whole world. he will not doubt that the true meaning of the writing is contained in these words. thus substituting it each letter the one following- and if he in this way finds that there are certain Latin words composed of these. some other. what is morally may be uncertain. we must first consider [two kinds of uncertainty and] . This 'of which we judge that it is impossible that the thing should be other than as we think it.] if. they will yet acknowledge that it could hardly happen that so much would be coherent if they were false. as he explains if he merely shows that they may be such them to be. takes it into his head to read B wherever he finds for A and C where he finds B. even to be absolutely. Again. I But nevertheless. for instance. and although it is possible that the in the alphabet. though he may discover this by conjecture. he considers that he supplies sufficient explanations and demonstrations of them. though certain we regard the absolute power of God. but on and thus concealed another meaning in it: for this is so unlikely to occur [especially when the cipher contains many words] But they who observe how many things that it seems incredible. are here deduced from a very small number of principles. [So those who have never visited Rome if its do not doubt that all being a city in Italy. regarding the magnet. .' French version.Part IV 301 of the seventh chapter. although they considered that I had taken up these principles at random and without good grounds. although it may it very well be those from whom they have heard about have deceived letter them. And 1 further there are some. of all what has moral that is. anyone wishing to read a written in Latin characters that are not placed in their proper order. that with regard to things not manifest to the senses. Principle CCVL That we possess even more than a moral certainty. a certainty which suffices for the conduct of life. writer did not arrange the letters in this order of succession. among natural things. Principle CCV.

and in the whole inter. and distinctly perceive anything . at I more general doctrines which present. all the others. and to the judgment of the more sage to believe anything I and I wish no one have written. Of is this nature are mathematical demonstrations 1 the knowledge that all clear it material things exist. recalling my insignificance. the faculty which He has given us of distinguishing truth from falsehood. § xlvi. 1 ' for we see clearly that five form less than it is impossible that two or three should together or that a square should not have four sides &c. . The End. be excited by them in our nerves and that such motion cannot be excited by the fixed stars. 2 The French version states that the fluidity of the heavens follows from this as explained in Part hi. reasoning that Amongst these truths seems to me that there should be counted those conclusions which have been arrived at in this treatise. if it be considered that they are derived in a first continual series from the and most simple principles of human knowledge.302 certainty is Principles of Philosophy founded on the metaphysical ground that as God is supremely good and cannot err. Nevertheless all church. vening heavens 2 least the for these facts being admitted. unless he is personally persuaded by the force and evidence of reason. cannot he fallacious so long as we use it aright. and the evidence of carried on about them. by it. these opinions to the authority of the Catholic . have advanced about the world and earth. that And this is specially so. my opinions are submitted to the authority of the At the same but submit all time. owing to their immense distance from us.' French version. I affirm nothing. if it be sufficiently understood we can perceive no external objects unless some local motion . Church. appear to be the only possible explanations of the phenomena they Principle CCVII. unless a motion be also produced in them.

THE SEARCH AFTER TRUTH .

PREFATORY NOTE TO 'THE SEARCH AFTER TRUTH. fortunate enough to discover. Adam and Tannery at the Royal Library of Hanover where it was likely to be found.' This unfinished Dialogue. We do not know whether Clerselier's copy was incomplete. A young student named translation appeared in an edition of 1701 published at ' ' Jules Sire was. and this was the copy discovered by Sire. end. S. . and he took Tschirnhaus who had what remained Tschirnhaus copied The Search after Truth of Descartes' papers. H. however. but it does not give more than half of the Latin version of 1701. and this is the edition here used. and this French text was sought for in vain by MM. and sent it to Leibniz. Leibniz was in Paris with Tschirnhaus. was intended to form two volumes written in French. 'I have the rest elsewhere. A Latin Amsterdam. the work is unknown. or ' Tschirnhaus' transcription of it. not Leibniz's original copy but another.' Leibniz himself added at the MM. Descartes' biographer Baillet tells us. to see Clerselier. Adam and Tannery thus published Tschirnhaus's copy of the original in French. Leibniz was known to have a Dialogue in French amongst the unpublished papers of Descartes. E. completing The date of it from the Latin.

The Search after Truth by means of the Light of Nature which alone. But he comes and as the knowledge of his earliest years rests only on the weakness of the senses and the authority of masters. alone. and he has it to direct that life in such a manner that the greater part of actions which his shall remain to him for the performance of good own reason ought to teach him. In this work I propose to show what these means are. H. and to bring to light the true riches of our souls. much There are many other things to do in life. and discovering all the means by which he may carry . and without borrowing from any. 20 . before his reason has the power of taking his conduct into its own hands in consequence he requires to have good natural endowments or else instruction from a wise man. and which penetrate into the secrets sciences. by opening to each one the road by which he can find in himself. A even be a defect in his education were he to have devoted too of his time to the study of letters. of the most curious oj the good man has no need to have read every book. and for building the first foundations of a solid knowledge. nor to have carefully learned all that which is taught in the Schools it would . the whole knowledge which is essential to him in the direction of his life. even supposing it that he were to receive his lessons from into the world in ignorance. R. both in order to rid himself of the false doctrines with which his mind is filled. and without the assistance of Religion or Philosophy. his knowledge to the highest point to which it can possibly attain./and then by his study succeed in acquiring the most curious forms of knowledge that the human reason is capable of possessing. he can scarcely avoid his imagination being filled with an infinite number of false ideas.THE SEARCH AFTER TRUTH BY THE LIGHT OF NATURE. determines what are the opinions which a good man should hold on all matters ivhich \ may occupy his thoughts.

That is what makes me hope that the reader will not be vexed by here finding an easier path. even although I do not borrow them from Plato or Aristotle. precipices. have even made it my business . It will suffice for me to note that even if all the knowledge which we can desire is to be found in books. than is due to a casual passer-by for having accidentally discovered under his feet a rich treasure which had for long successfully eluded the searches of many. that it is not essential to possess much art or address in order to discover them. But I do not desire to examine into what others have known or have been ignorant of. and more talent in discovering the useful than would be required in ascertaining it for ourselves. I warn you that undertake is not as difficult as might be imagined. abandoning the main route in favour of a cross-road. they are capable of being deduced from one another by sequences so necessary. That is what if I shall try to show you here by a system of reasoning so clear and yet so simple. as a matter of fact. that every one will be able to judge for himself that things. and that no more glory is due to me for having discovered them. more time would be requisite than human life can supply us with. nor fixed his thoughts . that which they contain of good is mingled with so many futilities. it is he has not observed the same solely because he has not cast his eyes in the right on the same considerations as I. but show that they have current value in the world. provided that by commencing with those that are most simple we learn gradually to raise ourselves to the most sublime. just as has money which is in nowise of less value when it proceeds from the purse of a peasant than I when it conies from the treasury. find themselves lost amongst briars and direction. and confusedly dispersed in such a mass of great volumes.306 But in The Search after Truth in order that the greatness of my scheme may not to begin with seize your minds with an astonishment so great that confidence my I what words can no longer find therein a place. And certainly I am surprised that amongst so many distinguished minds which in a matter of this description should have succeeded much better than 1. and that the facts which I shall advance will not be the less well received. none have had the patience to find their way out of their difficulties and that nearly all have followed in the footsteps of these travellers who. in order to read them. united by a bond so marvellous. that. Those branches of knowledge which do not extend beyond the capacities of the human mind are.

Eudoxus. wherein each one familiarly explains to his friends the best of his thoughts. Polyunder. that seems to me that if I I had studied as much as you. Polyander.The Search after Truth to 307 I make them equally useful to all men . two men the most distinguished and interesting of their time. so there are truths that known in every matter sufficient to satisfy fully the curiosity 20—2 . Epistemon. as angels are from you. consider that just as there are in each country sufficient fruits and rivers to appease the hunger and thirst of can be all men. while the other is well acquainted with all that can be learnt in the Schools. ordinary mental false ideas. And there (in the for midst of other discourse which each one can imagine as well himself. can believe that there is in nature it ? any evil so universal I no remedy to be applied to As for me. Epistemon. is assume that a man endowed with but whose judgment is not spoiled by any I and who in possession of his whole reason in all the purity of its nature. and Epistemon. had I not learned something from my this association with you. is an which cannot be cured. for curiosity increases with knowledge and as the deficiencies that are present in our soul only trouble us in so far as we recognise them. in that you do not see as we do. common to all men. which evil . that you who are so well is instructed. subject is The best thing that you could be taught on is that the desire for knowledge. that I should all my life have had my ignorance. Polyander. as the local conditions and particular sur- roundings from which in order to I shall frequently cause them to take examples make their conceptions more clear). I should be as different from what now am. Eudoxus. and have not been able to discover a style better adapted to this end than that of genuine conversation. Epistemon. And I cannot excuse the folly of my parents who. being persuaded that the study of letters would enfeeble the mind. gifts. they thus introduce the subject of which they will afterwards treat to the end of these two books. one of whom has studied not at all. sent me to the court and camps to bewail at so early an age. that many things are lacking to you. receives as his guests in the country house which he inhabits. And under the names Eudoxns. you have a certain advantage over us. that there Can it be. all I consider you are so fortunate in having discovered it these wonderful things in the Greek and Latin books.

removes from you the charge of vanity and the time you have hitherto consecrated to journeyings. and examining everything that is most difficult in each science. as are their fields which here surround the small piece of ground that I . perfect than that of others. but the retreat which you have chosen in thi^ solitude. does not it dream that there are others all to discover. if I tell you that I no longer feel any desire to learn anything at all. Eudoxus. enjoys the same repose that the king of an isolated others as to country would have were he so separated from imagine that beyond his frontiers there was nothing but unfertile and uninhabitable mountains. so that I may faith of my words. desires could not extend naturally to things that seemed to us impossible. . would you say of me. but I I thank you for the good opinion in which you hold do not desire to abuse your courtesy to the point of desiring that you should believe what I have just said. . it is true. or useless to us. If any other but you spoke to me thus. but life. Eudoxus. me. without at the same time being able to demonstrate certain effects from so doing that is why I beg you both to lie good enough to spend this delightful season here. solely on the must not advance opinions so far removed from vulgar beliefs.308 of healthy is The Search after Truth minds . I should regard him as one whose mind was either very vain or else too little given to curiosity. have. also very necessary in the conduct of ever that cannot believe that anyone knew enough of them not to have legitimate reasons always to desire to know more. and that but so it ought not to do so to those that are vicious things can be many known which appear I possible and which are not only good and agreeable. I Epistemon. and all this without my having any need of his philosophy \ For the knowledge of possess it my neighbours is not the limit of my own. . visiting learned men. and For my mind at its own will disposing of all the truths which conies across. and that I am as happy with my small knowledge as Diogenes used to be with his tub. and the small amount of pains that you take to become known. We . then. nothing but that I consider you very happy and that I am convinced that you must be in the possession of a knowledge much more deserts Epistemon. and I think that the body of a dropsical patient its not further removed from normal condition than the mind of heard in former times that our those who are perpetually worked upon by an insatiable curiosity. What. suffices I can hence say to assure us that you are not lacking in curiosity.

And have great pleasure in being present at myself capable of deriving any this discussion. not that I believe good from it. &c. but. some are deduced from common objects of which every one is cognisant. all for we should first of all have the in to examine . the herbs and to stones brought to us from Indies we should have have beheld the phoenix. more than that of the smallest state in Europe. For I I venture to flatter myself that not alone will you recognise that have some reason for being happy in this knowledge. believe me it will be you who will derive advantage from it. Eudoxus. such as languages. and others from rare and well thought out experiments. geography. and occupy his necessary. And I consider that such a one should consecrate his leisure to good and useful things alone. generally. I so I would not wish I shall to refuse a favour that already ardently desired of you. or to speak I everything that depends life on experience alone. but am also persuaded would be folly to desire that it should be so. But in order to make you more easily understand the nature of the knowledge of which I am going to treat. Polyander. in addition. much Epistemon. But I shall believe myself to have sufficiently fulfilled my promise if.The Search after Truth 300 have the opportunity of openly showing you some part of the things that I know. I make you capable of . whom we shall often find in opposition to us. history. On the contrary. and it will be easier for me to guide aright any one with an open mind than Epistemon. Polyander. and a word to be ignorant of none of the marvellous secrets of nature. confess likewise that it would be impossible for us to detail And treat I in each one of these last. and that it is no longer the duty of an ordinary well-disposed man to know Greek and Latin any more than it is to know the languages of Switzerland or Brittany or that the history of the Empire should be known any . am ready to grant that the a knowledge of that it of a man would not suffice to acquire I all that the world contains . memory only with those that are most As to those sciences which are nothing but the judgments which we base on some knowledge previously acquired. I beg you to observe a difference which exists between the sciences and those simple forms of knowledge which can be acquired without the aid of reasoning. in explaining to you the truths which may be deduced from common things known to each one of us. that you yourselves will have happiness from the things that you will have learned. because you are quite unprejudiced.

Polyander. the order that you will follow in your explanations. and in a word all the wonderful effects attributed to magic. propositions which I compare with those ancient families which under the ruins of antiquity. all Eudoxus. in shall try to satisfy you in regard to both . and it is here that Epistemon will will find occasion to set forth all the difficulties which remain to him from the preceding discourses. We they shall finally in consider all these things anew. the rational soul. rather than that we should await a : future life in order to be further instructed in them. had excellent reasons proving them but their arguments have been so rarely repeated since. their reward. As far as I am concerned I am a little more curious. Tell us. and after having considered its . and I would have been satisfied if yon had merely taught me a certain number of propositions which are so celebrated that no one can be ignorant of them. and I should like you to explain to me certain particular difficulties which suggest themselves to principally in me in each branch of knowledge. on little the underas possible. the virtues. are in relation and as may be termed true or good or evil . I unknown and.310 discovering all The Search after Truth the others when I it pleases yon to take the trouble to seek them. to talk with you of in things that the world contains. although the titles of their nobility are concealed For I do not really doubt that those who to believe in all these things of all induced the for human race . first every one recognises as the most illustrious. considering them themselves. not in order to make use of the knowledge. so far as they false. such as those that concern the Deity. Polyander. apparitions. then. Polyander. We must commence with the human soul because our knowledge depends on it. wish first of all. though under with us. Eiidoocus. that the dictates of prudence tell us that we should believe them blindly at the risk of being deceived. order to adopt an order which I we may make use of all to the end. and what concerns the secrets of the human arts. standing that Epistemon shall interrupt our talk as because his observations would often force us to leave our subject. For I believe it to be useful to know all that. but in order that one should not allow one's judgment to be beguiled into admiration of an thing. it is ~ For my part believe that this is likewise all that possible to desire. illusions. that no one knows them any longer and yet they are truths so important. Epistemon. another aspect. &c.

method whereby they may be carried on of ourselves. selecting in each that and we shall support a and find what those most subtle can discover. and observing the true difference between virtue and vice. Then we come to the second part of this discourse in which we shall treat in detail of all the sciences. and the reason why the soul of plants I shall and animals differs from ours. in what part of the soul to be found. Epistemon. visions the most specious. could not he carefully weighed all the same reasons. . I trust that your desire for knowledge will not be so violent. adopt an opinion different from ours. and of shall their state after the consummation of centuries. of the immortality of the creatures. place under your consideration the whole building up of sensible things. which our which resemble portraits of each object taken from . after having the diversity of shown you the cause of all its changes. and that all that will I shall have said to you will seem so well established that you come to believe that a man if with a healthy mind. The phenomena of the heavens. its qualities. and. and both to the Creator. I shall reveal to you secrets which are so simple that you in the will henceforward wonder at nothing I shall works of our hands. and tricks . in order to try to give an account of the relation sensible things bear to intellectual. had he been brought up in a desert and never received more than the light of nature to illumine him. I shall pass on to most sane conjectures regarding what man cannot determine positively.The Search after Truth nature and effects. we must also apply further. if All that seems to me to explain itself very clearly we compare the imagination of children to a tabula rasa on ideas. After having thus prepared our minds for judging perfectly of the truth. with a mind of ordinary ability. the most subtle that artifice can invent. After that reach the works of nature. and automata the most rare. ourselves to the direction of our wills in respect of distinguishing- good from evil. That being done. we shall observe what is most certain regarding other creatures and we shall inquire how our senses perceive things. Then I shall place before your eyes the works of man upon corporeal objects. 311 we shall reach its author and when we come to know who He is and how He has created all things in the world. and why it is so imperfect to begin with. and those certain conclusions which we may derive from them being observed. and how our reflections become false or true. In order to begin this discourse first we must inquire as to what it is is the knowledge man arrives at. and after having struck wonder into you by the sight of machines the most powerful. much which is most solid.

that . although there may no doubt be very perfect ones found amongst them. the fault not at least be laid on the weakness of the senses. and the proportions badly observed. or on the errors of nature. and to follow the example of its masters for long. easily employ it . to begin entirely over again rather than lose his time in correcting certain term of years it. first Your comparison places perfectly under our eyes the which obstacle stands in our way but you do not show the . they yet cannot force our minds to accept examined it. adapted to succeed in the imperfect senses. those who are it. that just as your artist would have it done much better. for the accomplishment of this end pertains to it alone. blind and foolish nurses. and common our natural instinct entirely corrupted and as to our masters. intelligence. There finally comes the best of all. who yet could not prevent great faults from remaining in because from the beginning the picture would have been badly conceived. In my opinion this is one of the principal causes of the difficulty we experience is in attaining to true is knowledge. The senses. That would be an excellent remedy if we could but you are not ignorant that the opinions first received by our imagination remain so deeply imprinted there. should depict themselves. And according to me it is this. so each one who has reached a known as the age of knowledge. are the first to mingle themselves with it. and amongst them. the figures badly placed. and yet it is still requisite for it to have an apprenticeship of several years. are the various painters power of executing least instinct. and finally be all required to add to from his own hand that was lacking. applying thereto all the if strength of his intelligence with such zeal that he does not bring them perfection. Eudoxus. before daring to rectify a single one of their errors. upon and seriously begin to new will ones. But it is like a clever painter who might have been called upon to put the last touches on a bad picture sketched out by prentice hands. this who have the work. Epistemon. then a trait there.e. our masters and our intelligence. coarse For our senses really perceive that alone which . should set his imagination all the inexact himself once for all to remove from to form ideas which have hitherto succeeded in engraving themselves it. the inclinations. and it. i. and who their reasoning before our understanding has would probably have to employ little all the rules of his art in correcting by little first a it trait here.312 The Search after Truth nature. after having effaced by drawing over it a sponge all the features of the picture. most . means of which we must avail ourselves if we wish to avoid it.

badly constructed edifice whose foundations are not solid. that we walk in a garden. just as a sick person thinks that all food is bitter when they are too far from the object this is also so. we are busy destroying and easy of knowledge. in order new one in amongst the number to raise a its stead. Eudoxus. and. Eudoxus. and prepare the best and most solid materials that are necessary in order to succeed in our task provided you are in any degree willing to examine with me which of all the truths men can know. I know no better remedy than absolutely to rase it to the ground. that the sun gives light. and that we have good reason r for always mistrusting those that have once betra3 ed Polyander. Since it is not sufficient for me to tell you that the in order to senses deceive us in certain cases where you perceive it. It is certain of these reasons that I hope to teach and if you wish to derive some fruit from this our intercourse. that all that my senses usually offer to me is true. Polyander. and do not prevent my being now perfectly persuaded that I see you. . of these insignificant who apply feel themselves only to the restoration of old works. and it seems to me surprising that men are credulous enough to base their knowledge on the certitude of the senses. are those that are most this edifice. could not arrive at effacing them. in a word. and it cannot but be bad. if it 313 did not employ the aid of certain strong reasons. however. But all their errors are easily known. . am well aware that the senses sometimes deceive when they are ill affected. Is there anyone who can doubt that sensible things (I mean thereby those that can be seen and touched) are much more certain than the others ? As for me I should be very much astonished if you would show me as clearly some of those things that are said of God and our soul. Polyander. just as when we look at the stars they never appear to us as large as they really are and in general when they do not act freely according to the constitution of their nature. Eudoxus. while We can. us I us. same time form the foundations which may serve our purpose. and allow me to converse a little with Polyander in order that I may begin by upsetting all the knowledge he has hitherto acquired. because they themselves incapable of achieving new. you must give me your whole attention. I may compare it to a you . when there is no one who is unaware certain that they frequently deceive us. For I do not wish to be placed artisans. That. is what I hope to do. And as it is not sufficient to satisfy him.The Search after Truth our will alone. at the . . however.

