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By René Descartes

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Additional resources for Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy (4th Edition)

Sample text

A n d the same applies also t o o t h e r powers, w i t h o u t exception. For neither are the same things healthy for e v e r y b o d y , n o r nourishing or fatal, n o r the opposites of these, but the very same things are healthy and nourishing for s o m e yet have the opposite effect on others. (3) Therefore either they must say that these too are false — things w h o s e effects are plain for everyone to see - or else they must refuse to brazen it out and to battle against w h a t is evident, and n o t abolish fair and foul as falsely believed in either, just because unlike stone and gold they are not the same for e v e r y b o d y .

Correct yardstick' - the identification of divine and good with the constituents of equability - by reporting 'a word of truth, as it appears to me to be'. The Pyrrhonist is as entitled as anyone else to tell us how things appear to him (cf. 1 H ) , and to guide his life accordingly. He is also entitled to invite those who accept his indeterminable world to draw from it the same practical inferences that he does, and to describe the resulting mental state in the conventional language of approval (cf.

11 (Timon fr. ] Aristotle's painful futility. 23 ( T i m o n fr. 818) And I saw m i g h t y Parmenides, h i g h - m i n d e d and not prone to c o m m o n opinions, w h o r e m o v e d thought-processes from the deception of appearance. 25 (Timon fr. 819) And I saw Z e n o [of Elea], unfailingly powerful with his t w o - e d g e d tongue, w h o trapped everyone, and Melissus, superior to m a n y illusions and vanquished by few. 40 (Timon fr. 820) Such was Democritus, wise shepherd of discourses, hesitant conversa­ tionalist, a m o n g the first I recognized.

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