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Descartes_DiscourseOnTheMethod

Descartes_DiscourseOnTheMethod - 62 Distram’s rte la...

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Unformatted text preview: 62 Distram’s rte la métltorle CINQUIEME PARTIE L'ordre des questions dc physique 1. Je semis bieu aise de poursuivre, ct lle fairc voir ici toute la chaine des autres vérités que j'ai déduites deces premieres. Mats. it cause que, pour cet effet, il serait maintenant besom que yo parlasse de pllnsicurs questions. qui sont en controverse entre les doctes. avec lesquc 3.16 in: desire point me brouiller. je crots qu'tl sera mtenx que ye m .a'bsttcnnc. et que je disc senlemeut en general quelleselles sont. afin de pulser Juge: aux plus sages s'il serait uttlc que le public en fut plus panic? teremen informé. Je suis [40-41] toujours demeureCferme en la reso‘ution qple j'avais prise. de me supposer aucun autre printerpe quehcelut dont 1e Viens e me servir pour démontrer l'exustence de Dteu et de lame. et de ne lrccevmr aucune chose pour vraie, qui no me semblat plus clalrc ct plus‘certatne que n'avaient fail anparavanl lcs demonstrations (lcs géontélrcs. I'll neann’tonis j'ose dire que, non seuletnent j'ai .trOuvé tnoyen do me satisfatre en pen tic temps, touchant toutes les printetpales dtt‘ftcnltes dent on a L‘ftlllll‘tl'lc u: trailer en la philosophic. Innis anssr quc _| at rentarquc ccittttttps‘lots, .quc Dien a tellement établies en la nature. ct dont ii a unprune dc lcllcs‘ttottons‘ en nos times. qu‘apres y avoir fan assez dc rcflexron, nous no sauttons douter qu'elles ne soient exactement ohserveest en tout cc qut est ou‘qnlbfi fait dans le monde. Puis. en considérant la suite de ces 1015. ll me sent avoir découvert plusieurs vérités plus uttlcs'ct'pl'ns nnporlantcs quc tonl Le que j'avais appris auparavant, ou meme espcre d apprendre. . ‘ I ' d. 2. Mais parce quc j‘at tficlie denlexphquer lcs prtltClp‘d cs‘ arts Inn traité, que quelques considerations in ctnpecltent dc pithltcr, Jc tic saurais mieux faire connaitre, qu'en disant tCt somtnatrcmcnt qut contient. J‘ui en dessein d'y comprendre tout cc qnc’ 1c pcnsats savon’, .avant que de l'écrire. tonchant la nature’des choscs 'tnatcnel'les. lviaits. tout dc méme que les peintres, ne pouvant Icgalcmcnt htcn reprcsetttcr i‘ans Ill: tableau plat tontes Ics diverses faces dun corps soltde, en cherish-scat: des principales qu'ils mettent seule vers it: your. et ombrageant es: |‘ I: r autres. no [es font paraitre qu'en tant qu on lots pent votr en la irrigation . ainsi. craignant do he pouvoir mettre en mon discours tout cc quc j dvats e: la pcnsée, j'cntrepris settlement dy cxposcr bicn amplemcnt cc quc j Discourse on the Method 63 PART FIVE The Order of the Questions of Physics I. I would be quite glad to continue, and to show here the whole chain of other truths that l have deduced from these first ones. But, because, in order to do this, it would now be necessary that I were to speak about many questions that are in a state of contwversy among the teamed, with whom I do not at all desire to quarrel, i believe that it will be better that I would abstain therefrom. and that I would say only generally which these questions are, in order to permit the more wise to judge whether it would be useful that the public were more particularly informed of them. I have always remained firm in the resolution that I had made not to suppose any principle other than the one of which I have just made use in order to demonstrate the existence of God and of the soul, and not to accept anything as true that were not to seem to me more clear and tnore cenain than the detnonstratimis of the geometch had previously seemed. And I dare to say. nonetheless. not only that I have found a means of satisfying myself in a short time regarding all the principal difficulties of which one is accustomed to treat in phiIOSOphy, but also that l have noticed certain laws that God has so established in nature, and of which he has impressed such notions in our souls. that, after having engaged in enough reflection thereupon, we could not doubt that they be exactly observed in all that which is or which occurs in thevworld. Moreover, in considering the consequences of these laws, 1 seem to me to have discovered many truths more useful and more important than all that which I had previously learned, or even hoped to learn. 