that the sun gives light. he I is contemplative enough to give as for me. and many have reason to fear that if lost their way in doing so It . things of the far as was going to apply myself to meditations which. if Certainly these are reasons sufficient to upset all the knowledge of Epistemon his attention to it. And it is true that any ordinary man would be indignant if anyone were to say to him that he could not have any more reason than they to be certain of his opinion. should fear becoming in to some or degree crazy. solid is indeed. or . think very dangerous to proceed too far in this t<» mode of reasoning. make you by them on other occasions when you if are not aware of I shall go further and ask you have ever seen believe themselves is a melancholic man of the nature of those who enormous size they would swear that they see and touch that which they imagine they do. as little am concerned. this expression for astonishment. Have you never heard in comedies "Am I awake or asleep!" How not a perpetual dream and that is can yon be certain that your all life is that you imagine you learn by means of your senses not as false now as it is when you sleep '? More particularly as you have learned that you have been created by a superior Being to whom '? as omnipotent as 1 it would not have been more difficult to make us such have described. and if you cannot think when you sleep that you see me. than such as you believe yourself to be Polyander. never having applied accustomed myself to turn senses. you follow after me. but you have no such fears. in a word all these other things that you imagine to be vases. who think some part of their body of yourself now to be certain of. But you cannot be annoyed if I ask you whether you are not like other men subject to sleep. a I exceed it my capacities. Eudoxus. since it rests equally with theirs on what the senses and his imagination represent to him.314 The Search after Truth fear being deceived it. which resembles water so deep that one cannot rind any foothm in it. to have prevented many learned men from attaining is the to knowledge of a doctrine which deserve the and certain enough name of science. Epistemon. General doubts of this kind lead us straight the ignorance of Socrates. imagining that there was nothing on which they could rest their faith more firm and solid . that you walk in this garden. I I my mind my mind away from the study. when. I confess that it is not without great danger that one ventures without a guide when one does not know the ford. or the uncertainty of the Pyrrhonists. if.

pursues you if you flee. and. I declare to you that those doubts which alarmed you to begin with. From fear.The Search after Truth 315 than the things that we perceive by the senses. and you will ever after be better able to make you doubt meet whatever may arrive. just as similar ideas are formed when I sleep. even whether short I shall talk with you. point I There you are. and this is the very for wished to bring you to but this is the very moment I your giving your attention to the consequences which derive from your argument. its and consequently you are made to doubt your very knowledge itself. or when I am certain that my eyes are shut. you will find nought but wind and shadow. and this proves that 1 have accomplished my end. . the Latin translation of the original. if there be a sun. they built on this foundation of sand rather than by digging down further finding a firm substratum of rock or clay. It is not here that we must stop. if enter into my a world exists. ears. are like those phantoms and vain images which appear Fear in the night by the uncertain glimmer of a feeble light. my ears closed. in a word. . even I you did not wish further to examine the have just stated. whether you address me. well prepared. however. I desire then to set before myself all these difficulties in the strongest manner possible. wish to You see very well that you can reasonremain ably doubt senses all things. That is an indication to show you that your knowledge foundations is not so infallible that you shattered since they may not fear to see all . to apply myself to life. the knowledge of which comes to you by the of your 1 alone but can you doubt doubt and uncertain whether you doubt or not ? 1 This completes the original French manuscript. but also whether I I have eyes. In this way I shall be uncertain not only as to whether you are in the world. might not have been formed of themselves. Convinced by your reasoning Polyander. all and doubt whether I have not been dreaming and whether even all these ideas that I thought could only my mind by the door of the senses. which was to upset your knowledge by showing you its uncertainty. a body. doubt all things 1 Eudoxus. they would yet already in their if principal effect have attained to the goal I wished to reach. that none of my senses are in operation. more reasons which There is . The rest is taken from . that you may lack more courage and refuse to follow me further. in . but if you approach and touch them. so long as they had so affected your imagination as to place you on your guard against them.

true that you can no longer doubt it is likewise true that any more.' a man. of yourself. You are. then. what are you The reply is not difficult and I see very well that Polyander. Eudoxus. and on the other hand certain that you doubt. go on little by little. you cannot deny that you doubt. wise as he Eudo. that I have resolved to derive the knowledge of God. did not exist I could not Eudoxus. But in order that you may not be turned aside from your plan. and so certain that you cannot even doubt of that. and you know that you are. that it is Since. and the discovery of truths of which is. I The Search after Truth confess that this astonishes me. You had no mind to put any question to which it is not quite easy to reply. and the little sagacity which a sufficiently small amount of common sense gives me I brings it to pass that I I do not without stupefaction find myself forced to confess that doubt 3'ou all know nothing with certainty. but that things and am certain of nothing. then. your promises and we keep we made to you. you further than you think. and you know it because you doubt. and as I have said to you. agree with you. You are. who doubt all and who cannot doubt of yourself. and you know that because you know that you doubt. You for. very true. you will feel yourself drawn on further than you think. you who doubt of it .316 Polyander. doubt. Epistemon. Just give may very well have been ignorant. All that is Polyander. you have chosen me in place of Epistemon so that I may respond to your questions. then. For it is really from this universal doubt which is like a fixed and unchangeable point. and that I is so you are. do not see to what use this able to carry us very universal astonishment can nor by what reason a doubt is of this kind can be a principle which far. and of all that the world contains. me your attention I am going to conduct . Polyander. But what conclusions I do wish to derive from this? serve. you have relief made the end of this our converse from all our doubts. .rus. for if I Polyander. I shall then tell you that 1 am Eudoxus. . certainly you carry them out it make great promises and provided would certainly be worth our while to grant will what you ask those Keep. Quite on the contrary. and you know that you are. But you.

we should be it would be impossible for us to of fact. he were to conduct us by ail steps dragged into a maze from which emerge. by ascending and descending what we have we differ. we may be made aware of common with other beings. the which are termed metaphysical. that a body is a corporeal substance. than had they been more in conformity with reason for in that latter case I might possibly have contented myself with the small amount of reason that I should have disof . that a man is a rational and the if. in order to become aware of the unTherefore although my certainty of all that I have learned there. certain. to explain what an animal is he were to reply that it is a living thing possessed of sensations. which would clear up nothing. and I am vexed that you wish to show Polyander what he is by another method than the one which for so long has been admitted by the Schools. nor a means more calculated to teach us what we are. I neither have nor should I ever have any intention condemning the method employed in the Schools it is to it that I am indebted for the little that I know. you see that finally all these wonderful questions the question. In fact until now no better means has been found. from this question two others arise. and of that in which all the steps. by this means. that a living thing is an first is animate bod)^. : . in addition. and would finish in pure tautology. what is reasonable? And further. I yet owe to them my teachers taught me nothing that w as thanks for having been taught by them to acknowledge this and I now owe them all the greater thanks in that the things they taught me were doubtful. is. I would leave us Epistemon. as done in the Schools. like the branches of a genealogical tree. simple as may appear to you. in order to explain these two terms which are not less obscure than the first. and the reply will make to me. That in attain. r . bring us into a labyrinth of difficulties. is the highest point to which our knowledge can Eudoxus. Were y I for example to ask Epistenion himself what a man is and w ere he animal . if try ever so little to press you. if. As a matter what is an animal? The second. would go on increasing and multiplying. to reply. and in our original ignorance.The Search after Truth Eudoxus. than that of placing in sequence under our eyes all the successive items which so that constitute the totality of our nature. am sorry to see that you despise this tree of Porphyry which has always excited the admiration of the learned. that you 317 You pay no attention to it 1 my question. and it is of its assistance that I have availed myself.

and thinks. the arms. Tell me. these metaphysical steps. two call legs. feels. I observe great for instance. . it is may be to put forward words in a certain order. and of which I had never even heard. to express nothing for it indicates nothing that can be conceived or that can form a clear and distinct idea in our mind. understood I my But as you have just numbered in the tilings of which you doubt. a head.31 The Search after Truth covered there. whatever Epistemon all is may If. and that would have rendered search after truth. and which in addition nourished. legs. Even when. and what animate if all the other metaphysical degrees. I I thought I I had you by saying to you that I was a man. walks. is. saw at once by your reply that you had not quite question. and which. of the things that the simplest of men know as well as the greatest philosopher in the I who have invented them. that we touch. Polyander. and that you replied to more things than Eudoxus. but now see that did not calculate well. It is on this asked of you. I did not wish to interrogate you on any of these things of whose existence you are not sure. I in order to reply to your question. that is to say that I am all a certain whole composed of two arms. did not think of all the scholastic entities of which was ignorant. attentive to my question. that we feel. I confess that it does not now satisfy myself. exist only in the imagination of But that spoke of the things that we see. as those far as I am concerned. what you really are inasmuch as you doubt. say. more especially since you have shown me the embarrassment and uncertainty into which it can throw us if we wish to get light upon it and understand it. world. we may not he digress further all ask him a second time what he who can doubt satisfied I things and cannot doubt of himself. and the parts which constitute what we is the human 1 body. and. and all the other parts composing the human body. see very well that this answer does not satisfy you. truth to say. head. these two words will not teach us more than the word In the same way body without having first is. in a word. return then to I my and in order that is. As a matter obscurity in of fact. and if we likewise enquire into it we say that what lives is an animate explained what body is. but . me less zealous in the The admonition that less to dissipate the obscurity into I gave to Polyander serves which his reply cast you than to I make him more subject. we experience in ourselves. I said that I 1 was a man. we say that a body a corporeal substance without saying what a corporeal substance body. then.

and so dissipated the mists. as find Polyander. since. that all That beautifully expressed and you bring out the I matter so well that that I should not do better myself. I they not yet more in the certainty that exist and that am otherwise. provided we are to have common sense. This principle seems to it me so fertile. I and it offers me so many things at once. that know with desired to question you. is in no wise what I call my body. inasmuch as will did not properly understand your idea. I now see that I have been mistaken in I my I reply and that I have gone further than should. than I ever have to consider me to confound myself with been of possessing a body. further : I think well that in order to find the most difficult truths. that by the light of this torch I see more accurately in myself what is not visible to the eyes. cannot do so for I am of absolutely conit. to put it you very well provided with that. my me being certain that On I the contrary. that seems as though should want a great deal of work to reduce them to order. And more than that. while entirely setting aside all I these suppositions. In addition to this I may add that I cannot even absolutely deny that I have a body. the only one which you can I 319 certainty. . I do not even know that I have a body. Yet. doubting of I my body . it. and not what I formerly believed to be me.The Search after Truth point alone. and is I am much convinced that I can in no wise doubt of Eudoxus. as I had hoped. whereby you conduct us by little by simple and easy paths to the knowledge of the things that you wish to teach us. and. guided. all I have to do is to show you the road you should henceforward follow. has thrown such a flood of light upon my mind. since you have shown me that I might doubt of it. spect in future and at the That it render me more little circum- same time causes me to marvel at the exactitude of your method. Continue then to deduce by yourself the conwhich sequences flow from this first principle. and this vinced that I exist. I know very well that what I am inasmuch as I doubt. Polyander. merely taking care to set you on the right road. and that I am more persuaded that I possess what cannot be touched. I have however reason to call the error that I have committed happy. that you have given This one admonition who I who doubt am. Nay. I prevent confirm a body . this will not exist. should at the same time doubt of myself. thanks to it. the only necessity I is vulgarly . is see very well now remains to leave you entirely to yourself.

your pleasantries are let all the same evidently me I .320 Eudoxus. nay. 1 The French editors conjecture 'like me. at once So we should not be astonished Epistemon. will do so willingly. that the torch offered to you are extinguished is and vanish away when they are approached. and shown what is a straight line and a curved. But those who like you much oil and trouble in reading and re-reading the writings of the ancients. will always believe. and have not been able to get free of the doubts which they have introduced into philosophy. i. that Epistemon judges in this way. The Search after Truth This warmth pleases me infinitely well although it may displease Epistemon who. are no longer astonished by this enthusiasm. or will at least fear. was so transported by the discovery of the least of them that he could not prevent himself from letting you know of 1 it by his shouts of joy. I I confess I tuuk that to be the result of mere thought that Polyander who has never meditated on the great truths which philosophy teaches. that they have been in error all their lives. frequently refuted the opinion of the Pyrrhonists. fear that this dispute become hot between you two and that if you plunge into the matter too deeply. when the threshold of These novices have the temple alone has so far been saluted. with Polyander's permission. and Yes. and in unravelling and expounding all that is most complicated in the philosophers. and into your original darkness. scarcely been given the line and the circle. enthusiasm. and they themselves have derived so little fruit from this method of philosophizing. I shall end by understanding nothing at all.they believe that they are going But we have ><» to square the circle and duplicate the cube. They thus seem never to have worked for anything but learning t<> have travelled this road for long. or placed under his eyes a part of the things that you say are similar to those wandering fires that contained in this principle. have expended doubt : that is why.' . I shall doubt in whether he himself can derive anything better from it. when. I see very clearly that you speak to Polyander Eudoxus. because you have not shewn him his error. order to spare directed against shall see me. 1 which of us will laugh Polyand&r.e. that so you ignorance. but will Polyander speak and after that we last. should gain wisdom at such a small cost. and make no more of it than they do of the vain hopes which frequently lay hold of one in commencing mathematics. may fall And it into your former if certainly would be marvellous you who have all never studied nor opened books of philosophy.

The Search after Truth Thus to shall I lose the fruit 321 which I promise myself in returning to my original studies. I said first of all that I was of question. in a word. already clearly recognized in considering You have yourself simply as doubting. nor ears. that a fortunate error that you committed in passing beyond the limits Thanks really to it. . nor eyes. K. and I all the parts which form nourished. as you judiciously remarked. I cannot prevent myself from stopping you here. I have often in dreaming thought I things that I did not really feel at all. felt many addition to that. head. my a whole formed of arms. I cannot say that I am Eudoxus. h. legs. you can arrive at a knowledge of what you are by removing from you and rejecting all that you perceive clearly does not belong to you. I thank you for thus setting me on my way not know any longer where I was. and that as such you would not find within you any of the parts which con- you have neither arms. in order to consider myself know myself to be. a head. as for I cannot even state that I. for neither of these two things can be Further. and. I perceived although none of these things happened. feel. am think. do not eat or walk. For. I doubt. that is. and as I resolved to admit nothing here but what was so true that I could not doubt of it. and by simply admitting what so necessarily pertains to you that you are as certain of it as of your existence and doubt. that you are not body. I must consider myself as without arms. As feet really serve for walking. in the path in which he has placed me. the legs. nor legs. But as I have none of these In organs because I have not body. nor head. one that sees with It might indeed be that I thought eyes and hears with ears. besides which walk. . nor any organ which may serve for a sense of any kind. so do eyes and ears for hearing. a perceiving thing. that was stitute the : human machine that is to say. I cannot say that I feel. inasmuch as simply as . to set aside all these parts or all these members which constitute the human machine that is to say. I done without body. I did Polyander. But notice whether in the same way you cannot reject all the things that you formerly understood by the description which you gave of the idea which in former times you had of man. I pray then that Epistemon may permit to nourish this hope for so long as it pleases Eudoxus to lead me me by the hand Eudoxus. without body. feel and human It I body. not 21 . inasmuch doubt. But it is true that what in me doubts is not what we call our body so then it is also true that I. can seeing. has been necessary for me.

and one who had not studied. As a matter all this which is not exact. but with the simple light of reason and with a just sense there anything in which. which is not well deduced from what precedes? And and legitimately argued. I repeat. Go on. or a formula for the argument. myself. do you think of what Polyander has just said? Do you find his argument to be halting or inconsequent? Should you have thought that an unlettered man. Epistemon. Polyander. but to encourage you. it absolutely certain knowledge. But lot as not interrupt Polyander's discourse. and make you consider if it what common sense can do of fact. human opinion to corrupt . utility of it to you. have discovered. I I And in fact if did not could not I know that I know whether I doubt or exist. and at the same principle. that can is I know me and that now I affirm without fear of deception — that one thing. if I do not mistake. is well directed. viz. would have reasoned so well and Eudoxus. or rule. followed out his ideas so rigorously? Here. more certain. he gives us to for while saying understand that he approves what we have said.322 to turn The Search after Truth you is aside. and am. and I know it because I doubt. What. I For do if it is true that doubt just because cannot doubt for I so. then. Of it all the attributes which I bestowed is upon myself. it is also equally true that I think what is doubting but thinking in a certain way ? think. all that is said and done without logic. only one remains for me I to examine and that I thought and that I see that is the only one that cannot separate from I . Yet I am. is less exposed to error than when anxiously tries to follow a thousand diverse routes which art and idleness it. . and show him how far good sense can carry us. to avail you must begin to see that he who knows how properly himself of doubt can deduce from better. less to bring it to perfection than Epistemon even seems to be in this matter of our nothing of the matter. that is to say because think. time what consequences can be derived from our Polyander. it might be that if I ceased for an be. it is impossible that one and the same thing should both I shall perhaps have occasion to demonstrate the be and not be. I And I I better. instant to think should cease at the same time to Likewise certainly the sole thing that to be cannot separate from me. acting alone and of it itself. and more useful than that derived from this great principle which we usually establish as the basis or centre to which all other principles are referred and from which they start forth. that am a thinking thing.

so I I it up leaving you to with pleasure. than to consult himself on the judgment which he should form and as from his childhood he has taken as reason what rested only on the authority of precepts. He who . all understand himself Polyander. and after your own principles. and at the same time I shall raise difficulties and obstacles of such a nature that not only Polyander but you yourself will have difficulty in getting free of much them. and if your reason convinces you of it. I shall show that nothing of what Polyander has said on a legitimate foundation or brings about any conclusion. and prepossessed with a hundred prejudices. Since you lay the blame on me and even exasperate me. and that he might first of is. full of opinions . see if you have anything to say or any objection to make. Epistemon. but . For this occasion will undertake it on the condition that you I be judge of our differences for dare not hope that Epistemon will give way to is my reasoning. Eudoxus. before applying himself to make others give comprehend. now he gives his authority as a reason and desires that others should pay to him the tribute which he formerly paid them. He likes better to interrogate others. if you give your assent to what I shall say. like him. 21—2 .The Search after Truth or . that you know it because you doubt and because you think. But do you know what doubting or what thinking is? And as you do not admit anything of which you are not certain and do not know perfectly. and deductions. what existence is. but principles stop here and severely examine your As a matter rests of fact with the aid of true logic. Let us then go no further. to weigh what the ancients have written. You say that you are and that you know that you are. I shall show you what logic can do when it is roused. finds it difficult to hand himself over to the light of nature alone for long he has been accustomed to yield to authority rather than to lend his ear to the dictates of his own reason. unravel this knot with Epistemon. But I shall have reason to be content and I shall believe myself to have sufficiently answered the objections which have been proposed to you by Epistemon. 323 remove ourselves from our subject as to you. so that his reasoning might have the strength of a demonstration. That is beyond me. how can you be certain that you are by means of attributes so obscure and consequently so uncertain ? It would have been better first of all to have taught Polyander what doubt desire to what thought is.

