There is a cup of coffee in front of me. In my mind, I have an idea of the cup of coffee. Explain how Descartes would understand the levels of formal reality (and objective reality, if it applies) of ALL of the objects in this situation (i.e. the cup of coffee, the idea of the cup of coffee, and me).

  • @L rodriguez What do you mean by formal reality and objective reality?
    – Jo Wehler
    Mar 16 '16 at 6:16
  • formal and objective reality are terms from Descartes' Meditations inherited from scholastic philosophy.
    – virmaior
    Mar 16 '16 at 6:46
  • Does this question: philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/24714/… answer your question as well?
    – virmaior
    Mar 16 '16 at 6:47
  • 2
    Looks like copy-paste homework question.
    – Eliran
    Jun 14 '16 at 17:55

I refer to the definitions of the terms “formal reality” and “objective reality” from http://www.trinity.edu/cbrown/modern/descartes-Reality.html

Formal reality of an object depends on the object’s kind, being a mode, a finite substance, or an infinite substance. The degrees are, respectively, low, medium, and high.

Only ideas have objective reality. Its degree of objective reality is the degree of formal reality of the content of the idea.

In your example:

  • cup of coffee (formal reality, objective reality) = (medium, n/a)
  • the idea of the cup of coffee (low, medium)
  • a person (medium, n/a)

@virmaior Thanks for the reference to the terms.

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