clear and distinct ideas

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  • CLEAR AND DISTINCT IDEAS
    • DESCARTES thought experiment
      • radically doubts everything
        • eliminates senses, God and his own body
          • this left him with existence and mathematics concepts
    • COGITO ERGO SUM - I'm thinking therefore I am existing
    • he is certain of his existence and says its 'clear and distinct'
      • Descartes concludes that to rationally doubt must be the criteria to achieve clear and distinct ideas
    • EVILS DEMON SCENARIO
      • 'you can't be nothing as long as you are something'
    • CLEAR
      • sufficient degree of strength and ability
    • DISTINCT
      • sharply separated from all other perceptions
    • CRITICISMS
      • not clear and distinct enough
        • quick generalisation
          • only internal criteria for truth
            • can we be sure clear and distinct ideas are true?
              • God could have made him deceive
                • he argues that a good god would not make the most clear and distinct thoughts false
            • what makes a belief true is how it relates to the external world
              • correspondence theory of truth
          • any belief conceived clearly and distinctly must also have to be true
            • based on thin evidence
        • need more detailed accounts - relying on feelings is not enough

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