Eudoocus. in order to be known. cannot be so devoid of mental power not to see clearly whenever he is willing to give attention to it.^) Nay. we must place doubt. thought. the mistakes what ought only clear to committed by those who would try to define be conceived. nor discriminate between what. and to be of this reasoning / doubt therefore I am . or thought or existence. know what doubt what thought is. that is to say. are certain things which Further I declare that there we render more obscure by trying to define clear. required to learn their distinctions. we cannot know and perceive them better than by themselves. be left to him who is going to be a professor or to dispute in the Schools. I The Search after Truth am not so rebellious nor so satisfy difficult to persuade. himself from being deceived and falling into the error for which he reproaches others. If he allowed himself to rest on so feeble a support I he would look badly after his own interests and he I presume that will attend to them. requires and deserves to be defined. since they are very simple and sciences. from taking as a motive for submit our case to his arbitration persuasion the esteem which he has formed for you. and who cannot distinguish the from the obscure. because. But whoever desires to examine things by himself and judge of them as he conceives them.|_that we must is.same holds true thought and doubt. would willingly and as soon as he favours you But he must guard I promise you to confess myself vanquished. from what can be best known by itself. But do not go and imagine that in order to know this we must do violence to our mind and put it to torture in order to ascertain the proximate species and the essential All that must difference. / think therefore I am. nor is it so I difficult to me . But let us return to our subject matter. in Indeed add one learns those things else no other persuades us way than by ones self and that nothing of them except our own experience and thi^ . or. am quite of your opinion. the that . I do not think that anyone has ever existed who is stupid enough able of to to have required to learn what existence that is before beinir conclude and affirm he I is . I And although had reasons for mistrusting Polyander. and existence. what doubt is. and form from it a definition by rule. as you think.324 Epistemon. And in the number of the things which are clear in the way above explained and which can be known by themselves. we must place in the number of those chief errors that can be committed in the them. Epistemon. before being fully convinced of the truth what comes to the same. further.

and on it is least this occasion. Epistemon. It is thus true that Polyander ought to have known these things. what is.The Search after Truth knowledge and himself internal 325 testimony that each one finds within when he examines things. or rather to think of it until the time when Epistemon desired to place it in doubt. and explains more respecting it than even the most exact definitions. Since Polyander is satisfied I likewise give my . while in order to know it.] In vain shall we define what white is in order to make it comprehensible to him who sees absolutely nothing. it is only requisite to open one's eyes and see the white in the same way in order to know what doubt is. that it is necessary you to recognise yourselves as my pupils. it is only necessary to know what we understand by this word we know at the very same moment what the thing is. it is necessary only that we ourselves should think and doubt. or thought. . . and that sufficed to make me know doubt and at the same time as my certainty of I it. it is only requisite to doubt and think. You no sooner showed me the small amount of certainty which we have as to the existence of things which are only known to be recognised as your master for me and to us by the evidence of the senses. I can state for certain that I never doubted what doubt is. . before being able to draw the conclusions which he has advanced but since we have chosen him as judge. Polyander. in such a soon as certainty. and there is no necessity here for a definition. pleasure that I I certainly confess that it is with the greatest not without have heard you disputing regarding a thing which to you have not been able some joy that I see. ask him if he has ever been ignorant of . That teaches us all that we can know of it. certainty concerned my me and my doubt. at for know but from me. my doubt regarded things only which existed outside Eudoxus then spoke truly when he asserted that there are things that we cannot know without seeing them therefore to learn what doubt is. way that I can affirm that doubt I commenced to know with certainty did not relate to the same object me. commenced to But my doubt and my . at least in so far as we can know it. which will more confuse than clear up the matter. although I never began to know it. The same holds good of existence . what thought is. Therefore in order to put both of you out of pain and quickly to resolve your difficulty (as a matter of fact we say that a thing is promptly done when it is done beyond all hope and expectation). than I commenced to doubt of them.

to express their thought will be forced to confess that after haying employed much time. I never intended to prescribe to anyone the method he ought to follow in the search after truth. . he has advanced much. As for me if I had to employ as many words and as much time in learning something of so small an importance. . . me your attention. an equivocation or the distinguo saves them from all embarrassment. consists solely of the fact that he doubts that he thinks and that he is a thinking thing. we have in the beginning progress that certain we have made in the sciences whose principles are and known by all for. Nothing turns them aside from their plan. Eudoxus. whose principles are obscure or uncertain. whatever happens when they feel themselves pressed too hard. but merely to expound that of which I have availed myself. . . it is for experience to decide as to that provided that you continue to lend yourself confess that we cannot take and I am certain. than we had dared to promise ourselves so that I believe that the errors which are found in the sciences come from the fact that formed our judgments too precipitately by admitting as principles obscure things of which we had no clear and The truth of this is shown by the modicum of distinct notion. if it it were found good and useful others would . The Search after Truth and not see However I do that during the two hours that we have been here and that I shall not push the dispute further. avail themselves of in turn it. be certain that their method will always be preferred to that of one like you who doubts all and who fears so much to trip that he keeps treading the same spot and thus makes no advance. Those who are our instructors tell us much more about the matter they are much more confident nothing stops them they take everything upon them and decide about all. I confess I should not resign myself to it without regret. And more. so that if it were found bad it would be to set it set aside . nothing astonishes them. and that once they are well established we shall push the consequences further and with much more . for small results ! A as wonderful knowledge in truth Many words much could be said in four words and we should have all given our assent. in the others. All that Polyander has learnt by the help of this wonderful method of which you so boast. on the other hand. and I always left full liberty to all it aside or to admit If it is now said that : has advanced me little.326 assent. fchey have to recognise that they know nothing and have learnt nothing. and having read many great volumes. we have been arguing. those who desire sincerely . you will too many precautions in the facility all establishment of our bases.

' . my dear Epistemon. and as his reason is corrupted by no prejudices. So many things are contained in the idea of a thinking thing that whole days would be required to develope them. As then we are certain of having begun well. am a thinking thing..The Search after Truth It 327 must not then appear astonishing to you. We shall only treat of the principal ones the notion clearer no relationship to 1 and those that can make and hinder our confounding it with what bears it. shall of which you are as certain as of your existence % you think for all the and are united by a common bond the whole secret consists simply in beginning with the first and most simple. not as difficult as . to those more remote and complicated.. we must apply our whole care not to admit that to be true which is liable to the smallest doubt. we must take pains not to deceive ourselves in what follows. I mean by a thinking being . Eudoxus. and set forth what he himself alleges he has seen in your principle. Pursuing this plan we must in my opinion allow Polyander to speak for as he follows no guidance but that of his common sense. Epistemon. Who now will doubt that what I have set forth as first principle is the first of the things which we might come to know with the help of a method? It is certain that we cannot doubt it. and he would without any trouble return to the right road. nor quickly. Yet if you proceed by How. desiring to lead Polyander in the way that is surer than that in which I was trained to walk. 1 The Amsterdam Latin Version here inserts ' The rest is wanting.. so ceaselessly do you return to your will go neither far you always find truths principle. . even were we to doubt of all things in the world. I am so careful and exact that I hold I that only to be true of which have a certainty equal to that with 1 which always I am fall aware that I am. truths succeed one another . I think. and in rising little by little. You seem to me to resemble these tumblers who back on their feet. Let him then speak. as a matter of That is this path you fact. Polyander. and so to speak by gradations. or at any rate he would easily perceive that this was so. it is difficult for him to be deceived. if.

.

THE PASSIONS OF THE SOUL .

four years before its author's entitled The work It death. in the He received copies of the book before which was accelerated by the early morning lessons given depth of winter to Queen Christina at Stockholm. but he had probably revised the proofs 1 r before leaving Holland. with whom Descartes had carried on a correspondence on the subjects allied to those discussed in this book. and she suggested some slight alterations upon it. The author w as at this period in Sweden. Princess Elizabeth of Palatine in April.PREFATORY NOTE TO 'THE PASSIONS OF THE SOUL. Baillet. and other friends. says Descartes never published without regretting his publishers did not encourage and certainly Passions him to do so. : expressed himself as very unwilling to appear again in print the publication of the work was probably due to the urgent entreaties of Clerselier. it. 1649 and was printed in Amsterdam in the end of November by Louis Elzevir. The manuscript was placed in Clerselier's hands in August. his death. 1 Baillet says Clerselier. for complaints were constant as to the small sale of his books. where he died. E. sent to The ' ' was Queen Christina of Sweden. 1646. indeed. The first sketch had been sent to his other royal friend. the Abbe Picot. his biographer. S. Chanut. Adam thinks it is more likely to have been . but M. H.' 'The Passions of the Soul' was written in French during the winter of 1645-6. who. while Henry le Gras issued it at the same time in Paris. was the last work published by Descartes.

and though it would not appear to be one of the most inasmuch as since every one has experience of the passions is within himself. is in some other regard always action. although this is a matter which has at all times been the object of gation. for. subject to which it it occurs to is concerned. to begin with.THE PASSIONS OF THE SOUL. generally speaking. from elsewhere in order to discover their nature ancients have taught regarding yet that which the slight. in as far as the . them I is both so and for the most part so far from credible. I consider that all that which occurs or that happens anew. OF THE PASSIONS IN GENERAL. that am unable to entertain any hope of approximating to the truth excepting by shunning the This is why I shall be here paths which they have followed. is by the philosophers. ' The expression Passions is in this Treatise of course used in its etymo- logical significance. . termed a passion. obliged to write just as though I were treating of a matter which no one had ever touched on before me and. Article TJwbt I. the action and the occur. what in respect of a subject is passion. there no necessity to borrow one's observations . There is nothing in which the defective nature of the sciences which we have received from the ancients appears more clearly than in what they have written on the passions . and an action in respect of him who causes recipient [patient] are 1 ' Thus although the agent and the frequently very different. AND INCIDENTALLY OF THE WHOLE NATURE OF MAN. 1 PART FIRST. much investi- difficult.

. inasmuch as they do not depend on thought at all. Article III. that which is in us which we cannot in any way conceive as possibly pertaining to a body. that all we realise that all to observation may and exist in wholly inanimate bodies. which of itself has much more heat and movement than any of our members). That in oi'der to understand the passions of must be distinguished from those of body. because of the two diverse subjects to which related. it may be Article II. That the heat and movement of the members proceed from body. attribute each one of the functions which are within us. and that alone and.332 The Passions of the Soul passion are always one and the same thing. must be attributed to our body . and which have as much heat or more (experience demonstrates this to us in flame. What rule we must follow to bring about this result. must be attributed to our soul. if As to this we shall not find much difficulty that we experience as being in us. Thus because we have no conception of the body as thinking in any way. tlie soul its functions Next to which I note also that we do not observe the existence of any more immediately acts upon our soul than the body and that we must consequently consider that what in the soul is a passion is in the body commonly speaking an action so that there is no better means of arriving at a knowledge of our passions than to examine the difference which exists between soul and body in order to know to which of the two we must subject which it is joined. we have reason to believe that every kind of thought and because we do not which exists in us belongs to the soul doubt there being inanimate bodies which can move in as many as or in more diverse modes than can ours. we must believe that all the heat and c»ll the movements which are in : us pertain only to body. Article IV. although having different names. . on the other hand. the thoughts the from the soul.

mingles passing into the liver and into . from the it is same watch its machine when broken and when the principle of movement ceases to act. we eat descends into the stomach and bowels where the veins.Part First Article V. Article VII. but only . when it is wound up and contains it in itself the is corporeal principle of those movements for which along with or other that is requisite for its action. that we may avoid this error. a stomach. let us consider that death never comes to pass by reason of the soul. it was thought that our natural heat and all the movements of our body depend on the soul while in fact we ought on the contrary to satisfactorily to explain the passions . arteries. it has been thought that it was the absence of soul which caused these movements and this heat to cease and thus. order explain in machine nerves. and such things. bodies are devoid of heat and consequently of movement. Article VI. error which many have so much so that I am of opinion that this the primary cause which has prevented our being able hitherto and the other properties of the It arises from the fact that from observing that all dead soul. A In brief explanation of the parts of the body and some of its functions. muscles. this heat and the organs which serve to move the body disintegrate. without any reason. is more intelligible. The body. I shall here a few words the whole method in which the bodily composed. We all also know that the food that its juice. then.e. That it is 333 an error to believe that the soul supplies the mo cement into and heat to body. a machine designed moves of all itself). veins. There is no one who does not already to render this know that there are in us a heart. a brain. because some one of the principal parts of the body decays and we may judge that the body of a that living man differs from that of a dead man just as does a watch or other automaton (i. difference that exists between a living body and a dead In order. : believe that the soul quits us on death only because ceases. this By is means we fallen shall avoid a very considerable .

it causes the former to become elongated and it draws back to itself the part to which they are We know finally that all these movements of the muscles. and how all the blood in the veins can easily flow from the vena cava into its right side and from thence pass into the lung by the vessel which we term the arterial vein. We further members depend on the muscles. do not doubt that the veins and arteries of the body are like streams by which the blood ceaselessly flows with great swiftness. and finally pass from there into the great artery. animal spirits. Article VIII. depend on the nerves. which all proceed from the brain. and joined to that of the venous artery by which it passes from the lung into the left side of the it heart. What But it is the principle of ail these functions is not usually known in what way these animal spirits and these nerves contribute to the movements and to the senses. course of each circuit which Thus these two cavities are like sluices through each of which all the blood passes in the it know that all the movements of the makes in the body. which resemble small filaments. as also all the senses. are united to the branches of the vein. which branches once more carry the same blood into the right cavity of the heart. again. Those who have acquired even the minimum of medical knowledge further know how the heart is composed.334 with. or little tubes. The Passions of the Soul and thereby increases the quantity of the blood which they contain. and thus contain like it a certain very subtle air or wind which is called the . That . by the vessel called the venous artery. and that these muscles are so mutually related one to another tint when the one is contracted it draws toward itself the part of the body to which it is attached. taking its course from the right cavity of the heart by the arterial vein whose branches are spread over the whole of the lung. nor what is the corporeal principle which causes them to act. Likewise all those whom the authority of to open the ancients has not entirely blinded. whose branches spread throughout all the body. attached. and then return from the lung into the left side of the heart. spread throughout all the rest of the body. from these. and who have chosen their eyes for the purpose of investigating the opinion of Harvey all regarding the circulation of the blood. which causes the opposite muscle then if at another time at the same time to become elongated it happens that this last contracts. goes into the great artery whose branches.

spirits. then when this dilation new blood immediately and for there are little membranes at the entrances of these four vessels. and supplies them with nourishment. But what is here most worthy of remark is that all the most animated and subtle portions of the blood which the heat has rarefied in the heart. its because there are only very narrow passages there. And the reason which causes them to go is there rather than elsewhere. and that this fire all the corporeal principle of the movements of our members. have already made some mention of them in my shall not here omit to say shortly that so long as I we fire is live there is a continual heat in our heart. . although I other writings. to flow ceaselessly it and very quickly which it and whereby carries the heat acquires in the heart to every part of the body. that all the blood which issues from course in a straight line it the heart by the great artery takes its towards that place. and in all the arteries causes veins. which causes the pulse. those of while the rest spreads abroad in parts which are the most agitated and the most subtle alone pass through. all the other portions of the body. which preceded it and it is just this . or beating of the heart and arteries this beating repeats itself as so that often as the its new blood enters the heart. the animal .Part First is 335 why. enter ceaselessly in large quantities into the cavities of the brain. and not being able to enter in its entirety. How Its the mo cement of effect is the heart Is carried on. disposed in such a manner that they do not allow the blood to enter the heart but by the two last. left into the great artery . enters from the vena cava into the right cavity of the heart. to pass impetuously from the right cavity into the arterial vein. first to dilate the blood with . which is a species of which the blood of the veins there maintains. nor to issue from it but by the two others. How the animal spirits are produced in the bra hi. The new blood which from the venous artery into the left . and from the ceases. Article IX. Article X. which the cavities of the heart are filled its that causes this blood. which requires a greater space for occupation. But these very subtle parts of the blood form. has entered into the heart in the is same manner as that then immediately afterwards rarefied. It is also just this it which gives motion to the blood.

by which the spirits of the other muscle can pass into . and just as some of them enter into the cavities of the brain. unless it be that they are separated subtle portions of the blood : for what I here name is are nothing but material bodies and their one peculiarity bodies of extreme minuteness and that they the particles of the flame which issues is that they are move very quickly like from a torch. and that into which they enter. and pulls the member to which it is attached. and from there into the muscles. but that there are always a quantity of others enclosed in the same muscle. tracting rather than that set against it. which move there very quickly. they open all the entrances. This is easy to under- stand provided that we know that there are but very few animal spirits which continually proceed from the brain to each muscle. and which are so arranged that when the spirits that come from the brain to one of them have ever so little more strength than those that proceed to the other. all to issue very quickly from the one of them and to pass into the other. when they do not find any — passage open from which to issue forth from it and sometimeby flowing into the opposite muscle. sole cause of all the members is that certain muscles contract. and that those opposite to them elongate.336 and for this The Passions of the Soul end they have no need to experience any other change from the other spirits less in the Drain. being rapidly distended by them. Article XL How the movements of the muscles take place. by means of which they move the body in all the different ways in which it can be moved. sometimes by only turning about in the place where they are. contracts. Not that the spirits which proceed immediately from the brain suffice in themselves to move the muscles. which pores conduct them into the nerves. is that there comes from the spirits. that is. By this means that from which they issue becomes longer and more flaccid. and the sole cause of one muscle conas has already been said For the movements of the . but they determine the other spirits which are already in these two muscles. and inasmuch as there are little — openings in each of these muscles by which the spirits can flow from one to the other. to it rather than to the other. others issue forth by the pores which are in its substance. brain some additional it amount of animal however little may be. Thus it that they never remain at rest in any spot.

being carried by these same tubes from the brain to the muscles. to the extremities of the other filaments are attached . and this I have already but in order that those explained fully enough in the Dioptric flow always from the brain into the muscles in the fashion.e. Thai this action of outside objects may lead the spirits into the muscles in diverse ivays. little filaments are and fiually the animal spirits which. The first consists in the diversity of movements which are excited in the organs of sense by their objects. it. : who see this work may not be necessitated to read of all their little others. first marrow or interior substance. while the other becomes Article XII. 22 . Article XIII. and of these we must speak. are the reason of these filaments remaining there perfectly free and extended. And move I have explained in the Dioptric how all the objects of sight communicate themselves to us only through the fact that they by the intermission of transparent bodies which are between them and us. which it extends in the form of filaments from the brain. causes by that same means the part of the brain from which it proceeds to move. there are two others which depend only on the body. still We have to understand the reasons why the spirits do not same and why occasionally more flow towards some than towards others. form the enclosed . I shall here repeat that there are three things to consider in respect of the nerves.Part First this one. being conterminous with those which envelope the brain. 33/ and at the same time close all those by which the spirits of this last can pass into the other. the little filaments of the optic nerves which locally r. from which originates. For in addition to the action of the soul which is truly in our case one of these causes. so that the least thing that moves the part of the body to which the extremity of any one of them is attached. h. and which. members to which these secondly the membranes which surround tubes in which these little them. i. How outside objects act upon the organs of the sense*. By this means all the spirits formerly contained in these two muscles very quickly collect in one of them and then distend and shorten elongated and flaccid. just as when one draws one end of a cord the other end is made to move. as I shall subsequently explain.

