Chapter

A General Theory of Clarity and Distinctness

Kurt Smith

in Matter Matters

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199583652
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723155 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583652.003.0006
A General Theory of Clarity and Distinctness

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In this chapter a general theory of clarity and distinctness is developed, as it is found in one of the earliest of Descartes's writings, the Rules. Here, the chapter explains that the systematic schema of simple natures, which are the elements of our ideas, is what Descartes calls an enumeration. This, the chapter discovers, is an ancestor to what today is called a logical partition. The method is shown to have utilized equivalence relations, which Descartes calls common notions. It is the Cartesian method of analysis.

Keywords: analysis; simple natures; common natures; common notions; enumeration; partition; equivalence relations

Chapter.  8607 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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