PHL210Y1 Study Guide - Final Guide: Baruch Spinoza
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1. The purpose of Descartes supposition that there is a malignant
genius is to prove that he does in fact exist. He starts off by
doubting everything he has accepted as true. He states that there
may be an evil genius who is deliberately deceiving him but that
he can try his best but will never succeed because as long as he is
thinking, he exists.
2. Hobbes believes that sensation is the “thoughts of man” which is
caused by the external body, which presents the organ properly to
each sense. Imagination, he said, is just a decaying sense- it is
distant, fading and old and in the past. Understanding is
imagination raised in any creature by words or other voluntary
3. Descartes distinguishes between two kinds of reality- formal
reality and objective reality. Formal reality is everything that
exists, including ordinary physical things, God and thoughts.
Objective reality pertains to any ideas- an idea of a unicorn has
objective reality. For example, a table has formal reality because it
exists but my idea of that table has an objective reality.
4. Both Descartes and Spinoza recommend an account of freedom
that exists in spontaneity- which for Descartes, is the highest
degree of freedom [he believes freedom comes in degrees]. ……
5. Malebranche ….
6. Malebranche gives 5 reasons that recommend his doctrine of the
Vision in God. They are: it is the simpler hypothesis, it stresses our
dependence on God, it accounts for our acquaintance with all
possible things, it’s the old way of accounting for the causal
efficacy of ideas and its suited to God’s purposes in creation
7. Leibniz’s complete concept theory of substance states that…
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