Article XV. heat. which conducts the animal eyelids to close. which here by one example only. and thus to move our limbs. how they move them in as many diverse ways and that it is as the diversities which they cause us to see in things. thirst and all generally speaking objects of our other external senses as well as of our internal appetites. I repeat. or at least its principal activity is but it is because the machine of our body this so formed that the movement ot hand towards our eyes excites another spirits into movement in our brain. but those that occur in the brain which represent these objects to the soul. they pass further forward in a straight line into the cavities and pores of the brain. serves to conduct the animal is spirits the unequal agitation of these spirits and the diversity of their parts. they can also without it cause the spirits to take their course towards certain muscles rather than I shall towards others. and then the parts of the brain from which these nerves proceed . even though we know him to be and that he will take great care not to hurt us. not immediately the movements which occur in the eye. For when some of their parts are more coarse and more agitated than others. To follow this example. the muscles which cause the Article XIV. And this inequality may proceed from the diverse matters of in the case of those which they are composed. seeing that will. scents. That the diversity which exists between the animal spirits may also cause a diversity in the course they take. it is against our . If prove someone quickly thrusts fun. The other cause which differently into the muscles. I explained. which is its only.338 The Passions of the Soul are at the back of our eyes. it is easy to conceive how sounds. we have all the same trouble in preventing ourselves from closing them and this shows that it is not by the our friend. as we see who have . also excite which by their means pass to that these diverse to some movement in our nerves the brain and in addition to the fact . The causes of their diversity. intervention of our soul that they close. tastes. hunger. his hand against our eyes as if to strike us. movements of the brain cause diverse perceptions become evident to our soul. and by this means are conducted into other muscles than those they would enter if they had less force. that he only does it in . pain.

and all other parts which contribute must here notice principally certain of its cavities. will contributing thereto (as frequently happens when we breathe.Part First drunk much wine 339 — that the vapours of this wine entering quickly become converted into animal spirits. We must also notice that although the blood which enters the heart conies there from all other parts of the body. dilates in another fashion in the heart than that which comes from the spleen. are capable of moving the body in many strange fashions. it to a greater extent . according to the diversity of the parts from which it comes the most. which. to their production little for we nerves inserted in the base of the heart. that which comes from the lower part of the liver where is the gall. spleen. and in fact perform all those actions which are common 22—2 . it legs. it dilates variously in the heart and then produces spirits which have different qualities. which serve to enlarge and diminish the entrances whereby the blood dilating there more or less forcibly. forcibly driven from it nevertheless often happens that it is more some parts than from others. . How and by all the the members may be moved by the objects of animal spirits without the aid of the soul. having newly at once passes by the liver Article XVI. to the heart. and this finally quite otherwise than the juice of the food when. because the nerves and muscles which lead to these particular parts press or agitate and that. that changes something in the movement of the spirits and causes them to be conducted into the muscles which serve to move the body in moved when such an action takes In this way all the movements which we make without our place. rise from the heart to the brain. finally all the senses We spirits must remark that the machine of our body is so formed that the changes undergone by the movement is of the may and cause them to open certain pores in the brain more than reciprocally that others. eat. for example. being stronger and more abundant than those ordinarily there. the way in which it is usually walk. Thus. when some one of the pores it opened be) by more or less than usual (to however small a degree may the action of the nerves which are employed by the senses. produces spirits disposed in diverse ways. into the blood. This inequality of spirits may also proceed from diverse dispositions of the heart. liver. where they stomach. and this one again differently from what comes from the veins of the arms or issued from the stomach and bowels.

and of all the imaginaFor it is certain tions or other thoughts which depend on them. desires. movements of a watch are produced simply by the strength of the springs and the form of the wheels. Of the Our Will. nerves. Yet because this perception . because it is it and because always receives them from the things which are represented by often not our soul which are. the other hand. all After having thus considered the body alone. we may say that it is also one of its passions to perceive that it desires. Article XIX. . makes them what they them. What the functions of the soul are. Of the Perceptions. sorts. only depend on the conformation of spirits. Those which I call its actions are our desires. it is the functions which pertain to is easy to recognise that there nothing in us which we ought to attribute to our soul excepting our thoughts. or generally speaking. are of two sorts. our members. of which the one consists of the as actions of the soul which terminate in the soul when we desire to love God. on we may usually term one's passions all those kinds : of perception or forms of knowledge which are found in us. the one being the actions of the soul. as when from the simple fact that we have the desire to take a walk. because we find by experience that they proceed directly from our soul. and the one have the soul Those which have the soul as as a cause are the perceptions of our desires. it follows that our legs move and that we walk. itself. Article XVII. Our perceptions are also of two a cause and the other the body. follow naturally in the brain. although in regard to our soul it is an action to desire something. which are mainly of two sorts. . and appear to depend on it alone while. all and the other its passions. and on the course which the just as the excited by the heat of the heart. Article XVIII. and muscles.340 to The Passions of the Soul us and to the brutes). that we cannot desire anything without perceiving by the same means that we desire it and. again. apply our thoughts to some object which is not material and the other of the actions which terminate in our body.

such as have just spoken. That is why we usually consider them as actions rather than passions. the Amongst the perceptions which most part depend on the nerves those of which I . and also the day-dreams which Such are we often have when awake. and when our thought wanders aimlessly without applying itself to anything of its own accord. before we can distinguish them very well. Article XXI. because they have not a cause of so notable and determinate a description as the perceptions which the soul receives by the intermission of the nerves. Of soid. the imaginations and other thoughts which are formed by the When not exist. but only an action. will and this brings it to pass that they cannot be placed in the number of the actions of And they only proceed from the fact that the spirits being agitated in diverse ways and meeting with traces of diverse preceding impressions which have been effected in the brain. Of the imaginations which have the body only as a cause. we must. differ inasmuch as our the soul. and also when it applies itself to consider something which is only intelligible and not imaginable. the more noble always supplies the denomination. be thus termed we take it in a consider the difference prevailing among these others. most correct and perfect if significance. from which they yet has no part in forming them . and thus we are not in the habit of calling it a passion. although some of these imaginations are the passions of the soul. are caused by the body. yet. take their course there fortuitously by certain pores rather than by others.g. to consider its own nature. and because they appear to be only a shadow and a picture. taking this in its word and since they may all more general significance. . e.Pari First and this will are really 341 one and the same thing. Article XX. our soul applies as itself to imagine something which does when it represents to itself an enchanted palace or a chimera. and which we name imaginations. the perceptions which it has of these things depend principally on the act of will which causes it to perceive them. But. but there are also some which do not depend on them. the illusions of our dreams.

342 The Passions of the Soul Article XXII. Article XXIV. without there being any difference between the actions which cause us to feel the heat or the cold which is in our hand. and not as we may thus perceive at the same in objects which are outside us time and by the intermission of the same nerves. this sound and this light are r two different actions which. to wit to the objects of our senses. and do not perceive movements which proceed from them. Of the sonl this difference which exists among the other perceptions. in the other to our Article XXIII. that we relate them in the one case soul. wo judge that the first is already in us. simply by the fact that they excite tw o different movements in certain of our nerves. the heat of the hand and the cold of the air to which it . excite them also in the brain by the intermission of the nerves. and those which make us perceive that which is without us. exciting certain movements in the organs of the external senses. are those which we have of hunger. and what supervenes is not so yet. relate to the things which are without us. and hear the not false. heat. and the other affections which we perceive as though they were in our members. The perceptions which we relate to our body. and there difference. or to some of its parts. Of the perceptions which we relate to our body. between them to objects outside which strike our senses. give two different sensations to the soul. on the other hand. and other natural appetites. to which we may unite pain. excepting that from the one of these actions following upon the other. sound of a bell. at least when our by these objects which. I All the perceptions which have not yet explained come to the is by the intermission of the nerves. are caused. Thus when we see the light of a torch. hut is in the object which causes it. and by these means in the brain. the cold of our hand and the heat of the flame to which it approaches or. Of the perceptions Those which we opinion is which we relate to objects which are without lis. . which cause the soul to perceive them. which sensations w e relate to the subjects which we suppose to be their causes in such a way that we r think we see the torch itself and hear the just the bell. thirst. : is exposed.

and sometimes even when we are awake. that impossible for feels to them to be. XXI that the must former resemble the shadow or picture of the We is also notice that it sometimes happens that this it picture so similar to the thing which represents that we may be mistaken therein regarding the perceptions which relate to objects which are outside passions. we imagine certain things so forcibly. and as to which we do not usually know any proximate cause to which we may relate them such are the feelings of joy. but that we cannot be it inasmuch as they are so it is it close to. or at least those which relate to certain parts so deceived regarding the of our body. us. may also be represented by the fortuitous course of the animal there spirits. that we think we see them before us. 343 Of whose the perceptions which we relate to our soul. we cannot feel sad or moved by any other passion actually such as r . or feel them in our bod} although they do not exist at all but although we may be asleep.Part First Article XXV. and so entirely within feel them without their being ''Thus often when we sleep. That the imaginations which only depend on the fortuitous movethe perceptions ments of the spirits. and those which we in its it relate to the diverse affections of our body. and other : such sensations. are truly passions in respect of our soul. But. and only these last which have here undertaken to explain under the soul. name of the passions of the Article XXVI. The perceptions which we relate solely to the soul are those effects we feel as though they were in the soul itself. both those which we relate to objects which are outside us. It remains for us to notice here that all the same things which the soul perceives by the intermission of the nerves. or dream. without being any other difference excepting that the impressions which come into the brain by the nerves are usually more lively or definite than those excited there by the spirits. which caused me to say in Article latter. . when we use this word most general it is significance. yet we are I in the habit of restricting to the signification of those alone which are related to soul itself. although all our perceptions. . which are sometimes excited in us by the objects which move our nerves and sometimes also by other causes. may be passions just as truly as ivhich depend on the nerves. anger. our soul.

Explanation of the second part. the thoughts which are not actions of the is but not when the term used only to signify clear cognition . the one the others to outside objects such as scents. or we relate specially to it. are received into the soul in the same way as are the objects of our outside senses. sounds. Article XXIX. for experience shows us that those agitated by their passions. and colours I also add that they to our body such as hunger. are not those who are the most who know them best : and that they are of the number of perceptions which the close alliance which exists between the soul and the body. We may call them perceptions when we make use all of this word generally to signify soul. add that they particularly relate to the soul. call emotions of the soul which relate to it. The definition of the passions of the soul. Explanation of the first part of this- definition. maintained. feelings. After having considered in what the passions of the soul differ from all its other thoughts.344 without within its The Passions of the Soul being very true that the soul actually has this passion it. it seems to me that we may define them generally as the perceptions. but more especially because of all the kinds of thought which it may it have. Article XXVII. but which are caused . and are not otherwise known by it but we can yet . maintained. are caused. in order to distinguish them from the other feelings which are related. which we may I . fortified by some movement of the Article XXVIII. not only because it name may be attributed to the changes which occur in in all the diverse thoughts which come to it. and fortified by some movement of the spirits. renders conWe may also call them feelings because they fused and obscure. and pain. in order to distinguish them from our desires. emotions of the soul which and which are caused. and spirits. call them emotions all of the soul. thirst. or desires. more accurately the that is. as do there are no others which so powerfully agitate and disturb these passions.

Article XXXI. functions immediately is in nowise the heart. of its itself from when the union assembled dissolved. nor of the space any way conceive of the half it occupies. nor other properties of the matter of which the body is composed. but or the third it only to the whole conglomerate of fact that its organs. nor dimensions. we must know that the soul is really joined to the whole body. properly speaking. because it is one and in some manner owing to the disposition of its organs. exercises its functions it is more the others and usually believed that this part : the brain. because it is with it that the organs of sense are is connected. but merely the most inward of to wit. and because entirely does not become smaller owing but separates organs is to the cutting off of it some portion of the body. 345 and also in order to explain their ultimate and most proximate cause. That there its is a small gland in the brain in which the soul exercises functions more particularly than in the other parts. that the slightest movements which take place in it may alter very greatly the course of these . and the heart because it apparently in it that we experience the passions. that renders the whole body defective and because it is indivisible.Part First by itself. That the soul is united to all the portions of the body conjointly. clearly ascertained that the part of the its seems as though in I had body \ which the soul exercises all its parts. Article XXX. say that it exists in any one of its parts to the exclusion of the others. which plainly distinguishes them from the other feelings. there yet in that a certain part in particularly than in is which . or possibly the heart the brain. in examining the matter with care. a certain very small gland its which is situated in the middle of substance and so suspended above tlie duct whereby the animal spirits in its anterior cavities have com- munication with those in the posterior. it But. which are so related to one another that when any one of them is removed. of a nature which has no relation to extension. . But in order to understand all these things more perfectly. as appears from the we could not in of a soul. It is likewise necessary to is know that although the all soul is joined it to the whole body. and that we cannot. nor the whole of the brain.

in order to feel there. The Passions of the Soul and reciprocally that the smallest changes which occur in the course of the spirits may do much to change the movements of this gland. That the seat of t/ie passions is not in the heart. it must necessarily be the case that there must somewhere be a place where the two images which come to us by the two eyes. passions than it is necessary for the soul to be in the heavens in order to see the stars there. for it is only founded on the fact that the passions cause us to feel some change As to the opinion of those taking place there . that it is not more necessary that our soul should exercise its its functions immediately in the heart. just all as we have two two hands. is soul cannot have any its the body than this gland wherein to exercise that I reflect that the other parts of eyes. it is not of much consideration. can unite before arriving at the soul. two ears. and finally the organs of our outside senses are and inasmuch as we have but one solitary and simple thought of one particular thing at one and the same moment. and it is easy to see that this change is not felt in the heart excepting through the medium of a small nerve which it. our brain are all of them double. descends from the brain towards just as pain is felt as in the foot by means of the nerves of the foot. and the stars are perceived as so in the heavens by means of their light and of the optic nerves . Article XXXII. And fill it is easy to apprehend how these images or other impressions might unite in this gland by the intermission of the spirits which the cavities of the brain . . but there is no other place in the body where they can be thus united unless they are so in this eland. of the double organs of the other senses. &j Article XXXIII. where the two other impressions which proceed from a single object by means double . who think that the soul receives its passions in the heart. in order that they may not represent to it two objects instead of one. The reason which persuades me that the functions immediately. How we know other seat in all that this gland is the main seat of the soul.346 spirits .

the light body depicts two images of it. them by the nerves to move the limbs. from whence it radiates forth through all the remainder of the spirits. by which means it causes them Article XXXV. reflected if we some animal approach us. i. by which means they can . by means of the optic nerves. and these two images form two others. whose nature itself as is is such that receives in many diverse impressions. soul and the body act on one another. the machine of the body is so formed gland. which. one in each of our eyes. whatever it it is. Example of the mode in in which the impressions of the objects unite the gland which is in t/te middle of the brain. these images so radiate towards the little gland .e. the machine of our body. nerves. can carry them by the arteries into And recollecting what has been said above about all the members. that to say. let us here add that the small gland which is the main seat of the soul is muscles.Part First Article XXXIV. so suspended between the cavities which contain the spirits that it can be moved by them in as many different it ways as there are also be it sensible diversities in the object. that it possesses movements in this Reciprocally. see Thus. in the interior surface of the brain which faces its cavities then from there. and even the blood. likewise. / body by means of Let us then conceive here that the soul has its principal seat in the little gland which exists in the middle of the brain. that the little filaments of our nerves are so distributed in all its parts. or by such other cause. which causes the animal the animal spirits contained in these cavities to enter in diverse ways into the move the members in all the different ways in which they are capable of being moved and also that all the other causes which are capable of moving the spirits in diverse ways suffice to conduct them into diverse muscles. they open in diverse ways the pores of the brain. that on the occasion of the diverse movements which are there excited by sensible objects. it thrusts the spirits which surround towards the pores of the brain. that from the simple fact that this gland is diversely moved by the as many diverse perceptions as there are diverse soul. 347 How the. participating in the impressions of the spirits. for example. by means of the animal spirits with which its from its • cavities are filled. which conduct into the muscles. but that may moved in diverse ways by the soul.

sends to the brain the spirits which are adapted for the maintenance and strengthening of the passion of fear. to wit. because the same occurs in all the other passions. that this blood being there rarefied in a different manner from usual. proceed thence to take their places partly in the nerves which serve to turn the back and dispose the legs for flight. and partly in those which so increase or diminish the orifices of the heart.e.<eems as though they are all caused by some mot* ment of the spirits. or at least reopening. they excite a particular move- ment in this gland which is instituted by nature in order to cause • the soul to be sensible of this passion and because these pores are principally in relation with the little nerves which serve to contract or enlarge the orifices of the heart. i. or at least which so whence the blood is sent to it.348 which is The Passions of the Soul surrounded by these spirits. which represents the same part of this animal. besides if it that. the way in which the passions are excited is in the soul. By this means the two images which are in the brain form but one upon the gland. temperament and according as we have or to begin with been secured by defence by flight is against the hurtful things to which the present impression certain persons that disposes the brain in such a reflected from the related. causes it to see the form of this animal. which are adapted to the agitate the other parts from holding open. that excites the passion of apprehension in the soul and then that of courage. they are principally caused by the spirits which are contained . Example of that is. which. And. of the pores of the brain which conduct them into the same nerves. acting immediately upon the soul. that causes the soul to be sensible of it for the most part as in the heart. that the movement which forms each point of one of the images tends towards the same point of the gland towards which tends the movement which forms the point of the other image. or else that of and consternation according of the body or the strength of the fear to the particular soul. How And that it . Article XXX VI 1. For in way that the spirit- image thus formed on the gland. if this figure very strange and frightful has a close relationship with the things which have been formerly hurtful to the body. For from the fact alone that these spirits enter into these pores. Article XXXVI.

may and without the soul's contributing thereto.Part First in 349 the cavities of the brain. in whatever other fashion may be. the the rest. and which causes fear in certain men. by means of which the sensible of be excited in and perceives this flight. Article XL. that they are caused by some movement of the animal spirits. in the same way as the course which these spirits take towards the nerves of the heart suffices to give the to the gland movement by the by which fear is placed in the soul. they cause another soul is movement same gland. in others causes the spirits to enter into the pores of the brain which conduct them partly into the nerves which serve to move the hands for purposes of selfdefence. too. and partly into those which agitate and drive the blood towards the heart in the manner requisite to produce the spirits . we may from this clearly understand why have placed in particular my definition of them above. may excite in others courage and confidence the reason of this is that all brains are not constituted in the same way. Article XXXVIII. The principal For it is effect of the passions. The same impression which a terrifying object makes on the gland. or to drive in various ways to it the blood which it in the other parts. inasmuch as they take their Gourse orifices of is towards the nerves which serve to enlarge or contract the the heart. Article XXXIX. requisite to notice that the principal effect of all the passions in men is that they incite and dispose their soul to desire . to carry I on the same passion. Example of passions and do For the movements of the body which accompany not depend on the soul. or. and that the same movement of the gland which in some excites fear. simple fact that certain spirits at the same time proceed towards the nerves which serve to move the in the legs in order to take flight. and to retain the desire of it. proper for the continuance of this defence. the body by the disposition of the organs which in this way alone. How one and the same cause may excite different passions in different men. so.

enter into them more easily than into the others. has the power of causing the gland to move in the manner . How the soul can imagine. kinds of perceptions). that solely because it desires something. by which the spirits . have formerly followed their course because of the presence of this object. the former are absolutely and can only be indirectly changed by the body. its desires. r that it is this which it desired to remember. that it can never be constrained and of the two sorts of thoughts which I have distinguished . while on the other hand the latter depend absolutely on the actions which govern and direct them. this desire causes the gland. to thrust the spirits towards different parts of the brain until they come across that part where the traces left there by the object for these traces are none which we wish to recollect are found other than the fact that the pores of the brain. And the whole action of the soul consists in this. taking this word in most general significance. and more the body.e. by inclining successively to different sides. The power of the soul in regard to the body. by which means they excite a special movement in the gland which represents the same object to the soul.350 The Passions oj the Soul those things for which they prepare their body. that of courage to desire to fight. and so on. which comprises in its power. have by that means acquired a greater facility than the others in being once more opened by the animal spirits which come Thus these spirits in coming in contact with these pores. How ice find in Thus when the the memory the things which ice desire to remember. excepting when it is itself their cause. desire to imagine something Thus when we this desire we have never seen. so that the feeling of fear incites it to desire to fly. be attentive. its i. soul desires to recollect something. in the soul (of which the all first are its actions. Article XLI. Article XLII1. and causes it to know towards them in the same w ay. the others its passions. But the will is so free in its nature. it causes the little gland to which it is closely united to move in the way requisite to produce the effect which relates to this desire. and they can only indirectly be altered by the soul. Article XL1I.

example. or bring about some for this which is able so to excite it. think only of the sense of what acquired in learning to speak. removed by the action of our will. but we cannot for all that enlarge it. bat that. rather than with the movements themselves. What is the power of the soul in reference to its passions. but they can be so indirectly by the representation of things which are usually united to the passions which likewise be directly excited or Our passions cannot . with the desire to enlarge or diminish objects which are far it. caused us to join the action of the by the intermission of the gland can move the tongue and lips). changes according as nature or custom have diversely united Thus. it may be united to others. but with that of looking at And when in speaking we we desire to say. by intentional efiort or by custom. At the . when we desire walk or to move our body in some special way. Thus. because nature has not joined the movement of the gland . finally. soul (which. that causes us to move the tongue and lips much more quickly and much better than if we thought of moving them in all the many ways requisite to utter the same words. if we wish off.Part First requisite to drive the spirits towards the pores of the brain 351 by the . this desire holds the gland for the time being inclined to the same to side. That each desire is naturally united to tome movement of the gland . inasmuch as the custom which we have away or near. with the significance of words which follow these movements.same time it is not always the desire to excite in us some result movement. for look at an . this desire causes the gland to thrust the spirits towards the muscles which serve to bring about this result. to adjust our eyes so that they may object very far this desire causes their pupils to enlarge and if we wish to set them to look at an object very near. each movement of the gland to each particular thought. this desire causes them to contract but if we think only of enlarging the pupil of the eye we may have the desire indeed. Article XLIV. in the manner requisite for enlarging or diminishing the pupil. Article XLV. which serves to thrust forth the spirits towards the optic nerve. opening of which pores this particular thing may be represented thus when we wish to apply our attention for some time to the consideration of one particular object.

