If you accept that the faculty of judgment comes from God, and that God is a perfect non-deceiver, then it seems that you would arrive at the conclusion that it would be impossible for the faculty of judgment to ever go wrong. After all, how could a faculty received from God be anything less than perfect?
Directions Descartes on Human Freedom: While it is clear that Descartes accepted the existence of human freedom, it is not obvious what Descartes took this freedom to consist in. A …the will, or freedom of choice…simply consists in our ability to do or not do something that is, to affirm or deny, to pursue or avoid ; or rather it consists simply in the fact that when the intellect puts something forward for affirmation or denial or for pursuit or avoidance, our inclinations are such that we do not feel we are determined by any external force.
While the importance of A is appreciated by commentators, they also find a complication within it. The two clauses suggest the will to be free in the sense that it: Is the essence of freedom given by Descartes more accurately described exclusively by the first clause in terms of the liberty of indifference, or by the second clause in terms of the liberty of spontaneity?
Scholars have offered differing readings that seem to roughly fit these two approaches. B I could not but judge that something which I understood so clearly was true; not this was not because I was compelled so to judge by any external force, but because a great light in the intellect was followed by a great inclination in the will, and thus the spontaneity and freedom of my belief was all the greater in proportion to my lack of indifference.
Hence, understanding Descartes on human freedom requires that we get clear on, at least, two things: Ragland and Lilli Alanen each define the liberty of indifference in A as a two-way power or the ability to do otherwise and take this type of liberty to be essential to human freedom for Descartes.
Accordingly, both Ragland and Alanen think that the freedom to be found in the second clause of Athe liberty of spontaneity, can be explained in terms of the type of freedom described in the first clause.
In order to be free, however, not only must the will act voluntarily, it must also be self-determined. There are two instances at issue: What differentiates the two-way power had by God and that had by humans is tied to the motivational structure of acting or willing in each case.
In the human case, however, the nature of the will is such that it is so constrained by reasons, or the good, and thus can act only in accordance with what it is inclined to do.
God does not act through an inclination to truth or the good, but acts prior to and constitutes their reality. The two-way power in the human case is limited; the alternatives available to us in virtue of our having this two-way power are restricted to choosing between various perceived goods.
For Ragland, in the case of clear and distinct perceptions, the will remains free because it is still in control of its assent indirectly.
Descartes draws an analogy between the divine and human will, emphasizing that it is our will that is our most perfect faculty because it allows us to “bear in some way the image and likeness of God” (CSM ). Descartes recognizes that God’s will is clearly vastly greater than our own in power. The correspondence with Elisabeth prodded Descartes to produce his most important text on the emotions, the Passions of the Soul, in response to her demand to “define the passions, in order to know them better” (Elisabeth to Descartes, 13 September , AT IV , Shapiro ). René Descartes was born to Joachim Descartes and Jeanne Brochard on March 31, in La Haye, France near Tours. He was the youngest of the couple’s three surviving children. The oldest child, Pierre, died soon after his birth on October 19,
She distinguishes between two types of indifference: The distinction is between the practical and cognitive will, the former inclines to the good in general while the latter inclines towards the true.
However, the practical will can always override this determination because it has the power to turn away from the pursuit of truth. While some treat the liberty of indifference as essential to human freedom for Descartes, others treat the liberty of spontaneity as essential.If human beings are able to restrain their wills to cases where the intellect clearly and distinctly perceives (ie: logical truths, math, the proof of God’s existence, the Cogito, etc.), then it is impossible that human beings should ever err.
Descartes Views on God From reading some of his works, one might assume that Rene Descartes does not believe in the existence of a heavenly being, a God that presides over humans and gives us faith.4/4(1).
In the dedication, Descartes implores the University of Paris ("Sacred Faculty of Theology") to protect and keep his treatise and posit the method he hopes to ascribe to assert the claim of God's existence philosophically rather than theologically.
Descartes draws an analogy between the divine and human will, emphasizing that it is our will that is our most perfect faculty because it allows us to “bear in some way the image and likeness of God” (CSM ).
Descartes recognizes that God’s will is clearly vastly greater than our own in power. Spinoza, rejecting any divine transcendence, identifies and merges God and the nature. The intellectual love of wisdom is the true God, who is the immanent reality.
The intellectual love of wisdom is the true God, who is the immanent reality. Since Descartes will use the existence (and veracity) of god to prove the reliability of clear and distinct ideas in Meditation Four, his use of clear and distinct ideas to prove the existence of god in Meditation Three is an example of circular reasoning.