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If we substitute God for x, we are told (i) either that, in spite of our intellectual and psychological involvement for millennia “in this matter,” we do not succeed in thinking about God at all, (ii) or else we do and He exists. To which claim I now turn. 1 Essential to such an understanding is Descartes’ use of the reﬂection conditionals mentioned in the previous chapter, claims of the form If I think of God, then God exists, which we should read contrapositively to feel the bite: If God doesn’t exist, I am not thinking of Him.
But not for the point I am about to illustrate in Descartes’ thinking. For on both models, it is the apprehension of basic predicative information (be that information encoded in the object’s form or in the way of being given [sinn] the object) that forges the thinking of the in-nature object. t he fu n da m en ta l c as e 25 I think of the sun because and only because I employ the predicative telescope (be it the form or the sinn) to the object. The hold of the mind on an object is never direct; it is mediated by the telescoping predicate(s) making the object intelligible to the mind.
Only when put together, (i) and (ii) induce (iii) my thinking of the sun. With (ii) admitted as indomitable, it seems we are now back with a meditative content account. 1 35 36 c o g ito ? The Trace Fabric Question The sun leaves traces in my brain, and, in turn, in my mind. Speaking now for Descartes, I do not say that the mind-traces are identical with (or even made of ) matter-combinations. Indeed, I have not spoken about material composition, even when putting minds aside and attending to the presence of traces in physically based artifacts like photographs of the sun or words (names) naming it, such as the French le soleil.