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232 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY REJOINDER TO PROFESSORS RICHARDSON AND LOEB Professor Richardson's main objection is that the pre-existence principle, assuming Descartes holds it, does not raise any difficulty in interaction between two substances totally different in nature. Pre-existence does not require essential likeness, he argues, because there are alternate "modes of existence," namely, formal, eminent, and objective reality, and what is in an effect in one mode can be in the cause in a different mode. It is not enough for Richardson merely to state that there are these alternate modes of reality and that the pre-existence principle does not require that something exist in the same mode in the cause and the effect. It must also be shown that all classes of alleged causation can be explicated in terms of one or more of these modes; otherwise the pre-existence principle could be violated in some cases, Richardson cites two types of examples of cause and effect containing something in different modes of reality. The first concerns God as cause of modes of finite substances. What is in corporeal substance formally is in its creator eminently. The notion of eminent reality is problematic enough when applied to God. It is even more problematic--if not unintelligible-when applied to creatures, as I noted in my example of bodies containing the eminent reality of sensations. Richardson himself seems to be uncomfortable with this mode of existence and, instead of trying to make sense of it, avoids mentioning it wherever possible by substituting phrases such as "not formally." (Loeb offers an explication of eminent reality which I shall treat later.) The second kind of example concerns ideas and modes of thought as effects. The idea of the infinite contains objectively what its cause contains formally. Modes of thought may be "produced by things which.., lack the attribute of cogitatio altogether.... In these cases the objective reality of these modes of cogitatio is explained in terms of things which.., may indeed be merely extended beings which therefore possess that reality formally if at all" (Richardson, 92). The problem of interaction, however, is not dissolved simply by pointing out that something can be in an idea objectively and in the object of the idea formally. The treatment of the idea of God in the Third Meditation seems to mislead Richardson into thinking that the only thing that needs to be accounted for in modes of thought is their objective reality. The problem in the Third Meditation is not to find a cause great enough to account for the idea "taken only as a certain mode of thought." The mind itself is great enough for that. What is needed is a cause great enough to account for the objective reality of the idea. Thus Descartes writes to Regius: "To solve your objection about the idea of God, NOTES AND DISCUSSIONS 233 you must observe that the argument is based not on the essence of the idea, by which it is only a mode existing in the human mind and therefore no more perfect than a human being, but on its objective perfection, which the principles of metaphysics teach must be contained formally or eminently in its cause."' With perceptions of bodies and their modes, the problem lies elsewhere. If it is to be allowed that bodies do cause modes of thought, then it must be shown not only that they contain formally what is objectively in the mode of thought, but also that they contain---be it formally , eminently or in some other way--that which the mode of thought has formally (or "materially," to use Descartes' termS), as God contains "eminently" what is formally in his creatures. Professor Loeb raises a number of objections, some concerning Descartes, others concerning Malebranche and Leibniz. I shall respond to them in the order in which he states them. 1. The Latin verb "dare" has at least two meanings. One meaning is "to cause" or "to bring about." Another is "to give" or "to confer." In the latter sense it is roughly synonymous with "communicare," "to share" or "to impart ." I know of no dictionary, English, Latin or French, that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 232-236
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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