but not the hand cases to strike. some commotion which takes place in the heart. not sufficient to have the will to do not great . the objects or examples peril is : which persuade us that the that there is more security in defence than in flight that we should have the glory and joy of having vanquished. it is Thus. and the soul by all its tend to excite in the gland at the same time. and so on in other similar Article In what lower the strife consists XLVI I. to And there is a special reason which prevents the soul from beingits able at once to change or arrest to say in defining passions. itself very attentive to some other thing. and so on. so that until this commotion has subsided. fear. in order to excite courage in oneself and remove so. but cannot prevent itself in the same way from hearing thunder or feeling the it tire which burns the hand. Article XLVI. if fear incites our legs to flee. they remain present to our thought in the same manner as sensible objects are present there while they And as the soul. to exist which we imagine between the and higher part it oj the soul. and which are contrary which we desire to set aside. is only in the repugnance which exists between the its movements which the body by animal spirits. the will can usually hold it back . excepting after the commotion of the blood and spirits is appeased. but are also maintained and strengthened by some particular movement of the This reason is that they are nearly all accompanied by spirits. the will can arrest them. may similarly easily get the better of the lesser most violent and strongest. but we must also always apply ourselves to consider the reasons. may prevent itself from hearing a slight noise or feeling a slight pain. if anger causes us to lift our it disposes the body. The reason which prevents the soul from being able wholly control its passion.352 The Passions of the Soul to those we desire to have. And will. and in consequence also in the whole of the blood and the animal spirits. while we could expect nothing but regret and shame for having fled. The most that the will can do while this commotion is in its full strength is not to yield to its effects and to restrain many of the movements to which For example. passions. in rendering act upon the organs of our senses. which has caused me them that they are not only caused. that the strife .

it may come to pass that that which succeeds does not have it. and thus it comes about that the soul feels itself almost at the same time impelled to desire and r. those which cause the passions or the movements passions. and this soul . its will the others do make an . and that with which the soul repels it again by the desire which it has to avoid the very same thing. And what causes this strife to come into evidence for the most part is that the will. and to apply itself to consider successively several things as to which. between the effort with which the spirits impel the gland in order to cause a desire for something in the soul. excepting that the small gland which exists in the middle of the brain. as I have said above. we may say. stronger prevents the other from taking effect. only proceeds from the fact that we have not properly is distinguished its functions from those of the body. as has just been said. which are mere bodies. any diversity of parts the same part that is is rational. or as consists. 23 . to which alone we must attribute every thing which can be observed in us that .Part First which we are is 353 between the inferior in the habit of conceiving to exist part of the soul. not having the power to excite the passions directly. although they often hinder the actions of the them. of the body which accompany the And as to the first. because they are not directly contrary to strife between them. yet. it often happens that these two impulses are contrary. For there between the natural appetites and the within us but one soul. is constrained to use its best endeavours. is will. h. opposed to our reason so that there is here no strife. or else are hindered by them.g. movement excited by the animal spirits in the gland — the — one sort represents to the soul the objects which to affect move the effort to senses. we do not notice any the strife between the latter : soul. and the superior which rational. and all the soul's appetites The error which has been committed in making it play the part of various personages. distinguish two sorts of We and that the may.e. usually in opposition one to another. which we call the sensuous. and blood has not changed. and to the other by the animal spirits. which are met with in the brain. or the impressions and makes no attempt do so i. We only notice and the acts of will which conflict with them e. its place in the nerves. and that they immediately afterwards revert to that same course because the disposition which has before held heart. has not in itself subject to sense impressions are acts of will. though it happens that one has the power to change for a moment the course taken by the spirits. however. being- capable of being thrust to one side by the soul.

bring their strength to the test. How we And recognise the struggle or infirmity of souls.354 The Passions of the Soul It is from this that occasion has not to desire the same thing. . also causes the spirits to enter into the muscles the legs with the object of to be brave stops flight. At the same time we may still conceive a sort of strife inasmuch as often the same cause which excites some passion in the soul. then to the other. proper arms consists of the firm and determinate away by present passions. and. without doubt But there are those people who cannot possess the strongest souls. and thus renders the soul enslaved and unhappy. . place the soul in the most deplorable possible condition. and what is lacking in those that are most feeble. to exist. them from doing Article XLVIII. and which it stops. in pursuance of which it has resolved to conduct the actions of its life and the most feeble souls of all are those whose will does not thus determine itself to follow certain judgments. Thus when fear represents death as an extreme evil. also excites certain movements in the body to which the soul does not contribute. it is in continual opposition to itself. but allows itself continually to be . it is by success in these combats that each individual can . but only with those which furnish it with certain passions in order to resist certain others. draw the will first to one side. been taken to imagine in the soul two powers which strive one with the other. which serve to move and when the wish which we have so. which. and one which can only be avoided by flight. ambition on the other hand sets forth the infamy of Incarried t flight as an evil worse than death. I call its That which judgments respecting the knowledge of good and evil. being frequently contrary to one another. by employing it in striving against itself. or tries to as we see when what excites fear stop. directly it perceives them . will in diverse ways and in first These two passions agitate the obeying one and then the other. discover the strength or the weakness of his soul for those in whom by nature the will can most easily conquer the passions and arrest the movements of the body which accompany them. because they never cause their will to do battle with its proper arms.

yet. inasmuch as if we follow the latter we are assured that we shall never regret nor repent it. and those which are founded only on the knowledge of the truth. That the strength 355 of the soul does not very few suffice without the knowledge oj the truth.Part First Article XLIX. It also useful to know that although the movements both of the gland and of the brain. Article That there is L. It is true that there are men so weak and irresolute that they desire nothing except what their passion dictates to them. usually signification to be understood rather make this than the form of their is letters or the sound of their syllables. Yet there is a great difference between the resolutions which proceed from a false opinion. so far as the institution of nature is concerned. and hence discovered our error in doing so. and resist the present passions which are contrary to them. if well directed. do not represent to the soul more than their sound they are uttered by the voice. whereas we do so always when we have followed the first-mentioned. The most part have determinate judgments. or the form of their letters when when they are written. judgments are because it in pursuance of which they regulate a part of their actions. it no soul so feeble that its cannot. acquire an absolute power over passions. and we may reflect that souls are stronger or weaker by reason of the fact that they are able to follow these judgments more or less closely. they may be considered as its proper arms. And above. which. are naturally joined to those which excite in it certain passions. nevertheless. as has already been said although each movement of the gland seems to have been it is useful here to joined by nature to each one of our thoughts from the beginning of our life. spirits of the which represent certain objects to the soul. continues to follow them when the passion which has caused them is absent. and although often their false or even founded on certain passions by which the will formerly allowed itself to be vanquished or led astray. know that. they can at the 23—2 . and which. as experience shows us in the case of words which excite movements in the gland. by the custom which has been acquired in thinking of what they signify when their sound has been heard or their letters have been seen. we may at the same time join them to others by means of custom.

nor perhaps any thought. it is evident that we can do so yet more in the case of men. but the movements of the nerves and muscles which usually accompany them. incites and when he him to flight. eating with relish. . causes them to run up to us. and does not require long usage. partridge he is So when a dog sees a naturally disposed to run towards hears a gun nevertheless fired. the surprise that this event gives us may so change the disposition of our brain. and joined to others which are very different and also that this custom can be acquired by a solitary action. the passions. while we formerly ate it with pleasure. But it. as in our case. that we can no longer see any such food without horror. this sound naturally usually so to stop. and that even those who have the feeblest souls can acquire a very absolute dominion over training all their passions if sufficient industry is applied in and guiding them. all the movements of the spirits and of the gland which excite the passions in us. And the same thing is to be noticed in brutes. regard our passions for since we can with a little industry change movement of the brain in animals deprived of reason. and in them serve in maintaining and strengthening not. are none the less in them. And the these things are useful in inciting each one of us to study to . Thus when we unexpectedly meet with something very foul in food that we are . for although they have no reason. setters are trained that the sight of a partridge causes them hear when a shot is fired and the sound which they afterwards over them.356 The Passions of the Soul same time be separated from these by custom.

all. said above that the ultimate We know from what has been and most proximate cause of the passions of the soul is none other than the agitation with which the spirits move the little gland which is in the middle of the brain. Article LI. What I is their mode of operation and how they may be enumerated. Article LII.PART SECOND. but only because of the diverse ways in which they or help us. and to examine their first causes and. harm some importance to us and . that in all cases the same passions can also be excited by the objects which move the senses. : be caused by the action of the soul which determines of the itself to conceive of this or that object. it is sufficient to consider all the effects of these objects. it yet appears by what has been said. although they may sometimes . and also simply by the temperament body or by the impressions which are fortuitously met with in the brain. that the objects which move the senses do not excite diverse passions in us because of all the diversities which are in them. What are the first causes of the passions. But that does not suffice to distinguish one from another it is necessary to investigate their sources. OF THE NUMBER AND ORDER OF THE PASSIONS AND AN EXPOSITION OF THE SIX PRIMITIVE PASSIONS. and that these objects are their most ordinary and principal causes from which it follows that in order to find them . or in general be of may . as happens when we feel sad or joyous without beingable to give a reason. notice besides.

generosity spiritedkiess. Veneration and disdain. . Article LIIL Wonder. here make an enumeration of all the principal passions according to the order in which they may thus be found. or despise ourselves. because if the object which presents itself lias nothing in it. it that surprises us. pride. to dispose into effect that is why. When judge it the first encounter with some object surprises us. has no opposite. our senses I how many diverse ways which are can be moved by their objects and . Esteem and disdain. . and also bring about that same agitation of spirits which customarily causes them the body to the movement which serves for the carrying of these things . or from what we supposed that it ought to be. that causes us to wonder and be surprised and because that may happen before we in any way know whether this object is agreeable to us or is not so. we consider as free causes capable of doing good or from esteem proceeds veneration and from simple absence of esteem. and to persist in this desire. that they dispose the soul to desire those things which nature tells us are of use. disdain. and then the habitudes. Article LIV. we are in nowise it moved regarding and we consider without passion. of magnanimity or and of humility or Article LV. in order to enumerate them. <rr pride and humility or poor- To wonder is united esteem or disdain according as its it is at the greatness of an object or smallness that may thus esteem poor-spirit. THE ORDER AND ENUMERATION OF THE PASSIONS. But when we esteem or think little of other objects which evil. and we new or very different from what we formerly knew. we wonder.358 that the customary The Passions of mode the Sovl is of action of all the passions simply this. and it it appears to me that wonder is the first of all the passions to be . we must merely examine shall in their order in significant for us. And we from which come the passions.

courage. cowardice. jealousy. it is ever regards the future. From the same passions originate . confidence and despair. Article LVII. and terror. bravery. it and that of which nature a species. emulation. commence For not only when we desire to acquire a good which or avoid an evil which we do not yet have. but when it is represented to us as dependent there in carrying may be a difficulty in the selection of the means or them into execution. absence of an evident that it we judge may occur but also when we only anticipate the conservation of a good or evil. From the first proceeds the irrecouncil. excites fear. 359 And or evil. . When hope excessive changes its and is called confidence or assurance. which emulation is And cowardice is contrary to courage. Article LIX. Desire. consideration of good and evil all the other I but in order to place them in order make distinctions as to time. is good But when a matter presented as relatively to us good. that which represents to us evil is possible in besides that that there is much probability of this excites in us hope. And we expect in no can thus hope and fear although the issue of what we way depends on us . Article LVIII. Just as on the other hand extreme fear becomes despair. and considering that they lead us I to regard much more with desire. which is as far as this passion may extend. is is which represents to us that there jealousy is little. the future than the present or the past.Part Second Article LVI. all the preceding passions if may be excited in us without our in any way perceiving the object which causes is them it. that causes us to have love for and when it is represented as evil or hurtful to us. fear. But when we consider whether there is much or little prospect that we shall obtain what we desire. that excites hatred in us. is solution which disposes us to deliberate latter courage or bravery is opposed.e. i. It suffices to reflect that the acquisition of a good or removal of an order to be incited to desire it. Love and hatred. of and take To the a species. as fear or terror to bravery. Irresolution. Hope. as agreeable to us.

that does not excite in us any other passion but joy. Article LXIII. when it is a good or an evil which is repre- sented as belonging to us. We may well as past. There is only this difference.360 The Passions of the Soul Article LX. which does not concern the time to come like the preceding passions. the good excites envy and the evil pity. since our belief that they will come represents them as if they were present. sadness. Article LXI. we either as worthy or may esteem them unworthy of it. envy. also consider the cause of the good or evil. Joy and sadness. that causes remorse of conscience to arise. and evil. which are And we must notice that the same passions species of sadness. which relate to present good or evil things may often likewise be related to those which are to come. while what comes from evil But if we esteem them is accompanied by laughter and mockery. Self-satisfaction and repentance. that the joy that comes from what is good is serious. inasmuch as it is some satisfaction to us to see that things happen as they should. pity. which the most bitter. Article LXII. and when we esteem them worthy. unworthy of it. And if one is moved to act before irresolution has passed away. present as And the good which has been done by ourselves gives us an internal satisfaction which is the sweetest of is all the passions : while the evil excites repentance. . But when it is represented to us as pertaining to other men. but the present or the past. And that of the consideration of the present good excites joy in us. Remorse. Mockery.

Part Second Article LXIV. and if it is to us. Indignation and anger. For these derive their enumeration from the fact that they distinguish in the sensitive part of the soul two appetites which they name the con- and irascible respectively. Pride 1 and shame. and past good. But the good which has been clone by others causes us to regard them with favour although it is not to us that it has been done. and this is a species of sadness And . so related it likewise arouses anger. And because in the soul I recognise no distinction of parts. Article Disgust. parting to I me to be the best for In this know I well that I am company with it is all those who have written on this subject before. the one of desire. sometimes the duration of the good brings about tedium or And finally from disgust. cupiscent 1 'Lagloire. while that of evil diminishes sadness. regret. regret proceeds. from past evil comes gaiety' 2 . Article LXV. but not without great reason that do so. LXVI I. Article LXVIII. this seems to me to signify nothing but that it has two faculties. Article LXVI. excites a feeling of glory and the shame. and gaiety 2 . Here we have the order which seems the enumeration of the passions. which is a species of joy. In the same relation to us. it is done by others and not having any only causes us to be indignant with them and when way the evil . . we join to the favour gratitude.' a all^gresse F. may have evil. of it. as I have said above. Further. the good which is or has been in us. Why this is enumeration of the passions is different from that which com /it only received. 361 Favour and gratitude. being referred to the opinion which others or pride in us.

every other passion. and because itself in the faculties of wondering. so that it is maintained by them. Wonder is a sudden surprise of the soul which causes it to apply itself to consider with attention the objects which seem to it rare and extraordinary.362 The Passions of the Soul same way it has the and thus of receiving in and the other of anger. i. desire. what way all the others derive from Article LXX. if it is by them that it has been formed. Of wonder . as I believe this one does. hatred. and that six. which are disposed by this impression to . loving. That there are only si. wonder. very large. speak only of the principal. this passion has this particular characteristic. fearing. or else bringing about actions to which these it. all the others are composed of some of these or are species of them. and their may further distinguish is indefinite. tend with great force towards the part of the brain where order to fortify and conserve it it is. we may easily notice that there are but six which are such. joy and sadness. in it there . That in this passion no change occurs in the heart or in the blood. in order that their multitude I may not embarrass my readers. in making a review of all those which I have enumerated. passions urge all do not see why they have desired to refer them to concupiscence or anger. And besides their enumeration does I not comprehend I all the principal passions. It is thus primarily caused by the impression we have in the brain which represents the object as rare. shall here treat the six primitive passions separately in and afterwards I shall show them their origin. love. because we other more particular ones. as they are also disposed by to pass thence into the muscles of the senses in the still which serve to retain the organs same situation in which they are. hoping.e. many number Article LXIX. That is why. But the number of those which are simple and primitive is not For. Article LXX I. its definition and cause.r primitive passions. that in it it is And we in do not notice that accompanied by any change which occurs . and as consequently worthy of much consideration then afterwards by the movement of the spirits.

affect the brain in certain parts in which it is not usually affected. i. the soles of our feet being accustomed to a contact which is rough enough owing to the weight of the body which they bear. likewise certain that the objects of sense which are new. and only increasing by little. can easily be turned aside. that not having good or evil as its object. is much slighter and more gentle touch. other passions as it is usually is met with is i. what happens that the that wonder united to them. and causes them to be in the cavities of the brain to take their so much occupied in preserving this impression that there are none . 363 The reason of this is but only the knowledge of the thing that we wonder at. on the novelty. Article LXXII. In what the strength of wonder consists. we feel this contact but little when we walk. increases movements which they there incredible if we consider that excite. and that the effect of the the fact that these parts are more tender or less firm than those which a frequent agitation has solidified. thus increasing them. when they are it is almost insupportable because unusual to us. the sudden and unexpected arrival of this impression which changes the movement of the spirits. What astonishment is. while another tickled. which surprise is proper and peculiar to this passion so that when surprise is met with in . And the strength depends on two things. this surprise has so much power in causing the spirits which are way from thence the place where is the impression of the object which we wonder that it sometimes thrusts them all there. being feeble to begin with. Article LXXIII. And to at. in almost all.Part Second the heart and blood like the other passions. effect little it causes possesses it entire strength from lias its For is certain that such a movement It is more than those which. it is And we shall not find this a similar reason which brings it about that. but only with the brain where are the organs of the senses which are the instru- ments of this knowledge. it has no relation with the heart and blood on which all the good of the body depends. and on the fact its movement which commencement.e. That does not prevent its having much strength because of the surprise.e.

memory things we were formerly ignorant for we shall only wonder at or also . That is what we commonly call being astonished. it is useful. We also see that those who have no although a thing which was unknown to our understanding or our senses. Article LXXV. nor even which in any way turn themselves away from the tracks which they originally pursued in the brain and this causes the whole body to remain as immobile as a statue. Now us. And again. and nothing can so appear excepting because because is it is different from the things we have been ignorant of it. and astonishment is an excess of wonder which : can never be otherwise than bad. all that the utility of the passions consists alone in their fortifying and perpetuating in the soul thoughts which it is good it should preserve.364 The Passions of the Soul which pass from thence into the muscles. And we may inasmuch as of which it say more particularly of wonder that causes us to learn and retain in our . that which appears rare and extraordinary to us. or consequently of acquiring a more particular knowledge of it. which we have known it for it this difference which causes to be called extraordinary. natural inclination towards this passion are usually very ignorant. all the harm which they can cause consists in the fact that they fortify and conserve these thoughts more than necessary. and prevents our perceiving more of the object than the first face which is presented. . unless the idea which we have of it is strengthened in our brain by some passion or else by the application of our understanding which our will determines to a particular attention and And the other passions may serve to make us remark reflection. The end which the passions serve. Article LXXIV. And it is easy to understand from what has been said above. and to what they are detrimental. presents itself anew to we do not for all that retain it in our memory. and which without that might easily be effaced from it. . In what wonder particularly consists. or that they fortify and conserve others on which it is not good to dwell. things which seem good or evil but we have only wonder for those which appear but seldom.

because that disposes us for the acquisition of the sciences. That correct it. special reflection much no other remedy to prevent our wondering to excess than that of acquiring a knowledge of various matters and exercising ourselves in the consideration of all those which may appear the most rare and strange. and to think that all those which may afterwards present themselves are common. its excess may pass into a matter of habit when we fail to And although this passion seems to diminish with use. Article LXXVIII. it But much more we wonder too much. and how we may make good its deficiency frequently occurs that and correct its excess. when it is excessive. That is why. we must as at the same time afterwards try to free ourselves from it For it is easy to supplement its defects by and attention which our will can always oblige our understanding to give on these occasions when we judge that the matter which presents itself is worth the trouble. still. although they have a fairly good supply of sense. 365 In what it may do harm. the more we accustom ourselves to cease to wonder at them. leaves behind it a custom . without it acquiring any other knowledge of them. although it is good to be born with some inclination towards this passion. That it is neither the most stupid nor the most clever who arc most carried away by wonder. solely on the first and causes us to arrest our attention image of the objects which are presented. And this may entirely prevent or pervert the use of the reason. who are most disposed to As a matter of fact it is principally those who. But there is as possible. and that we are astonished in perceiving things which deserve little or no consideration. it is For the rest.Part Second Article LXXVI. common have at the same time no high opinion as to their sufficiency. that not to say that those who are best supplied with wits are always those it. than that we wonder too little. because the more we meet with rare things which we wonder at. although only those who are dull and stupid is who are in nowise impelled by their nature to wonder. Article LXXVII.

