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Malebranche and Arnauld

  • Richard A. Watson
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 250)

Abstract

In Comments on a Certain Broadsheet, Descartes says “I have never written or taken the view that the mind requires innate ideas that are something distinct from its own faculty of thinking. I did observe, however, that there are certain thoughts within me which neither come to me from external objects nor were determined by my will, but which come solely from the power of thinking within me.”2 He goes on to say that “by ‘innate ideas’ I have never meant anything other than what the author [Regius] himself . . . explicitly asserts to be true, viz., that ‘there is present in us a natural power which enables us to know God’. But I have never written or even thought that such ideas are actual or that they are some sort of ‘forms’ which are distinct from our faculty of thinking.”3 Also, in the Third Set of Replies, Descartes says that “when we say that an idea is innate in us, we do not mean that it is always there before us. This would mean that no idea was innate. We simply mean that we have within ourselves the faculty of summoning up the idea.”4

Keywords

General Idea Material Object External Object Independent Idea Innate Idea 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Watson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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