By Roger Ariew
This distinct number of historical past fabric to Descartes' Meditations has been translated from the unique French and Latin. The texts collected right here illustrate the categories of rules, assumptions, and philosophical equipment that have been standard whilst Descartes was once becoming up. the decisions are from Francisco Sanches, Christopher Clavius, Pierre de los angeles Rameé (Petrus Ramus), Francisco Suarez, Pierre Charron, Eustachius a Sancto Paulo, Scipion Dupleix, Marin Mersenne, Pierre Gassendi, François de l. a. mom le Vayer, Charles Sorel, and Jean-Baptiste Morin.
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Additional resources for Descartes' Meditations: Background Source Materials
3 The Natural Light The natural light of any created intellect, as it intrinsically flows from a created essence, is commensurate with it in its power and manner of acting, and looks on it as its first and appropriate object. It is as it were an instrument joined to such an essence for the purposes of eliciting all the acts of understanding of which the essence itself, which is the basis of that light, is the proper and principal cause, acting through its own proper influence. But the light of glory, which the theologians say pours upon the blessed, cannot be naturally joined to any created things, and hence in a peculiar manner or relation itflowsfrom the divine essence, being as it were a singular participation in its uncreated light.
1 In 1586, the Jesuits, having decided to reorganize and standardize their collegiate curriculum, carried on significant debates about teaching, the importance of various disciplines to learning, and their relations with each other. These position papers (or Monumenta paedagogica) resulted in the order's set curriculum (Ratio studiorum). The following pedagogical paper was written by Clavius for this occasion. It is significant as part of Descartes' context because of the picture it imparts of the relation between mathematics and philosophy at the start of the century: the implied low status of professors of mathematics in contrast with the one accorded to professors of philosophy; the emphasis on mixed as opposed to pure mathematics: "the division of continuous quantities into infinity, of the tides, the winds, comets, the rainbow, the halo, 1.
Other authorities, however, think that we can conceive of accidents before a substance. . The proof of this is that though a substance may be in itself more perfect and intelligible, yet as far as we are concerned, an accident has a greater power to impinge on the intellect, since our intellect is affected only by means of the impressions of sensible kinds; now the senses are not impressed with the forms of a substance, but only with its accidents; and therefore accidents are what first of all impinge on the intellect, and hence are conceived of by the intellect before the substance.