366 The Passions of the Soul which disposes the soul in the same way to pause over all the other objects which present themselves. this time but of the consent by which we consider ourselves from forward as united with what we love. For the rest. on the other hand. say that these emotions are caused by the spirits in order to distinguish love and hate. we consider ourselves only and as a whole. Article LXXX. What desire. and from the emotions which these judgments excite of themselves in the soul. that to say the love which . And hatred is an emotion caused by the I spirits which incite the soul to desire to be separated from the it objects which present themselves to as hurtful. which are passions and depend on the body. and not for the purpose of really knowing them : for little by little they become less so given over to wonder. while the thing loved constitutes another part. the malady of those And this is what causes the continuance of who suffer from a blind curiosity that is. provided that they appear to it to be ever so little new. Love spirits an emotion of the soul caused by the movement of the which incites it to join itself willingly to objects which appear to it to be agreeable. The definition of love is and hate. is by the word will I do not here intend to talk of which a passion apart. the is one of which named the love of benevolence. both from the judgments which also induce the soul by its free will to unite itself with the things which it esteems to be good. Of the distinction usually made between the hire belonging to concupiscence and that of benevolence. and to separate itself from those it holds to be evil. and one which relates to the future. And two is sorts of love are usually distinguished. it is to join or separate oneself by one s free will. Article LXXX I. who — seek out things that are rare solely to wonder at them. so that we imagine a whole of which we conceive ourselves as only constituting one part. entirely separated from the matter for which we possess an aversion. Article LXXIX. that things of no importance are no capable of arresting their attention than those whose investigation is more useful. In the case of hatred.

a drunkard for wine. he seeks their good as his own. for the possession of the objects to which their passion and do not have any for the objects themselves. But it appears to me its that this distinction essence . desires to violate. for. although the passions which an ambitious man has for glory. himself.Part Second incites Us to wish well to 367 is what we love . . because. a man of honour for his friend or mistress. concerns the effects of love alone. a miser There is also for money. for which they only have desire mingled with other particular passions. he often prefers their interests to his. but it also participates a little in the others. effects of love. and a good father for his children. a brutal man for a woman whom he still. and does not wish to possess them otherwise than he does. and not for as soon it as we are willingly joined to some object. considering them as replicas of closely than he already is. some is other manner than through the likewise one of the desire : and this most ordinary effects of love. of whatever nature be. the other named the love of concupiscence. may this we have for it a feeling of benevolence. may be very different. But the love which a good father has for his children is so pure that he desires to have nothing from them. Article LXXXII. eery different passions agree. The affection which honourable men have for their friends is of this nature even though it is rarely so perfect and that which they have for their . inasmuch as they participate no need to distinguish as many kinds of love as there are diverse objects which we may love. they are similar. But the four only have love relates. and does not fear losing himself in order to save them. i. we also join to it it : willingly the things is which we believe to be agreeable to and in one of the principal And we if we judge that it it it is a desirable thing to possess or to be associated with will. or even with greater care. mistress participates largely in it. How in love.e. nor to be united with them more For. to take an example. in setting before himself that he or they form a whole of which he is not the best part. it. that is to say the love that causes us to desire the thing that is loved. inasmuch first as they participate in love.

As to the meaning of devotion. Now the difference which exists between these three sorts of love . on the other hand. in devotion the thing loved self. and when we have a truly noble and generous soul. Article LXXXIV. and in some cases even for the private persons to whom they were devoted. country. the passion which we have may be called devotion. That there are not as many kinds of hate as of lore. friendship. . when we are loved by him. may have affection for a flower. For the rest. that we do not fear death in order to preserve We have frequently seen examples of this in the case of those defence of who have exposed themselves to a certain death in the their prince or their town. that is called friendship and when we esteem it Thus we more. may. : We when we esteem it equally with ourselves. as we do that which exists between the good things to which we are joined. we can have friendship for men alone. its principal object is no doubt the supreme Diviuity to whom . when we esteem him much more than ourselves. town. that there so imperfect that is no we cannot have for him a very perfect friendship. so much preferred to the it. we have only a simple affection for it . we are always ready to abandon the lesser portion of the whole into which we both enter. and. we do to the not always divide into so many species because we do not same extent notice the difference which exists between the evils from which we are separated by our will. and even for a particular man. find differences in love according to the esteem which we bear to the object loved as compared with oneself for when we esteem the object of love less than ourselves. Of and the difference which exists between simple affection. is shown principally by their effects for inasmuch as in all of them we consider ourselves as joined and united to the thing loved. a bird. devotion. we cannot fail to be devoted when we know Him as we should but we may also have devotion for our prince.368 The Passions of the Soul Article LXXXIII. This brings it to pass that in simple affection we always prefer ourselves to the object loved is . although hatred it is directly opposed to love. in accordance with what will be afterwards explained in Articles CLIV and CLVI. And man they are so truly the object of this passion. it seems to me. . . in order to preserve the other portion. a horse but unless we have a very ill-regulated mind.

that which we have for good things. and that which we have for beautiful things. because what comes to the soul by the senses touches it more forcibly than what is represented to it by its reason. and against which we should guard ourselves most carefully. characteristic of Of delight and revulsion And I only find one distinct 1 . to which we often attribute the name of love. both of that which we already have. this last may be called horror or aversion in order to distinguish it. and by its own reason for we commonly denominate good or evil that which our interior senses or our reason make us judge to be agreeable or the contrary to our nature. know very well that usually in the Schools the passion which makes for the search after the good which alone is called desire is 1 De l'agrement et de l'horreur.Part Second Article 369 LXXXV. : . R. Thus we do not only desire the presence of the absent good. two kinds of hatred in the same way take their rise.e. the one of which relates to evil things. But what is most remarkable here is that these passions of delight and detestation or horror are usually more violent than the other sorts of love or hate. to which we may give the name of attraction or delight in order not to confound it with the other. . The passion of desire it which dispose an agitation of the sou] caused by the to wish for the future the things which it is represents to itself as agreeable. or else by the internal. That I it is a passion which has no opposite. And from thence also. The spirits definition of Desire. nor yet with desire. 24 . any note which is It consists in the fact that the objects both of love and hatred may be represented to the soul by the external senses. but we term beautiful or ugly that which is so represented to us by our outward senses. and further. Article LXXXVII. and of that which we believe we might experience in time to come. which alone is more considered than the others hence two sorts of love originate. H. Article LXXXVI. principally by that of sight. and that even though these first passions have usually less truth so that of all the passions it is these which deceive the most. . the absence of evil. but also the conservation of the present. i. the other to ugly things and alike in both.

their rise from the emotions of Article LXXXIX. and then by hope and joy while the same desire. fear . and this again from is desire for vengeance. avoidance of which is But inasmuch as there is no good whose privation is not an evil. and to an at the when evil in order to avoid it. That is. in fleeing from sickness we make for health. The desire which springs from revulsion. are not the good and the evil which serve as objects for those desires. for example. I merely remark this difference in it. opposed to that which makes called aversion. There would be more reason in distinguishing desire into as many different species as there are different objects sought after since. although contrary to it. is and so on in the case of other that there are as objects. differs none other than a desire for much from desire for glory. whose privation is not a good. which if is the cause of our judging to consider it it to be contrary to we wish relates equally to same time it some good with the view of seeking it. that the desire which we have when we make for some good is accompanied by love. for the search after a only one and the same desire which makes good and the escape from an evil which is as has been said. Now. which dispose it to seek after two very different things. when it tends to remove itself from evil contrary to this good.370 The Passions of for the the Soul evil. Article LXXXVIII. and so on with other things. we necessarily shun poverty. but only two emotions of the soul. we may very clearly see that it is but one passion which brings about both the one and the other. and that the most important and strongest are those which take delight and revulsion. nor any evil considered in a positive sense. and that in investigating riches. and sadness itself. which knowledge. But it here sufficient to know many species of the passions as there are of love and hatred. the desire which originates from it is delight cannot revulsion which springs from and revulsion which are truly contrary to one another. But opposed . Its different species. to be very different from that for this delight . and at the same time for the avoidance of the evil which is contrary to it. for example. it seems to me that it is always an identical movement which makes for the search after good. curiosity. is accompanied by hate. revulsion fail .

and this is . and in a certain time. proceeds from the perfections But the principal one is that which which we imagine in a person whom self. That which springs from delight. and that of fruits to eat them. is On the other hand. which causes us to desire this enjoyment very ardently. the beauty of flowers incites us only to look at them. And for all although we see many persons of this other sex. 24—2 . we do not half. they consider themselves defective. as in the animals without reason. the senses . Article XC. For. to take an example. delight specially instituted by nature to represent the enjoyment of that which gives pleasure as the greatest of all the good things which pertain to man. to feel only for the first all the inclination is more agreeable than it that determines the soul which nature gives it to seek for the good which that nature represents to that can be possessed . so that although sometimes but the touch or one's of a grub. that desire several at the same time. or the sound of a trembling leaf. of which an individual of the other sex should be the other half. as the greatest and this inclination or desire which thus springs from delight more usually receives the name of love than the passion of love which has above been described. and as though they were but the half of a whole. It has likewise stranger effects and it is what provides the principal material for the writers of romances and for poets. we at once feel as much emotion as though a very evident peril of death offered itself to what suddenly produces the agitation which causes the soul to employ all its forces in order to avoid an evil so present and it is this kind of desire which we commonly call avoidance and aversion. inasmuch as nature does not cause us to imagine that we have need of more than one But when we observe something in one which what we at the same time observe in others. own shadow. has also placed certain impressions in the brain which bring it pass that at a certain age. It is true that there are various sorts of delight and that the desires which take their origin in these diverse varieties are not all equally powerful. for we think may become another it with the difference of sex to which nature has placed in men. which causes us to be seized with horror. In this way the acquisition of this half all is confusedly repre- sented by nature as the greatest of imaginable goods.Part Second is 371 the soul instituted by nature to represent to it is a sudden and unexpected death.

in which the enjoyment consists which it has in the good which its understanding represents call may to it as its own. which is a passion. imagination does not fail immediately to the move- make some impression in the brain from which proceeds ment of the spirits which excites the passion of joy. The definition of Sadness. it may be said that it does not enjoy them more than if it did not possess them at all. It is true that while the soul is united to the body this intellectual joy can hardly fail to be accompanied by that which is a passion for as soon as our understanding perceives that we possess some good thing. and while it has no joy in these. The causes of these two passions. there also is And is not passion. The definition of Joy. with the joy that into the soul is purely intellectual. and which alone. I add also that it is of the good which the impressions of the brain represent to it as its own. it is in this emotion that the enjoyment of the good consists fact the soul receives for as a matter of no other fruits from all the good things that it possesses. Article XCII I.372 The Passions of the Soul Article XCI. comes by the action of the soul and which we an agreeable emotion excited in it. it dis- comfort and unrest which the soul receives from or from the defect which the impressions of the brain set before as pertaining an intellectual sadness which to it. but which hardly ever fails to be accompanied by it. even although this good may be so different from all that pertains to body that it is not in the least . But when intellectual joy or sadness thus excites that is which is a passion their cause and we see from their definitions that joy proceeds from the belief that we have of possessing some good. Joy is an agreeable emotion of the soul in which consists the enjoyment that the soul possesses in the good which the impressions of the brain represent to it as it own. . and sadness from the belief that we have evident enough . I say that . Sadness is a disagreeable languor in which consists the evil. in order not to confound this joy. capable of being imagined. Article XCII.

but only from the impressions which the movement of the spirits causes in the brain . consists. we feel a gaiety within us which proceeds from no function of the understanding. How pain these passions are excited by things good and 'pleasurable evil which only concern the body. it to pass that in a general all way joy call is the fact that is that we pleasurable sensation or agreeable sentiment objects of sense excite simply due to the fact that the some movement in the nerves which would be capable of harming them had they not strength sufficient to resist the movement. when these passions are only caused by the strange adventures which we see represented in a theatre. even although we do not know that senses is it is so. . the good or evil which are the causes of this evil e. displeasure. too. Thus the the so nearly followed by joy. greater part of mankind does not distinguish the that pains And yet they differ so much may sometimes be suffered with joy. not being able to harm us in any way. and pain by sadness. sometimes because they only pertain to the body. And the cause which brings it to . but under some other form the impression of which the brain.Part Second of possessing 373 happens that this some evil or defect. inasmuch as it is united to body and thus excites in it joy. seem pleasurably to excite our soul in affecting it. even by sadness and hatred. we feel sad or joyful without being thus able distinctly to observe it . or pleasurable sensations received which cause But follows the cause which brings pleasurable sensation. It often. represents that to the soul as a good pertaining to it. or were the body not well disposed and this produces in the brain an impression which. and sometimes. although they pertain to the soul. being instituted by nature to give evidence to this good disposition and this strength. that the two. joined to that of good and of evil in Article XCIV. or by other similar means which. because it does not consider them as good and is evil. however. and in what stimulation and Thus when we are in full health and the weather is more serene than usual. and we never titillation of feel sad in the same way except when the body is indisposed. when good or form their impressions in the brain without the intermission of the soul. It is almost the same reason which brings it about that we naturally take pleasure in being moved by all sorts of passions.g.

How they may also be pxcited by the things good and it. Article XCV. although the veins conduct the blood which they contain towards the heart. which are always disagreeable to it. evil which the soul does not notice even although tJiey belong to such as the pleasure taken in encountering risk or in the recollection of a past evil. but also in the heart. in this way. Thus the pleasure which young people often take in undertaking difficult tasks and in exposing themselves to great perils. that easier to them all together than to treat each of them separately. even although they hope for no profit or glory by doing so. Article XCVI. And the happiness which old people have when they recollect the evils which they have suffered. proceeds from the fact that they represent to themselves that it is a good thing to survive in spite of them all. is driven there with greater strength than that of others it also happens . happy. or it is a good thing to feel sufficiently courageous. excepting when they bring about certain good results which it esteems more and its than these. in the brain alone. the spleen. and all in all the other portions of the body in as far as they serve for the spirits. latter. proceeds in their case from the fact that the reflection which they make that what they undertake is difficult. the cause of their taking pleasure in so-doing.374 The Passions of the Sold is pass that pain usually produces sadness. the spirits to which the five The so five passions which I have here commenced to explain are it is united or opposed the one to the other. The movements of the blood and preceding passions are due. being united to that which they might form were they to think that skilful. the liver. it yet sometimes happens that the blood of certain of them . being instituted weakness in not being able to resist it. as wonder has been treated and their cause is not. makes an impression in their brain which. it represents both to it as evils. is strong to dare to risk themselves to such an extent. by nature the soul the injury which the body receives by this . as is that of the consider . that the feeling which is we call pain always proceeds from some action which it so violent that hurts our nerves to signify to action. production of the blood and consequently of the For.

that in hatred the pulse . are more enlarged or contracted on one occasion than on the other. and that we feel an agreeable heat which all not only in the breast. notice in love that when it occurs alone.Part Second that the openings by which it 375 enters into the heart. that the pulse is feeble . or else those by which it issues out. I notice. is unequal. and that we feel as it were constrictions round the heart which press upon it. I agitated by is. but also spreads throughout the other exterior parts of the body with the blood which we see . and convert them into evil humours. and slow. Article XCVIII. In Hatred. Article XCIX. Article XCVIL the The chief experiences that furnish us with movements in Love. . and often quicker that we have fits of cold interspersed with a severe and biting heat in the breast difficult to describe that the stomach ceases to fulfil its functions and is inclined to vomit and reject the food that has been eaten. or at least to corrupt them feebler. knowledge*of these Now in considering the various alterations which experience is causes us to observe in our body while our soul various passions. that we is feel a gentle heat in and stronger than is the breast. that when it is beating of the pulse unaccompanied by any is equal and much strong joy. In joy. In Joy. is In this way this passion useful to health. that the pulse it is is equal and quicker than usual. and that the digestion of food accomplished very quickly in the stomach. present there in abundance and yet that we sometimes is lose our appetite because the digestion not so active as usual. In Sadness. desire. the fuller usually the case. or sadness. Article C. and icy chills which congeal it and communicate their cold to the rest of In sadness. on the other hand. but that not so strong or is full as in love.

These observations. of the sixth part. on the other hand. Article CII. heat because it is coarser than that which has already been several times rarefied in passing and repassing through the heart. which. and many others which would be too leDgthy have caused me to judge that when the understanding by the nerves represents to itself some object of love. the first thought of the object which brings about aversion so conducts the animal spirits which are in the brain towards the muscles of the stomach and intestines. this causes the spirits also to be sent to the brain. makes. I finally notice this peculiarity about desire. and all the parts of the body more mobile. the impression which this reflection makes in the brain leads the animal spirits. render the senses more acute. it enters in greater abundance and excites there a stronger . passing from thence into the all muscles. And these spirits. Article CI. and furnishes more spirits to the brain. In Desire. And whose parts are coarser and more agitated than first usual.3/6 The Passions of ike Sold the body. oblige the soul to pause over this reflection this that the passion of love consists. spirits in Love. and that nevertheless we continue in certain cases to have a good appetite and to to feel that is the stomach does not fail do its duty. towards the muscles which are around the intestines and stomach in the manner requisite to cause the juice of the food. to pass quickly towards the heart without stopping in the liver and that being driven thither with more strength than any that is in the other parts of the body. that they prevent the juice of the food from mingling with the blood by closing up all the openings by which it usually flows there . and it is in Article CIIL In Hatred. The movement of the blood and to transcribe. provided that there no hatred mingled with the sadness. that it agitates the heart more violently than any of the other passions. which converts itself into new blood. fortifying the impression which the thought of the agreeable object there . In hatred.

where is the receptacle of the bile. which causes the appetite not to diminish at all. where the gall always quickly. as those which are in the whole of the rest of the body. which brings it to pass that very goes towards the heart and yet the passages by which the juice of the food flows from the stomach and the intestines towards little of it the liver remain open. the heart.Part Second and it 377 also conducts of the spleen them in such a way toward the little nerves and of the lower portion of the liver. that the portions of the blood which are usually thrown back towards these parts issue from them and flow with that which heart . on the contrary. . And because the blood which then enters the heart has already passed and repassed there several times. or the stomach. and particularly that which orifices of is round the orifices. and dispose it ments. it dilates very easily and produces spirits whose parts. In Joy. being very equal and im- subtle. insomuch that the blood which comes from the spleen hardly heats and rarefies itself at all. the openings of the heart are much contracted by the small nerve which surrounds them. or the intestines. are proper for the formation and fortification of the pressions of the brain which give to the soul thoughts which are gay and peaceful. and the blood of the veins is in nowise agitated. is in the branches of the vena cava towards the and this causes many inequalities in its heat. excepting when hatred. Article CV. which. the liver. having come from the arteries to the veins. from whence the soul to reflections which are full of sharpness and bitterness. while on the contrary that which comes from the lower is. closes them. enflames and dilates very In consequence of this the animal spirits which go to the brain also have very unequal parts and very extraordinary move- comes about that they strengthen the ideas of hatred which are found to be already imprinted there. part of the liver. opening and enlarging these means whereby the blood which the other nerves drive from the veins to the heart may enter there and issue supplies the. In Sadness. which are active. Article CIV. which is often united to sadness. In joy it is not so much the nerves of the spleen. In sadness. forth in a larger quantity than usual.