2. llut. because I have tried to explain the principal ones of these truths in a treatise that certain considerations prevented me from publishing, I could not better make them known than by summarily saying hen: what it contains. I had had the plan of including in it all that which I thought that I knew, before writing it down, concerning the nature of material things. But, just as painters, not being able to represent equally well on a flat surface all the various sides ofa solid body. by choosing one of the principal ones, which they place alone facing the light. and shading the others. make the latter appear only in so far as one can see them by regarding the former: just so. being afraid of not being able to put into my discourse all that which I had in my thought. I undertook merely to give in it quite an ample exposition of that of which I had conceived with respect :14. 5 .;.. z :- 64 Discours de (a métltade concevais dc la luniietc; puis, a son occasion. d‘y ajoutcr qnclquc chum dn .soleil et des étoiles fixes. a cause qu'ellc en proccdc presquc toutc; dcs cieux, a cause qu'ils Ia transrnettent; dcs planctes, des cometes et do In tons, a cause qu'elles la font réfléchir; et en parttcnher de tous les corps'qut sont sur la terre, a cause qu'ils sent on colorés,_ou transparents. on luminous; et . cnfin de l'homme. a cause qu'il cu est le spectatcur. Meme, pour outbragcr . un peu toutes ces choses. ct pouvoir dire plus l'ibrcment ce que J an Jugcais: sans étre oblige dc suivre ni de réluter lcs opinions out sont recues cnlrc lcs doctes, je me révsolus de laisser'tout at; month: ICI a Ieurs disputes. ct’dc 'parlervseulement de ce qui arriverait dans un .nouveau, SI Dtcu errant maintenant quclquc part. dans lcs espaccs unagtnalrcs, assez dc mattcrc pour le composer, et‘qu'ilvagitfit diversement ethsans ordrc lcs iltvcrscs parties decettc matiere, en sorte qu'ilven composat un. chaos ausst cottfus .qugtcs poems en p‘uissent feindrev.‘ et que. par apresstl nc lit antre'chosc. que'préter son concours ordittaire a la natures et [a latsser agtr sutvant [cs lois qu'il a établies. Ainsi,‘ premtérement. 1c decnvts cctte mattére. cl ’ tachai de la representer telle qu'il n‘y a man an mofindeucc' me semblc, de plus clair in plus intelligible. excepté cc qut a t‘antot etc (“1'th Dicu ct dc l'fimcz' car meme 'jc supposai. expressémcnt, qu ll [42-43] a y avatt cn clic aucune'deces forlncs'ou qualités donton dispute darts lcs éculcs. Ill generalement aucune chose, dont la conttaissancc nc f at St naturcllc a nos times. qu'on’ ne pt’i't pas méme I’eindre de l'ignorcr. Dc plus,‘Jc its volr V quelles étaient les lois de la nature; et, sans appuycr mesraisons-suf aucuh autre principe ’que sur vies perfections mimics dc Dtcu, 1c tacluu a . démontrer toutescelles dout on cut pu avonr quclquc doute, cl :1 lane voln I qu'elles'sont te'iles. qu'encore que Dieu aurait créé pliiStcurs mondcs. ll n y en saurait avoir aucun on elles manquassent d'étre observecs. Apres cola, ..je montrai crimment la plus grande part de la matterc de Ce chaos dcvaitr en ‘.'