iunie 18, 2013


'An idea need have no intrinsic reality except what it derives from my thought, of which it is a mode. But any idea that has representative reality must surely come from a cause that contains at least as much intrinsic reality as there is representative reality in the idea. For if we suppose that an idea contains something that was not in its cause, it must have got this from nothing; yet the kind of reality that is involved in something’s being represented in the mind by an idea, though it may not be very perfect, certainly isn’t nothing, and so it can’t come from nothing. It might be thought that since the reality that I am considering in my ideas is merely representative, it might be possessed by its cause only representatively and not intrinsically. That would mean that the cause is itself an idea, because only ideas have representative reality. But that would be wrong. Although one idea may perhaps originate from another, there can’t be an infinite regress of such ideas; eventually one must come back to an idea whose cause isn’t
an idea, and this cause must be a kind of archetype containing intrinsically all the reality or perfection that the idea contains only representatively. So the natural light makes it clear to me that my ideas are like pictures or images that can easily fall short of the perfection of the things from which they are taken, but which can’t exceed it.'

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