Explain and Assess Descartes Trademark Argument

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  • Topic: Metaphysics, A priori and a posteriori, Mind
  • Pages : 4 (1657 words )
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  • Published : November 29, 2012
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Explain and Assess Descartes Trademark Argument
Descartes Trademark Argument came about when Descartes was in the process of trying to build up the knowledge he himself can know a priori (without experience) through pure reason. When doing this be began to think about where his idea of God came from and eventually Descartes concluded that the idea of God comes from God himself and he explained this through the Trademark Argument. The argument is an a priori argument meaning before experience. This sort of argument is the type that philosophers usually prefer because, unlike a posteriori or after experience, the evidence is not so open to interpretation because anyone could dispute the true meaning of an experience but its far more difficult to do that with pure reasoning. The origins and foundations of the Trademark Argument lie in the Causal Adequacy Principle. This states that any cause of something must have at least equal or greater properties than its effect, so in short it means that every cause must be sufficient enough to create the effect. For example, to break a window, the cause must have enough power in the speed and weight of the object in order for the window to shatter. So in this case a fly wouldn’t cause the window to shatter just by flying into because it does not possess greater or equal properties however a flying brick will possess these properties so the window can shatter. Descartes then applied this theory with out ideas. Ideas must be caused by something, but this something must have at least as much reality as the idea themselves. A complex way of saying this would be “Something (A) cannot exist unless it is produced by something that contains either formally or eminently everything to be found in (A).” To possess something formally is to possess equal properties while eminently is to possess properties greater. Let’s look at this with an example. Ideas of Angels can be made up ourselves just by using our ideas of material things and...
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