that the wish which we have to obtain some good. of animal spirits has always since accompanied the passion of love. We see who have in illness taken some concoction with great aversion. that is to say liking it. the agitation of which increases our own free will. promptly sends the animal spirits from the brain to the portions of the body which may be of service in the actions to the heart requisite for this effect. For it seems to first it me that the earliest passions that our soul had had when was joined to our body must be due to the for the fact that sometimes the blood or other juice which the principle of entered into the heart was a more suitable nutriment than usual maintenance there of heat. . or to avoid some all evil. or else the liver . and particularly and the parts which furnish it with most blood. in order to cause them to send it yet more and these parts were the stomach and the intestines. which the muscles of That is why this same movement the diaphragm may compress.378 The Passions of the Soul Article CVI. which is life. so that in receiving greater abundance than usual. and lung likewise. and to pass from thence into all the organs of the senses in obtaining that and all the muscles which may be employed we desire. and its that was the cause of the soul uniting itself to this nutriment of and at the same time the animal spirits flowed from the brain to the muscles which might press or agitate the parts from which it had come to the heart. appetite. the one of the two never in the case of those us without the other presenting itself at the same time. which What is the cause of its movements in Love. that they can neither drink nor eat afterwards any thing approaching it in taste without the same aversion comingback to them and similarly they cannot think of the aversion in which the medicines are held. Finally. that there is has been said a connection between our soul and our body after presents itself to such that when we have once joined some corporeal action with some thought. it sends a greater quantity of spirits towards the brain. both in order to maintain and fortify there the idea of this wish. without the same taste coming back . namely. to them in thought. Article CVI I. And I deduce the reasons for all this from what above. to the passion of desire the following fact is proper. In Desire.

not alone into the nerves which serve for opening these orifices. But there is also an infinitude of others that are smaller. these spirits went from the brain to the nerves which were able to drive the blood of the spleen and of the small veins of the liver towards the heart in order to prevent this hurtful j uice from entering and further they went towards these nerves which could drive back this juice to the intestines and stomach. And our eye shows us that there are in the liver numbers of veins or ducts of sufficient width by which the juice of the food could pass from the portal vein into the vena cava and from thence to the heart without delaying at all in the liver. or sometimes likewise oblige the stomach to vomit and from this it results that these same movements usually accompany the passion of hatred. this has excited in the soul the passion and has at the same time caused the orifices of the heart to be more open than usual it has also brought it to pass that the animal spirits (flowing abundantly from the brain. which in the other portions of the fire body is capable of serving better as nourishment to the which is in the heart. : always contains blood in reserve as does the spleen also blood being coarser than that which is . ment from of joy. and this was the reason that the spirits which rose from the heart to the brain excited in the soul the passion of hatred and at the same time also or which even . And . and which therein . but also generally speaking into all the others which drive the blood of the veins to the heart) prevent any fresh blood from coming from the spleen. on the other hand. Sometimes. there comes to the heart some juice of a foreign nature which was not qualified to maintain heat. in and that they contained it such a quantity that there was no need to derive any nourishelsewhere. where it might stop. It has also sometimes happened in the beginning of our life that the blood contained in the veins was a nourishment sufficiently well suited* to maintain the heat of the heart. intestines liver. That is why these same movements accompany joy. was capable of extinguishing it. 379 In Hatred. and stomach. . In Joy.Part Second Article CVIII. Article CIX. when the stomach and intestines fail to supply it with nutriment.

all the first desires which the soul can have had when it was newly joined to the body have been desires of receiving the things that were suitable to hurtful . desire. To conclude. Article CXI I. because they receive only a small quantity of blood and a is sufficiently notable proportion of it is the blood from the spleen present because so to speak the ultimate reservoir which serves to furnish blood to the heart when enough does not come to it from elsewhere. Sometimes on the contrary lack of nourishment. without there being any necessity for me to pause in order to explain them further. invariably accompany sadness. And this is the cause that now. it. it still remains for me to treat of the several exterior . when the soul desires something. and which serves for a knowledge of the movements of the blood and the spirits which produce them. The external signs of these Passions. sadness at least which as yet free from intermixture with hatred. orifices of The same reason has also caused the the heart to be contracted. and it is experience of sadness it has happened that the body has this that must give the soul is its first — that . that renders the desires of the soul stronger and more ardent. That which which I I have set down here makes sufficiently clear the cause of the differences in the pulse and of all the other properties have above attributed to these passions. in every method in which they can move them. But because I have only remarked in each that which may be observed to accompany it when it is alone. Of Desire. Article CXI. the whole body becomes more agile and more disposed towards movement than it customarily is apart from And when it further happens that the body is so disposed. and of repelling those which were and it has been to bring about these same effects that the spirits have henceforth commenced to produce movements in all the muscles and all the organs of the senses. That is why the movements of the spirits and of the nerves which serve to contract thus the cavities of the heart and to conduct there the blood of the spleen. In Sadness.380 The Passions of the Soul Article CX.

tears. changes of colour. and certain movements of nose and lips in indignation and scorn but . generally speaking all actions. Of changes of Colour. as are the seams in the forehead which come in anger. And is that so manifest in certain emotions that even the stupidest servants can remark by the eye of their master if he is or not angry with them. swooning. Article CXIV. it is not. But although these signify actions of the eyes are easily perceived. Article CXIII. inasmuch as it may prepares the blood and the spirits for producing them. they do not so much appear to be natural as voluntary. groans and sighs. It is. as do the preceding. tremors. it vigorously calls up the image of a contrary one so that we may make use of : these actions as well in dissimulating our passions as in evidencing them. And may be changed by the soul when. The principal of these signs are the actions of the eyes and face. for all that. desiring to hide a passion. for although they are of greater extent than those of the eyes. We pale cannot so easily prevent ourselves from flushing or becoming to when some passion disposes us do so. is no passion that not evidenced by some particular is action of the eyes. and they are so little different that there men who present almost the same mien It is true that there are when they weep when they laugh. Of the There actions of the is Eyes and Face. some which are remarkable enough. since each is composed of many changes which take place in the movement and shape of the eye which are so unique and so slight that we cannot perceive each one separately. easy to describe them. it is at the same time as hard to distinguish them are . because these changes do not depend on the nerves and muscles. We may say almost the same of the actions of the face which also accompany the passions.Part Second signs which usually 381 accompany them. certain . languor. which be called the source of the passions. than when they are separated. is and that which they known. laughter. whether of face or eyes. however. and because they proceed more immediately from the heart. and which are much better observed when several are mingled with one another as they usually are. although the result of their conjunction is very easily observed.

or . possibly desire. and because. which must be attributed to other passions which unite themselves to sadness. it leaves the more remote and since the most conspicuous of these are in the face. becoming warmer and more subtle. intestines and other interior parts. Article CXVII. which constricts the heart. Article CXVI. and which are nearest to the heart. while love. or when it supervenes quickly. on the contrary.382 The Passions of the Soul that the colour of the face only proceeds from the blood which. becoming colder and thicker. How Joy causes us to flush. it easily prevents the blood thus But although it be only come into the veins of the face from descending towards the heart. moderate. desire. drive it towards the heart. it moderately distends all the parts of the face. continually flowing from the heart by the arteries into all the veins. and from thence by the great artery to the veins of the face. according as to a larger or less extent fills the small veins which are towards its surface. and thus gives it a more cheerful and lively expression. Sadness. in contracting the orifices of the heart. to wit. Article CXV. heating or agitating the blood which proceeds from the liver. in sadness. How we But it often flush though we are sad. excepting when an extreme sadness. and from all the veins into the heart. more especially when the sadness is great. the blood requires less space there. produces more or less colour it in the face. without the sadness which closes more or less the orifices of the heart being able to prevent it is it. and sometimes also hatred. as we see in sudden fright when the surprise increases the action retreating into those that are widest . and. causes the blood to flow more slowly in the veins. because in opening the sluices of the heart it causes the blood to flow more quickly in all the veins. this causes it to become pale and sunk. Joy thus makes the colour more vivid and more ruddy. so that. These passions. How Sadness causes paleness. often happens that we do not become pale but on the contrary become red.

is evidenced in sadness and . like tremors. amount of sadness which prevents this blood from returning to the heart. which. and there is also present a modefor. Article CXVIII. hatred and sadness. face. but . love joined to sadness which most frequently causes tears and the same thing is evidenced in anger. as also The first cause when we tremble with cold air. which made up of self-love and a pressing desire to avoid present disgrace which causes the blood of the interior parts to thence by the arteries to rate come towards the heart and then from the face. ought to be closed in order to determine the movements of the members. some of them into the desire something. renders it 383 it other portions of the blood coming from the is That why this blood. for these passions may. Article CXIX. fear. and the other that sometimes there comes too much to permit of the exact closing of the small passages of the muscle. is Tremors have two different causes. force into internal parts. Languor is a tendency to relax and be motionless.Part Second hatred. in those who are drunken. The same thing usually appears when we weep. is as I shall afterwards maintain. sometimes cause so many animal spirits to proceed to the brain that they cannot be conducted in a properly regulated way from thence to the muscles. it . as also The other cause often appears in those who ardently and in those who are strongly moved by prayer. the one little is that sometimes of the spirits in the brain passes into the nerves. Of too Tremors. just as well as the coldness of the it so thicken the blood that does not furnish enough spirits to the brain to permit of the despatch of nerves. and this all is experienced in the members . much the more as flows less and also because it can thus better collect in the veins of the face than is when the orifices of the heart are more open. Of Languor. For these two passions. in pur- suance of what has been said in Article XI. it proceeds from the in fact that sufficient animal spirits do not go into the nerves. where frequently a prompt desire for vengeance is mingled with love. being arrested around the it red and even redder than during joy. is This principally seen in shame. as well as wine. because the colour of the blood appears so quickly.

while to others. in the brain in representing to impossible at this time to do anything which end. tions of the gland The Passions of the Soul is For the cause of tremors that there are not sufficient spirits in the brain in order to carry out the determina- when it drives them towards some muscle. any way passing into the nerves rest of the and. not imagined for love so occupies the soul in con- sidering the object loved that it employs all the spirits which are it its image. And we must notice regarding desire that the property which I have attributed to it of rendering the body the more mobile. and even joy. . langour proceeds from the fact that the gland does not determine them to go towards any particular muscle more than Article CXX. But because we pause much longer over the consideration of the objects to which we ally ourselves by our own free-will than those which we dissociate therefrom.384 a different way. may also cause some languor when they are very of a thing to whose acquisition violent. sadness. principally when the desire we cannot contribute anything at the present time is united to it. and than any others. and it checks all the movements of the glands which do not contribute to this result. all is useful for that the agitation of desire remains in the brain. to be met with much more in love than in all the other passions. because they occupy the soul entirely in considering their object. How And it is caused by love and by desire. on the other hand. without in . that it is its acquisition. That it may also be caused by other passions. is the passion which most usually causes this effect is love joined to the desire for a thing whose acquisition to be at the time possible . Article CXXI. and as languor does not in its rest it on a sudden surprise but is requires some time formation. leaves the body languid. It is true that hatred. only belongs to it when we imagine the object desired to be such that we can from this time forth do something which serves towards For if we imagine. being entirely employed in it there strengthening the idea of the desired object.

which proceeds from the right orifice in the heart by the arterial vein. And the manner in which I believe it to bring about this effect is that.Part Second Article CXXII. but by opening the orifices of the heart to an unusual extent. falling would seem that a great grief on us suddenly ought so to close the orifices of the heart as to be able also to extinguish its fire. that it cannot be rarefied there by the heat promptly enough to raise the little membranes which close the entrances of these veins. Laughter consists in the fact that the blood. Of Laughter. which call And it is just this action of the face with this inarticulate and explosive voice that we 25 . by which means they cause motion have a certain connection with them. us thus to into a faint. R. and thus it quenches the fire which it usually maintains when it only enters of the veins enters so suddenly. Article CXXIII. several indispositions of the body which cause fall amongst the passions it is only extreme joy which we observe as having the power to do so. and we only still A fall into a faint when it is stifled in such a way that there afterwards rekindle it. and the lungs in expanding equally with the air as rushes out. the blood and in so large a quantity. where all it forms an inarticulate and explosive utterance it . causes the air which they contain to be constrained to pass out from them with an impetus by the windpipe. swoon is not far removed from death. the heart in moderation. remain some traces of heat which are. Why It grief does not cause us to swoon. when its orifices Article CXXIV. or if does happen it is very rarely the case. it but nevertheless we do not observe that to happen. From this I argue that is the reason that there can scarcely be so little blood in the heart are almost as to be insufficient to maintain heat closed. in the facial muscles. set in motion the muscles of the diaphragm from the chest to the neck. inflating the lungs suddenly and repeatedly. for death results when the fire which is in our heart is extinguished altogether. H. 385 Of Swooning. laughter. may There however.

assisted by the surprise of wonder. inflates the lung. the lung thus The first is the surprise of admiration or wonder. may fire. but also at intervals more gay and more disposed to laughter than the others. rarefies there. seems as though laughter were one of the principal signs of joy. and we cannot even be so easily induced to do so by some other cause as we find when we lung is are sad. Why it does not accompany the greatest joys. And often. The other is the admixture some liquor which increases the rarefaction of the blood. the orifices of the heart so its which. there of hatred. may open quickly that a great abundance of blood suddenly entering on right side by the vena cava. the other very fluid and subtle. and. and can find nothing which could do that but the most liquid part of that which proceeds from the spleen. which causes sadness. But although it by experience that when we are extraordinarily joyous the subject of this joy never causes us to burst into laughter. usual. which causes joy. in nature all Experience also causes us to see that in the possible occurrences which can produce this explosive laughter is which proceeds from the lung. passing from thence by the of I arterial vein. or at least of wonder. We observe the same thing in many other when on the suddenly dilate . always some little element is And those whose spleen not in a very healthy condition are subject to being not alone more sad.3K6 The Passions of the Said Article CXXV. being united to joy. And I can only observe two causes which make inflate suddenly. after having . and mingling itself there with the blood which proceeds from the other parts of the body which joy causes to enter there in abundance. a little vinegar into the vessel where they are for when we throw the most liquid is portion of the blood which comes from the spleen similar to vinegar. nevertheless joy cannot cause it except when For it is moderate and has some wonder or hate mingled with it. inasmuch as the spleen sends two sorts of blood to the heart. What are its principal causes. which part of the blood being driven to the heart by some slight emotion of hatred. the one thick and coarse. cause this blood to dilate there much more than liquids which. Article CXXVI. And full the reason of this it is that in great joys the always so of blood that cannot be further inflated by repeated gushes.

from the fact that we find ourselves surprised by the novelty or by the unexpected encountering of this evil. to proceed from the joy that we have in observing the fact that we cannot be hurt by the evil at which we are indignant. because of the 1 the In the margin of the fiist edition : "I. emptied of blood by lack by the first juice which and which the mere imagina- tion of eating could conduct there. Article CXXVII. Vives. In this way I joy. excepting way causes the outward action it changes tears. was promptly inflated passed from his stomach to his heart. 3. is As laughter never caused by the greatest joys. and the cries when sadness which accompany first . more coarse. Of the origin of Tears. even before the arrival of the Article CXXVIII. into that of groans. that the food which he placed in his mouth caused him his lung. L. where it is rarefied the lung . and this it easily inflates all and driven from thence to when it finds it almost empty. it and feigned but when it is natural. And this speaking generally. In reference to which Vives 1 writes of himself regarding a pieces of time when he had been long without eating. and." 25—2 . hatred and wonder contribute it to it. moderate and accompanied or followed by some feeling of love or And in order to understand their origin properly. de Anima. which sends blood from the fain believe that also be would may spleen to the heart. we must remark that although a mass from all of vapours continually escapes the portions of our body.Part Second laughed much. to laugh and this might proceed from the fact that of nourishment. As is to the laughter usually artificial which sometimes accompanies indignation. that can suddenly inflate the lung in laughter. the other. de Kisu. follows it towards the heart. food he was eating. cap. it appears . At the same time produced without any joy. along with that. so tears do not is proceed from an extreme sadness but only from that which likewise of joy. Its cause in Indignation. there are at the same time none size of from which so much issues as the eyes. we feel 387 inclined to ourselves naturally sadness because the more fluid portion of the blood of the spleen being exhausted. by the movement of aversion alone.

and vapours when it issues forth in the form of air. Article CXXIX. into water. and spirits. . they do not any the convert themselves into water. that this are less agitated or issue than usual. issuing from the other parts of the body. in explaining the manner air are the}'' which the vapours of the proceeds from the fact that converted into rain. which is the cause of the sweat exercise. vapours pass by and instead of their issuing forth as . changed by some that. since the greater part of the animal spirits go into the muscles which serve to move it. although they are not so less abundant. as I in which vapours change into water. when it is in the brain. in have said in the Meteors. the small portion of the less when some become more quickly . they also convert themselves into water. because in exciting pain in changes the disposition of their pores in such a manner contracted. which comes when we perform a certain amount of But then the eyes do not perspire. suffices to movement of these may cause them to be converted them that it Thus the falling into the eyes of the tiniest mite draw some tears from them. which causes the cold sweats which sometimes come from weakness when we are ill. so tears are formed from the vapours which issue from the eyes. is which issue from the eyes change into accident or other for The first is when the figure of the pores by which they pass . nerves. and finally sweat or tears when it condenses into water on the surface of the body or the eyes. provided that they are not also more agitated. so are I believe that when those that more abundant from the body much less agitated than usual. or muscles. less goes by the optic nerve to the eyes.388 optic nerves The Passions of the Soul and the multitude of little arteries by which the vapours reach them and as the sweat is simply composed of vapours which. Of the manner Now. retarding the vapours and changing their order. are converted into water on their surface. How And that which causes I pain in the eye excites it to tears. because during the exercise of the body. And I believe that when they are much more abundant. Article CXXX. And it is one and the same matter which forms blood when found in the veins or arteries. can only observe two causes which make the vapours tears.

