Section 1

Does Matter Exist?

by Rene Descartes Icon

1 The grounds on which the existence of material things may be known with certainty.

What is the certainty of the existence of material things?

All our perceptions come to us from some object different from our mind. Are those objects God, or something different from God?

God would be a deceiver if he directly and of himself:

  • presented to our mind the idea of this extended matter, or
  • merely caused the matter to be presented to us by some object which possessed neither extension, figure, nor motion.

We clearly conceive this matter as entirely distinct:

  • from God
  • from ourselves, or our mind

God cannot deceive us, for this is repugnant to his nature.

It follows that there exists a certain object extended in length, width, and thickness, and possessing all those properties which we clearly apprehend to belong to what is extended.

This extended substance is what we call body or matter. *

*Superphysics Note: Descartes defines matter as occupying space, having length, width, thickness or height

2 How we know that the human body is closely connected with the mind.

A certain body is more closely united to our mind than any other.

  • This is because we clearly observe that sensations affect us without our foreseeing them.

The mind is conscious of these.

These do not arise from itself alone, nor pertain to it, in so far as it is a thing which thinks, but only in so far as it is united to another thing extended and movable, which is called the human body.

But this is not the place to treat in detail of this matter.

3 The perceptions of the senses do not teach us what is in things in reality.

They teach us what is beneficial or hurtful to the composite whole of mind and body.

The perceptions of the senses are merely to be referred to this intimate union of the human body and mind.

  • They usually make us aware of what, in external objects, may be useful or adverse to this union.
  • But they do not present to us these objects as they are in themselves, unless occasionally and by accident.

For, after this observation, we will easily lay aside the prejudices of the senses, and will have recourse to our understanding alone on this question by reflecting carefully on the ideas implanted in it by nature.

Latest Articles

How to Fix Ukraine
How to Fix Ukraine
The Age of the Universe
The Age of the Universe
Material Superphysics
The End of Capitalism (and Marxism)
The End of Capitalism (and Marxism)
The Elastic Theory of Gravity
The Elastic Theory of Gravity
Material Superphysics

Latest Simplifications

Nova Organum by Francis Bacon
Nova Organum by Francis Bacon
The Analects by Confucius
The Analects by Confucius
The Quran by The Prophet Mohammad
The Quran by The Prophet Mohammad

All Superphysics principles in our books

The Simplified Series

Developing a new science and the systems that use that science isn't easy. Please help Superphysics develop its theories and systems faster by donating via GCash