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Descartes Theory of Clear and Distinct Perception - Assignment Example

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In the paper “Descartes’ Theory of Clear and Distinct Perception” the author tries to distinguish which is voluntary and involuntary through a priori intuition. This is a step towards understanding his perception of God. For Descartes, innate ideas are ideas that the mind has the capacity to understand…
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Descartes Theory of Clear and Distinct Perception

To understand his perception of God, his theory of clear and distinct perception must first be understood. This theory is his first account of rational intuition. This can be explained simply by saying that rational intuition is discovering the truth just by thinking about it. Such is the pure reasoning. The theory of clear and distinct perception allows us to perceive that experiences gained from the external world are involuntary. They are involuntary because we do not have a control over it, meaning to say, our experiences may produce certain ideas without our contribution. These are perceptions, examples of which are sensations and feelings. We know these experiences to be involuntary since we know our own minds and we have a control over our minds to think as such. Voluntary are those which we have a control over and above them, something caused by ourselves. Examples of volunteer experiences are creating this paper or watching television and involuntary experiences are feelings of pain when touched by a hot plate or bumping our head.
Descartes’ theory of clear and distinct perception allows us to distinguish which is voluntary and involuntary through a priori intuition and reasoning. This is a step towards understanding his perception of God. Understanding that there are involuntary experiences brought about by perception and being set up in a nature that we have no control over proves that there is a God. This theory actually allows us to attach meanings and sources of meanings to our own explanation of things.
With the theory of innate ideas, we learn about the three possible sources of concepts. These three possible sources are: that we have invented it, it is derived from something outside the mind, and that it is innate.  ... Read More
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