-suite de ces lois, se disposer et s'arranger'd'une certaine facon qu: la I'rendait scmblable a nos cieux; comment, cependant, (tuelques-uiies de ses parties devaient composer une terre, et quclqucs—u‘nes des planetes ct dcs .. cometes, ct quelqucs autres utisolcil‘ct Ides étorlcs Itxcs. Hist Ici, mctendant _. sur lc sajet de la lumiere,j'expliqua_1 bten aug'long quellc ctatt cellc qua so devait trouve'r dans Ie soleil et les étoilcs, ct comment de la clle traversatt ‘ .en un instant Iles inunenses espaces dcs cicux. ct comment cllc so réfléchissait des' planetcs et des cométes vers in tone. l‘y ajoutai auss: ' plusieurschoscs, touchant la substance, la Situation. les nlo‘uvcments ct toutes les diverses qualités de ces cicux et de ces astres: en sorte _que 1:: pensais en dire assez, pour faire connaitrevqu'tl ne se ternarqueh nen en .ceux dc cc Inonde, qui ne dfit, on do moins qut he put, paraltre tout Discourse on tin” titer/tad 65 to light; then. on the right'occasion. to add something about the sun and the ‘ fixed stars, because light proceeds almost totally from them: something about the heavens, because they transmit light; about the planets. the comets and the earth, because they canse light to reflect; and, in particular, about "all terrestrial bodies, because they are either colored, or transparent, or luminous; and, finally. about man, because he is the observer thereof. All V the same. in order to shade all these things a bit. and to be able to say more freely that which I judged of them withoutbeing obligedeither to follow or to refute the Opinions that are accepted among the teamed,.l.resolve(l to ' leave this'Wholc world here to their disputes, and to speak only of that which would happen in a ncw'world. ifGod now" created enough matter to compose it,- sOmcwh'cre in '_inutginary spaces. and if he were‘to agitate in various ways and without order the different partsof this matter, so that he * were'to compose of it in chaos as confused as the poets could feign with ' respect to it. and that. at terwards,‘ he were not to do anything other than to ‘ lend his ordinary concurrence to nature.‘and to let it act in accordance with the laws that: he has established. Thus,,first; l describedthis matter and tried to represent it in such a way thatthcre is nothing in the world more clear and more intelligible. it seems to me, except for that which has already been said about (End and the soul: for I even supposed, expressly. that there was in this matter none of tltosefonns or qualities about which one disputes in the schools. nor generally anything the knowledge of which were not so natural to our souls that one were not even able topretend to * be ignorant of it. "Moreover.'l showed-which were tltcjlawsof nature; and, "Vwithout supporting my rcasonings on any other principle than the infinitc ' "perfectiuns of God. I‘tricd to demonstrate all thosclaws about which one might have been able" to have any doubt, and to show that they are such that; even if God had created many worlds. there could not be any of them in 'which these laws failed who observed, After that, 'I'showed how. as a consequence Of these laws. the greater part of thematter of thisichaos had "toibc disposed and arranged in a certain fashion, which rendered it similar to our heavens; how. at the same time, some of its parts had to compose an ' earth, and'bthers, planets ahdcornels. and still Iothers, a sunaudfixed stars. And here. dwelling on the subject of light, [ explained at some length which was that light which had to be foundin the sunand the stars, and how from thence it traversed in an instant the immense spaces of the ’ heavens.‘and howit was reflected fromthe planetsand the comets toward the earth. To this i also added many things concerning the substance, the position, the movements and all the various qualities of these heavens and these stars; as a result, I thoaght that I had said enough about these things to make it known that there is nothing to be observed in those of this world which were not to have to. or at‘lcast which were not to be able to, appear 66 Discours (11’ la métlmde semblable en ceux du monde [43-44l que je décrivais. De la je vins a parler particulierement de la terre: comment, encore que j'eusse expressément suppose que Dieu n'avait mis aucune pesantcur en la matiere dont elle était composée, toutes ses parties ne laissaient pas de lendre exactement vers son centre; comment. y ayant de l'eau et de l'air sur sa superficie, la disposition des cieux et des astres, principalement de la lune, y devait causer un flux et reflux, qui fut sernblable, en