Igor Agostini

Thinking the Infinite On the Alleged Infinity of the Objective Reality of the Idea of God in Descartes

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Infinity, God, Being, Descartes, Metaphysics

In the Third Meditation, Descartes has in fact denied that the objective reality of the idea of God is finite, and yet he has not gone so far as to say that it is infinite. His point is that the idea of the infinite exceeds all others ideas as far as objective reality is concerned. A crucial problem, however, arises in identifying with precision where the excessus of the objective reality of God must be located. In this article, I claim that it must be located within the gradus essendi internal to the modus essendi objectivus of God. This requires thinking of the representative content as a fundamental, ineradicable aspect of the idea of God, as well as dismissing a simplifying, conventional account. According to such an account, the idea of God is finite in its formal reality and it exceeds the finite in its objective reality. In fact, the idea of God is at the same time both finite, and exceeding the finite within the very same objective reality. It is finite, if considered in its modus essendi, and it is exceeding the finite if considered in its gradus essendi

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