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Descartes’ Theory of Ideas

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[Revised entry by Kurt Smith on August 3, 2021. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Ideas are among the most important items in Descartes' philosophy. They serve to unify his ontology and epistemology. As he says in a letter to Guillaume Gibieuf (1583 - 1650), dated 19 January 1642, "I am certain that I can have no knowledge of what is outside me except by means of the ideas I have within me."[1] Descartes never published anything that specifically worked out a theory of ideas. Even so, he said enough in published and unpublished...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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