toutes ses circonstances, a celui qui se remarque dans,nos mers; et outre cela un certain cours, tant de l'eau que de l'air, du levaut vers le coucltant, tel qu'on le remarque aussi entre les tropiques; comment les montagnes, les mers, les foutaines et les riviéres pouvaient naturcllement s'y former, et les métaux y venir dans les mines, et les plantes y croitre dans les campagnes, et généralement tous les corps qu'ou nomme mélés ou composes s'y engendrer. Et entre autres choses, a cause qu'aprés les astres je ne connais rien au monde que le feu qui produise de la lumiere, je m'étudiai a faire entendre bien clairement tout ce qui appartient a sa nature, comment il se fait, comment il se nourrit; comment il n'a quelquefois que de la chaleur sans lumiere, et quelquefois que de la lumiere sans chaleur; comment il peut introduire diverses couleurs en divers corps, et diverses autres qualités; comment il en fond quelques—uns, et en durcit d'autres; comment il les peut consumer presque tous, ou convertir en cendres et en fumée; et enfin, comment de ces cendres, par la settle violence de son action, it forme du verre; car cette transmutation de [44-45] cendres en verre me'semblant étre aussi admirable qu'aucune autre qui se fasse en la nature, je pris particulierement plaisir a la décrire. ‘ 3. Toutefois, je ne voulais pas inférer, de toutes ces choses, que ce monde ait été créé en la facon que je proposais; car il est bien plus vraisemblable que, dés le commencement, Dieu l'a rendu tel qu'il devait étre. Mais il est certain, et c'est une opinion communément recue entre les théologiens, que l'action, par laquelle maintenant il le conserve, est toute la méme que celle par laquelle il l'a créé; de facon qu'encore qu'il ne lui aurait point donné, au commencement, d'autre l'orme que celle du chaos, pourvu qu'ayant établi les lois de la nature, il lui prétat son concours, pour agir ainsi qu'elle a de coutume, on peut croire, sans faire tort au miracle de la creation, que par cela seul toutes les choses qui sont purcment matérielles auraient pu, avec le temps, s'y rendre telles que nous les voyons a présent. Et leur nature est bien plus aisée a concevoir, lorsqu'on les voit naitre peu a peu en cette sorte, que lorsqu'on ne les considere que toutes faites. 4. De la description (165 corps inanimés et des plantes, je passai it celle des animaux et paniculierement a celle (les hommes. Mais parce que je n'en avais pas encore assez de connaissance pour en parler du meme style que du reste, c'est—a-dire en demontrant les effets par les causes, et faisant Discourse (m the Method 67 totally similar in those of the world that l have described. From there, 1 went on to speak in particular of the earth: how, althouglt I had expressly supposed that God had not posited arty gravity in the matter out of which it was composed, all its pans did not cease to tend exactly toward its center; how, there being water and air on its surface, the disposition of the heavens and of the stars, principally of the moon, had to cause there an ebb and a flow that were similar, in all respects, to that which is observed in our seaS‘ and, besides that, a certain coursing, as much of water as of air, from east to west, such as one also observes between the tropics; how mountains, seas, springs and rivers could naturally be formed there, and how metals could get into mines there, and how plants could grow in the fields there and generally how all those bodies which one calls "mixed" or "composed': could be engendered there. And, among other things, because over and above the stars 1 know of nothing else in the world that would produce light except fire, I made an effort to make very clearly understood all that which pertains to its nature: how it is generated, how it is fueled; how it possesses sometimes only heat without light, and sometimes only light wrthout heat; how it can produce different colors, and different other qualities, in different bodies; how it melts some of them, and hardens others; how it can