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Extra resources for Almog - Cogito
I will call it the from His essence proof. In Meditation III, there are (at least) two other proofs. There is a proof of the claim of God’s existing from my (JA’s) existing. I will call it the from my existence proof. Finally, there is an attempted proof of God’s existing from this thinking-fact, I think about God. I will call it the from my thinking proof. All three proofs are, in my view, extremely interesting in diﬀerent ways. There are diﬀerent manners of classifying the three proofs. We may—unifying Meditation V and III—classify together as thought (cognition)-free proofs, the from His essence and from my existence proofs.
My concern will be with the worldly fact (if such there be) that I, JA, think of Him, God. Since we are a bit in the dark about whether there is such a fact, such an actual relation, let us take a case where we are not in the dark—my thinking of the sun. ” Our concern is the fact that I think of the sun, not what makes the report sentence “I think of the sun” true. ” This last report sentence is deﬁnitely true not because Zeus/Jupiter exists(-ed). 6 Descartes’ Account of I think of God Descartes’ account of this fact—my thinking of Him—is as simple as it is startling.
The passage presents us with Descartes’ third principle, the to be conceived it must be caused principle. It describes the existence condition for a thinking act (equivalently: for having-in-mind— an-object): no having in mind of x without a generative process infusing a trace of x into my mind. In a word, in Descartes’ word, we reencounter in the to be conceived it must be caused principle, the no mentation without inculcation principle (D) formulated earlier. The following chapter is dedicated to further reﬂection about this principle and its consequences.
Almog - Cogito