By Émile Bréhier
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59 Indeed, Rule XII construes simplex no longer as referring only to those natures ‘‘individuated as a τ δε τι’’ (OG, 133), but, more decisively, it simpli26 Givenness and God ................. 60 The ambiguous double reference of the simple nature enables Descartes to engage in the construction of the ens inquantum objectum without having to justify his refusal of the ens inquantum ens and its intrinsic validity: Cartesian schizocosmenia. For although within the province of the method, ‘‘[u]ndoubtedly it is still a matter of knowing things, and thus of organizing them insofar as they are knowable,’’ nonetheless it is precisely the rupture [la scission] of an organizing knowledge with the κ σμος of beings which reveals that knowledge only becomes possible at the expense of such a schizocosmenia—hence a dual ontology where knowledge bifurcates the world so as to organize a docile image of it.
Ideas depend upon the imagination [in the Regulae] or are freed from it on the basis of the cogitatio [in the Meditationes]. ’’51 Perhaps more important than the disparate ‘‘variations’’ (CQ, 46/ QC, 80) of idea in the Cartesian texts is the rationale that accounts for their existence in the first place: the evolving status of idea in Descartes’s thought reflects not ‘‘Descartes’ own contribution to the definition of the idea, but rather echo[es] some of its consequences for the pre-Cartesian definitions that were prevalent at that time’’ (CQ, 46/QC, 80–81).
11323$ $CH1 04-26-05 13:16:08 PS PAGE 32 anticipates Nietzsche. For Descartes, truth must be possessed in person, without an intermediary: all knowledge must be direct and immediate (OG, 44). According to the analysis presented here, this arbitrary (read: arbitrium) restriction of the domain of legitimate inquiry to that which is immediate and direct to one’s own mind gives one reason to think of the later, and more obviously willful, form of idolatry that makes its appearance with Nietzsche: Not admitting any other forms of knowledge than that of possession, does the will to knowledge [in the Regulae] subject itself to the modest desire of investigating the real so much that it anticipates the will to truth—and perhaps, therefore, the will to power?