consume almost all of them, or convert them into ashes and smoke; and, finally, how from these ashes, solely by the force of its action, it forms glass; for, this transmutation of ashes into glass seeming to me to be as wonderful as any other that were to occur it] nature, I took particular pleasure in describing it. 3. Yet I did not want to infer front all these things that this world had been created in the fashion in which 1 proposed; for it is much more likely that God has, from the beginning, rendered it such as it had to be. But it is certain, and it is an opinion commonly accepted among theologians, that the action by means of which he is now conserving it is just the same as the act by means of which he has created it; so that, even if he had, in the beginning, given the world no other form at all but that of a chaos, provided that he has established the laws of nature, and he were to lend it his concurrence in order for nature to operate thus as it is accustomed to do, one can believe, without finding fault with the miracle of creation, that by this means alone all the things that are purely material could have been rendered, in the course of time, such as we see them at present. And their nature is much easier to conceive of when one sees them cornittg to be little by little in this manner than when one considers them only as totally finished. 4. From the description of inanimate bodies and of plants 1 passed on to that of animals and in particular to that of men. But, because I did not yet have sufficient knowledge of them to speak of them in the same manner as of the rest, that is to say, by demonstrating the effects from the 68 Discom's de la méthode voir dc quelies sentences. et en quelle faqon, la nature les doit protluire, it: me contentai de supposer que Dieu tortnfit 1c corps d'un hornnte, entiérement semblahlc it [4540] l'un des noties, taut en In figure extérienrc de ses tuentbres qu'en la conformation interieure dc ses organics, sans le composer tl'autre maticrc que tle celle quc j'avais decrite. et suns n'tettre en lui. au corutncneement. aucurte {one raisoonalile. ni aocuue autre chose pour y servir d‘iitne végétante on sensitive. sinon qu'il excitat err-son coenr un tie ces fen): sans lun'iiet‘e, que j'avais (léjz'l expliqués,-et que je ne concevais point tl‘tuttre nature que celui qui échattl‘l‘e le foin. lorsqu'on l‘a rcnferme avant qu'il fill sec, on qui l'ait bouillirllcs vins nouvcatts, lorsqu'on Ics laisse enver sat in rape. Car, exatninant les functions qui ponvaient en suite de eela étre en etc-corps, j‘y-trouvais exactement toutcs celles qui peuvent Eire en nous sans que nous y pensions, ni par consequent quc notre time, c'est-a-dire cette panic distincte du corps clout it a été tlit ci-dessus que la nature n'est que de penscr, y contrihue, et qui sont toutes les mémes en quoi on pent dire que les animaux sans raison nous ressemhlcnl: sans que j’y en posse pour eels trouver aucune tic celles qui. étant dependantes tie in pensee, sont les seules qui nous appariienncnt en taut qu'luunnies, an licu qne lie lets y trouvais toutcs par apres. ayant suppose quc Dicu créat ttttc {tine misonnable. ct qu'il la joignit-it. cc corps en certaine facon que je décrivais. 5. Mats, al'm qu'on puisse voir en quellc snrte j'y ttaitais ccttt: ntaticre. je veils nicttre ici l'cxplication du nttmvcment do coeur et ties arteries, qui, étant lc premier et lc plus general qn'on observe dans Ics animaus, on juget'a fttcilelnelll tic lul cc qtt'on (loil 146—47] poltset' tie tons les-autres. Et afin qu'on ait moins dc difficulté it ententh‘e ce que j’en tiit‘a‘t, je vourirais que cent; qui rte sout point vet'sés dens l'anatontie prissent la peitte, avant que dc lire eeel. de faire cooper (lcvant eux le coeur de quelque grand animal qui ait {les-potuuons, car it est- en tous asses semblable a celui de l‘honune, et; qn'ils se fisseut monitor les deux chambres on concavites qui y sont, Premieretnent. celle qui est thin...
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