By H. Ben-Yami
Ben-Yami indicates how the expertise of Descartes' time shapes his belief of existence, soul and mind–body dualism; how Descartes' analytic geometry is helping him boost his progressive notion of illustration with no resemblance; and the way those rules mix to form his new and influential thought of notion.
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Extra info for Descartes’ Philosophical Revolution: A Reassessment
Lindberg; Grant 1974, p. 394; emphasis added) When later entering the eye, the species are rearranged in the lens or on the lens’s surface, according to their order on the object’s surface. In this way a representation resembling the object is formed where the visual power was usually located: Thus, when the eye is opposite an illuminated or coloured object, light is multiplied either by itself or with the colour of the object, and arriving at the surface of sight [namely, the anterior surface of the lens], it acts on sight, and sight suffers from it.
1320– 1385), which explains how the image in the lens formed by the species resembles the object seen: I suppose ... that rays of light and colour represent the visible object to vision. And for such representation it is necessary that pyramids are continually incident upon the eye, since for vision [to occur] the arrangement of species or rays in the eye must be such that just as that which is seen is disposed outside [the eye], in like manner it is represented inside [the eye]. (Lindberg 1976, p.
This must be conceived of as taking place in the way in which a piece of wax takes on the impress of a signet-ring without the iron or gold. (On the Soul II 12, 424a17ff) By ‘form’ Aristotle means the properties of the thing, and in the case of perception this includes the sensory qualities. According to this approach, the eye, or some part of the eye, will have the colour of the thing the person sees as long as he sees it. And Aristotle is explicit about this resemblance between the representation and the thing represented: As we have said, what has the power of sensation is potentially like what the perceived object is actually; that is, while at the beginning of the process of it being acted upon the two interacting factors are dissimilar, at the end the one acted upon is assimilated to the other and is identical in quality with it.