389 and thus remaining join one they come into contact with one another. when they . begets the groans and cries which usually accompany And these cries are as a rule shriller than those which tears. Old people often weep from affection and joy two passions united together send much blood to the heart and hence much vapour to the eyes and . much . Article CXXXII. which. it also diminishes the quantity of the vapours which they should allow to pass. How we The weep owing is to sadness. because the is order of these pores put out. for these . although they are produced almost in the same The reason of this is that the nerves which serve to enlarge way. or contract the organs of the voice in order to make it louder or sharper. in joy. and by this means they another and thus become converted into tears. that does not suffice to produce tears at the if the quantity of these vapours is not same time increased by some other cause. but only at intervals. because by chilling all the blood. being united to those which open the orifices of the heart and contract them in sadness. or generally speaking by some cause which makes the heart to drive forth blood through the arteries. Why children and old people easily weep. but for different reasons. it contracts the pores of the eyes it but since in proportion as contracts them. other cause sadness followed by love or joy. accompany laughter. Of the groans which accompany tears. . Children and old people are more disposed to weep than those of middle age. cause these organs or contract at the same time. And there is nothing which increases it more than the blood which is sent to the heart in the passion of love we see likewise that those who are sad do not continually shed tears. make some new reflection on the objects of their affection. And then the lungs are also sometimes inflated suddenly by the abundance of the blood which enters them. to enlarge Article CXXXIII. and which drives out from them the air which they contained.Part Second before at equal distances the one from the other. issuing by the windpipe. Article CXXXI. separate. Sadness is requisite in weeping.

but much more frequently owing to sadness. not so much the temperament of their body as that of their mind that disposes them and it only happens to those who are so feeble that to do so they allow themselves to be entirely overcome by small causes of The same occurs with children who never cry sorrow. and orifices when some imagination hope or joy opens the contracted . that is to say. the air is promptly driven through the mouth fill into the lungs. we see that those who weep very easily are inclined to love and pit)'. At the same time there are some who become pale instead of weeping. fear. in the same way as do older people. Of though to sigh Sighs. . full weep when the lungs are of blood is replaced by a tendency of when they are almost empty. of the venous artery which sadness had because then the small amount of blood which remains in the lungs. And. even For. being retarded by . which may demonstrate in them an extraordinary judgment and courage. which agitates all the muscles of the diaphragm and chest at the same is time. so much that they easily convert themselves into even although no sadness has preceded. The cause of sighing is very different from that of tears. . when they are angry. 1 leur nature] Fr. when proceeds from a tendency towards hatred or for these are passions which diminish the material of tears. the movement of which. Article CXXXIV. it is And if some old people also weep very easily from vexation. on the contrary. with joy. Why some children become pale instead of crying. fear or pity.390 The Passions of is the Soul retarded by the coldness the agitation of these vapours of their bodily disposition tears. when it proceeds from their considering the greatness of the evil and pre- paring themselves for a stout resistance. our tendency to like the latter it presupposes sadness. suddenly falling into the left side of the heart by this venous artery and being driven thence by the desire of arriving at this joy. in order there to the place left by tin's blood : and that what we call sighing. is converted into tears. sadness. even when it for they have always enough blood is not accompanied with love to produce much vapour. at least But more usually it it is a mark of an evil disposition. 1 . Article CXXXV.

for example. and of sadness. the whole of that which each And. I shall content myself with repeating the principle on which all that I have written about them rests.e. effects of the jiassions which are peculiar For the in order in a few words to supply all that can be added regarding the diverse effects or diverse causes of the passions. or else have shared in the feelings of their mother born. And the scent of roses still may have caused a severe headache to a child while in the cradle. or things of that sort. After having given definitions of love. which cause or accompany them. and which has not been here explained. of us can observe as peculiar to himself or to others regarding this matter. in accordfunction. In this . and having treated of all the corporeal movements. rest. and are only bestowed on the soul in so far as it is united to body. i. harmful to the one hurtful to the other. Of the function of the five passions here explained xnasfar as they relate to the body.Part Second Article CXXXVI. without anyone having been aware of of it after wards. ance with the institutions of nature they all relate to body. of hatred. Article CXXXV1I. w ho has T so suffered before they were For it is certain that there is a relation between of the child in her is all the movements of the mother and those inasmuch as what is womb. corporeal action with some thought. and that it is not always actions which are connected with the For that suffices to provide a reason for same thoughts. we only have here to consider their And regarding this it must be observed that. of joy. of desire. the one of the two does not present itself to us afterwards without the other presenting the same itself also . only proceed from the fact that at the beginning of their lives they have suffered much unpleasantness through some such objects. it is easy to reflect that the strange aversions of certain people which prevent their being able to endure the scent of roses or the presence of a cat. that there is a connection between our soul and our body of such a nature that when we have once connected some . 391 From to certain whence proceed the men. or a cat it. may have terrified him or of any memory remaining although the idea of aversion which he then had for these loses or for this cat remain imprinted on his brain to the end of his life.

For those to things that are hurtful to the body are immediately made known the soul only by the feeling of pain which first it experiences. or to render some manner more perfect. And from this point of view sad- ness and joy are the two foremost that are employed. and to which they incite our soul to consent. and though all the animals devoid of reason direct similar to those which in their lives simply by bodily movements our case usually follow these passions. and finally brings is about the desire to acquire what similar sensation. first although at and others which are And. as there are it is nevertheless not always good. to that. they precipitate themselves into greater of experience evils. as well as the . than to acquire those which add some perfection without which we may subsist. capable of causing a continuance of that joy. the soul only immediately sort of pleasant notified of things useful to the body by some it. then the hatred the third place. inasmuch many first.392 The Passions of their natural use is the Soul and contribute way it to incite the soul to consent to the actions which in may serve to maintain the body. useful relatively to the body. . because it is of more importance to repel the things which injure and may destroy. stimulation which causes joy within that which is then causes the love of believed to be its cause to arise. in order to that they incite us to seek after the one and evade small evils. is But. or else causes us to rejoice again in the future after a And this shows us that they are all five very and even that sadness in some way ranks higher and is more essential than joy. this pain. in addition they are distasteful. the desire to is of what causes it. to seem much greater and more important than they are so flee from the others with more ardour and care than is desirable. things hurtful to the body which cause no sad- ness at the useful to it or which even produce joy. they almost always cause the evil. Article CXXXVIII. in rid oneself of Similarly. and hatred than love. That that is why we should make use good from evil. and. just as we also see that the brutes are often deceived by baits. and which of all produces in it the passion of sadness. good things. although this use of the passions the most natural which they can have. and that. Of their faults and the means of correcting them. and reason in order to distinguish and to recognize their just value. or rush into anything too violently. so we may not take the one for the other. likewise.

Article CXL. I assert that cannot be too small because we are not incited to any action by the hatred of evil to which good to are we cannot be yet more stimulated by the love of which it is opposed. Of Hatred. because being merely a privation. excepting when these last two hold the place of the knowledge of which they are this And when which it knowledge is true. it And it is necessarily followed by joy. but inasmuch as only the lesser we should chiefly consider the passions in so far as they per- tain to the soul. in particular for ourselves. on the contrary. with respect to which love and hatred proceed species. that the love to unite us so perfectly to these good which we have . and it is never devoid of sadness. it it in so far adds perfection to all us.Part Second Article CXXXIX. evil. and I only relate it to the soul. and is produce I also assert that this love is extremely good. because. places no distinction therein this I believe can never be bad. and to begin with. and those which is it constrains us to hate are truly evil. of if This would be sufficient we had in us body it is only. that is to say when the things it constrains us to love are truly good. cannot be so small that it does not it hurt. uniting to us what truly good. For I sufficiently confess that the hatred of evil . from knowledge and precede joy and sadness. and so the hatred which removes us from some evil. tion of this good being represented to our soul as a defect which . it can never be too great. and the privaconceived without some real subject in which subsists . Hatred. I . or did it form the better part of part. for is that which the most excessive love can do things. I assert also that it is never without sadness. which pain alone calls forth. 393 Of the function of the same passions inasfar as they pertain love. love incomparably better never fails to than hatred joy. us. to the soul. at least when this good and this evil known. by the same means removes us from the good to which it is united. because represents to us what we love as a good which pertains to us. is necessary in respect to body but I speak here only of that which proceeds from a clearer knowledge. cannot be it and there is nothing real which has not some goodness in it. assert that cannot be too great.

we always do much better to incline towards the passions which make for good. The Passions of the Send excites sadness therein. Article CXLI I. In this way. since hatred and sadness should be rejected by the even when they proceed from a true knowledge. cannot be bad. For example. it is not excessive. in the vicissitudes of life where we cannot avoid the risk of being deceived. not. they do not cease to be preferable to sadness and hatred equally badly founded. Article CXLI. Of As Desire. by the same means removes us from his company in which we might independently of that find some good of which we are vexed at beingdeprived. than when they have a better foundation. . provided that it. and love less advantageous. joy. Of Joy and For the soul. nor sadness to be bad when we view them in their relation to the soul. rest. and even a false joy is often of more value than . rather than towards those which relate to evil. on the contrary. or it appears to me that if they are only considered precisely as they are in themselves in reference to the soul. And similarly in all the other hatreds we may observe some element of sadness. this should with greater reason be the case when they proceed from some false opinion. and that this knowledge rules fail to It is also evident that joy cannot be good. I should venture to say that we could not too greatly abandon ourselves to love. because it is in the latter that consists all the inconveniences and embarrassments which the soul obtains from and in the former that consists all the enjoyment of good which pertains to it. Joy. the hatred which removes from us the evil habits of someone. when it proceeds from a true knowledge.394 pertains to it. nor too much avoid hatred and sadness but the corporeal movements which accompany them may all be hurtful to health when they are very violent. compared with Sadness and Hatred. it is evident that. to desire. although joy is less solid. Love. it and Sadness. it may be said that. if we had no body. be useful evil. And thus. But people may doubt whether love and joy are good when they are thus established on a bad foundation and . even if it be only to avoid it. and. to it when they are only moderate.

i. is we cannot have a too ardent Besides which. because it and following after virtue to perform good actions which depend on ourselves.e.Part Second a sadness whose cause in respect of hate . for virtue. And. For as to those which only depend on us. And it seems to me that the error which we most ordinarily commit in respect to desires is that of not sufficiently distinguishing the things which entirely depend on us from those which do not so depend. as it is on ourselves . since that which we in this way it is certain that desire desire incapable of failing to succeed with us. they excite in us desire by means of which they it is regulate our habits. much considered by us as they are. and that on the contrary all those whose cause is just may be of use. Article CXLIV. on our it is free will. it is this desire particularly which we should be careful to regulate. certain that all those whose cause is false may harm. so it cannot fail to be bad when it is founded on some error. since the latter. But I dare not say the same of love is for when hatred is just. or at least which do not deserve to be so lis. while to it the other makes those who abandon themselves rash and imprudent. and. not to have power to desire them with too much ardour. as I have just said that desire is always good when it follows a true knowledge. And we must be very careful to remark that what I have said of these four passions takes place only just sidered precisely For in so far as when they are conin themselves. and do not incite us to any action. by providing restraint and fear. even when they are equally badly founded. it only removes us is from the subject which contains the be separated. which demeans and degrades Article CXLIIL Of the same passions inasmuch as they relate to Desire. joy is usually more hurtful than sadness. 395 is true. and it is in this that the principal use of morality consists. But because these passions can only bring us to any kind of action by the intervention of the desire which they excite. disposes in a certain degree to prudence. while the love which evil from which it good to unjust unites us to things which may hurt. Of Desires whose accomplishment depends only on us. it is sufficient to in our know that they are good.

that shows that some they depend on chance. never in desiring too much. and we can only hold to be possible those things that do not depend on us. but principally because. nor consequently have desired it. one of the causes that were necessary in order to produce failed. And this opinion is founded only on the fact that we do not know all the facts that contribute to each effect for when a thing that we have judged to depend on chance does not come to pass. from applying our affection to other things.306 alone that it The Passions of the Soul it depends. good as we should never desire them with passion. a fatality or which must be opposed to chance. and what meaning of chance. the acquisition of which depends on us. impossible that anything should happen in any other it way than In as has been determined by this Providence from this way it is. and that similar things have formerly happened. For we can desire nothing but that which we hold to be in some manner possible. that we judge that they may happen. in it an immutable necessity. they turn us away they As the things which in may be. in occupying our thought. in so far as we reflect that i. to nowise depend on us. Of is the those Desires which depend only on other things. so to speak.e. we should not have ever judged it possible. Article CXLV. and that no such thing has ever happened that is. we shall always receive from all the satisfaction that is we have expected from is it. but as possible from all kinds of only in that is and the sovereign remedy against mind as much other less useful desires. not only because they may not happen and thus may vex us so much the more in proportion to the strength of our desire for them. . and then to try to know very clearly is and to consider with attention the goodness of that which to be desired. But the fault which usually committed in this desiring too to free the little . it has and in consequence that it was absolutely impossible. — — . a thing in the production of which a similar cause was also lacking so that if we had not been ignorant of that beforehand. of which I shall speak the second is that we ought frequently to cause ourselves it to reflect is on divine Providence and represent to ourselves that all eternity. order to destroy it by treating as a chimera which only proceeds from the error of our under- standing. And there are two general remedies for these vain desires later : : the first is generosity.

but merely claim to us. us. and our desire should be accomplished in respect to that when we have followed it. in as far as their may accomplishment depends only on always provide us with complete satisfaction. as I suppose to have been the case. in order that our desire may not occupy itself cannot without error desire that it not necessary. that. they . We is must. then. nor entirely on others. have done the best that our understanding has been able to point out. is and that thus we But because the greater part of our desires extends to things which do not depend entirely on us. that. it we should not omit hoped to consider the reasons which make serve to more or less to be for. we ought to distinguish exactly in them what depends only on us. in order that they if may regulate our actions. we have had no reason to expect exemption from it. we should not for all that be indifferent as to which one we choose. exercise easily ourselves in thus distinguishing fatality from we accustom ourselves so to regulate our desires. nor rest on the immutable fatality of the said decree. Of those that depend on us and on others. we might pass by the other without danger. entirely set aside the vulgar opinion that there in accordance with its pleasure. we ought to reflect that in relation to us nothing happens which fate. while. outside of us a Fortune which causes things to happen or not to happen and we must recognize that all is conducted by divine Providence. to take an example. and so to speak decreed by should happen otherwise. usually is ness in some particular place to roads. we go by the road which we judge to be safest. therewith.Part Second 397 Article CXLVI. But reason desires us to choose the road which is usually most safe. whose eternal decree is so infallible and immutable. Thus. whatever evil may thus befall having been relatively to us inevitable. although we ought in this to hold success to be absolutely decreed by fate and immutable. And it is certain that when we fortune. in order to extend our desire to that alone and as to what remains. . we shall not escape beingrobbed by so doing. excepting the tilings that this same decree has willed to leave dependent on our free will. if although the decree of Providence perhaps such that. on the other hand. because this evil. the we have busiwhich we may go by two different one of which is much safer than the other.

and even take their which are contrary to them. For example. Article CXLVIII. when a husband laments his dead wife whom (as sometimes happens) he would be sorry to see brought to life again. provided our soul itself always possessed of something to content with inwardly. or hatred. And. in which respect they differ from its passions. it shall only add here a consideration which. they wise often be may like- met with along with others. and in consequence have much more power over us than the passions from which they it is differ. sometimes joy. certain that. That passions.398 The Passions of the Soul Article CXLVII. or see it can do nothing And when we read of strange adventures them represented in a theatre. eyes. rally speaking all the passions. the exercise of virtue is a sovereign remedy against the And. notwithstanding that he yet feels a secret joy in the inmost parts of his heart. inasmuch as these inward emotions touch us most nearly. although these emotions of the soul are frequently united to the passions which are similar to them. seems to me. which always depend on some movement of the spirits. and which are met with is in conjunction with them. it may be that his origin from those heart is oppressed by the sadness that the appurtenances of woe and the absence of one to whose conversation he was used excite in him and it may be that some remnants of love or pity which present themselves to his imagination draw sincere tears from his . Of I the interior emotions of the soul. or love. according to the diversity of the objects which are offered to our imagination . but along with that we have pleasure is in feeling them excited in us. which sometimes and gene- excite sadness in us. and its this pleasure an intellectual joy which may as easily take origin from sadness as from any of the other passions. in a book. the emotion of which possesses so much power that the sadness and the tears which accompany to diminish its force. none of the troubles that to come from elsewhere have any power harm it. we shall find of much service in preventing us from suffering . but rather serve . any inconvenience from the passions and that is that our good and our harm depend mainly on the interior emotions which are only excited in the soul by the soul itself.

And may thus have something with which to be content.Part Second to increase its joy. . seeing that cannot be harmed in order that our it by them. has no need but to follow exactly after virtue. 399 it inasmuch as. failed to perform those things For whoever has lived in for ever such a way that his conscience cannot reproach him having which he has judged to be the best (which is what I here call following after virtue) receives from this a satisfaction which is so powerful in rendering him happy that the most violent efforts of the passions never have sufficient power to disturb the tranquillity of his soul. soul it is made sensible of its perfection.

That these two passions are only species of wonder or admiration. on the contrary. in so far as a passion. Of Esteem and Disdain. which inclination is caused by a particular movement of the animal spirits conducted into the brain in such a there fortify the impression which serve for this end. caused by the movement of the smallness. and I shall keep to the same order in which first have before enumerated . And esteem. . The two are esteem and disdain at the for although their names usually signify only passionless opinions on our part as to the value of a particular thing. is an inclination spirits way that they The passion of possessed by the soul to it consider the baseness or smallness of that which disdains. I shall here observe succinctly what in particular there is I in each of these others. These two passions are thus only species of wonder for when we do not wonder at the greatness or smallness of an object. disdain. After having explained the six primitive passions which are so to speak the genera of which all the others are species. we do not make more or less of it than reason tells us that we ought to do in its regard. particular names. them.PART THIRD. . so that we then esteem or disdain it without passion. Article CXLIX. because there from these opinions passions to which we have not given still. often arises same time. an inclination which the soul possesses to represent to itself the value of the thing esteemed. which fortify the idea of this Article CL. it seems to me that such it is may be attributed to is them. OF PARTICULAR PASSIONS.

the use of our free will. what way and Article CLIII. For what reasons we may esteem ourselves. despise. I shall here try to place on record my opinion on the matter. That we may esteem or disdain ourselves. although often the esteem is excited in us by love. the gestures. and only proceeds from the fact that we are more or less inclined to consider the greatness or smallness of an object because of our having more or less affection for it. that is not universally so. and that there it is is is no reason uses why he should well or ill . is And because one of the principal parts of wisdom for to know in what cause each person ought to esteem or despise himself. 26 . even changes the mien. the all and generally speaking the actions of those who have a better or a worse opinion of themselves than usual. H. and the empire which we possess over our wishes. Because it is for those actions alone which depend on this free will that we may with reason be praised or blamed and this in a certain measure renders us like God in making us masters of ourselves. Now them these two passions . Article CLII. to ourselves. to wit. Thus I think that true generosity which causes a man to esteem himself as highly as he legitimately can.e. In what Generosity consists. And the when it is our own merit that we esteem movement of the spirits which causes them it or is then so manifest. consists alone partly in the fact that he knows that there to is nothing that truly pertains him but it this free disposition of his will. . and the disdain by hate.Part Third 401 And. be praised or blamed unless in the fact that because he sensible in and partly he R. may generally speaking relate to all sorts of objects but they are chiefly remarkable when we relate i. I only remark in us one thing which might give us good reason to esteem ourselves. provided that we do not through remissness lose the rights which He gives us. that gait. Article CLI.

and how it serves as a remedy against the disorders of the passions. because all themselves much above things seem to those whom these them the good-will for compared Avith which alone they esteem themselves. or. or are capable of committing. That why they never they often see that others commit faults which make their feebleness apparent. as they do not think of themselves as being much inferior to those who have more goods or honours. Article CLVI. or even who have more mental gifts. more knowledge. they are at the same time more inclined to excuse than to blame them. and. they do not at the same time esteem they surpass. and virtuous humility simply consists in the fact that the reflection which we make on the infirmity of our nature and on the faults which we may formerly have committed. as well as we. That Generosity prevents our despising others. who surpass them in some other perfections. Those who are generous in this way are naturally impelled to do great things and at the same time to undertake nothing of . Article CLV. —which is to follow perfectly Article CLIV. And.402 The Passions of the Soul it well. himself of a firm and constant resolution to use say. In what consists a virtuous humility. existing in other men. and which to be of very small account as exist. generally speaking. because there is is nothing in this that depends on despise anyone. although another. or at least to they also suppose to all be capable of. and that we think that can likewise use it others. are thus usually the most The most high-minded humble . is the reason that we do not prefer ourselves to any one else. never to fail of his that is to own will to undertake and execute all the things which he judges to be the best after virtue. What are t/ie properties of generosity. which are not less than those which may be committed by others. having their free-will as well as we. and to believe that it is rather by lack of knowledge than by lack of good-will that they commit them. Those who have easily in his knowledge and feeling about themselves persuade themselves that every other man can also have them this own case. more beauty.

And because they do not hold anything more important than to do good to other men and to disdain their individual interests. Of Pride. and that as glory is ascribe most of it to themselves of it. Article CLVIII. because. which they think of sufficient worth to merit being much sought after particularly of the desires. All those who form it is a good opinion of themselves for some other be. if no one were ever unjustly praised everywhere so common that there is no man so defective that he . of jealousy they are likewise free of hatred to other in men because they hold all esteem . And along with that. and envy. But whatever may be the reason for which we esteem ourselves. that I should scarcely have believed that there were men who could allow themselves to but flattery is give way to it. does not often see himself esteemed for things that do not merit any praise. and finally of anger. they are entirely masters of their passions. because there is nothing the acquisition of which does not depend on them. whatever a pride which so. without our thinking so far as this goes that for in us any merit which we ought to be esteemed. Article CLVII. that is to say. they are for this reason always perfectly courteous. or even that merit blame fall . if it is other than the will which we feel in ourselves always to make good use of our free-will. although it is all the more is may the more the cause for which we esteem ourselves the most unjust cause of is unjust. from which I have stated that generosity 26—2 . have not a true generosity. esteeming very so little all those things that depend on others. simply is taking the view that merit not taken into consideration at really possess the greatest all. but merely always very vicious. And there all is when we are p