Res extensa

From The Jolly Contrarian
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The JC’s guide to pithy Latin adages
Rene Descartes.jpg
A thinking thing, yesterday.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Requests? Insults? We’d love to 📧 hear from you.
Sign up for our newsletter.

A juicy Latinism that hails not from the dusty halls of nineteenth century jurisprudence but the even dustier ones of seventeenth century metaphysics. Res extensa is — per Des Carter, stuff that’s out there in the world, the existence of which depends on your frail perceptual apparatus, and may be contrasted with res cogitans — stuff that is only in your head, such as famously, one’s knowledge of one’s own existence. That one cannot plausibly doubt, because it needs to be true — that is, one needs to exist — for one to doubt it in the first place NOW GET ON WITH YOUR WORK AND STOP TRYING TO DISTRACT ME BLENKINSOP MINOR

See also