ON THE ROLE OF IDEAS OF THE SENSES IN THE CARTESIAN PROOF OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE MATERIAL EXTERNAL WORLD

  • Fellipe Pinheiro de Oliveira Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica Celso Suckow da Fonseca - CEFET-RJ

Abstract

Descartes, at the beginning of the proof of the existence of the external material world, refers to the awareness of a passivity that is given by the involuntary nature of the ideas of the senses. The experience of this passivity leads him to question about what is the active cause that explains that passivity, which leads, at the end of the steps of the proof, to the knowledge of the existence of bodies as the causes of the ideas of the senses. The purpose of this article is to examine the role that the ideas of the senses play in proof of the existence of the physical world to answer whether what counts as a premise for that proof is merely the passivity of the ideas of the senses, or if the representative content of those ideas is also involved there. The question that is behind of the purpuse of investigating the role of the ideas of the senses in the proof of the existence of the external world concerns what they, as a starting point for the proof, allow us to conclude about bodies, namely, 1) simply that they exist; or 2) not only that they exist, but also something specific about their nature - so that the ideas of the senses would (in some way) have objective validity. Our hypothesis here in this paper is that the ideas of the senses, in the proof of the existence of the material world, are not reduced to mere indices of the existence of bodies as their representative content plays an important role in its conclusion, which is to incline the thinking substance to believe that bodies are the cause of the ideas of the senses. And, in this way, the ideas of the senses would have some degree of objective validity and from them we could extract some specific knowledge about bodies.

Published
2022-02-10
How to Cite
Pinheiro de Oliveira, F. (2022). ON THE ROLE OF IDEAS OF THE SENSES IN THE CARTESIAN PROOF OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE MATERIAL EXTERNAL WORLD. Prometheus - Journal of Philosophy, 14(39). https://doi.org/10.52052/issn.2176-5960.pro.v14i39.16431
Section
Original Articles