Modern Schoolman 56 (2):151-160 (1979)

Authors
Donald Sievert
University of Missouri, Columbia
Abstract
My aim is to call attention to two features of Descartes' presentation of his so-called criterion of truth in the third meditation. First, there is an explicit shift between "clear and distinct "perception"" and "clear and distinct "conception"." Second, in the two paragraphs which follow the presentation of the criterion, Descartes proceeds to highlight a correlative distinction. Roughly speaking, the distinction is between perceiving something and having "persuasive" conceptions of something. This distinction not only corresponds to the shift between "perceive" and "conceive" but also to the claims about which Descartes is certain and doubtful, respectively, prior to the proofs about God's existence. Thus the verbal shift is not merely that; it also signals a substantive distinction central to the "Meditations".
Keywords Catholic Tradition  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 0026-8402
DOI 10.5840/schoolman197956227
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