I'm referring to the "evil demon", "malicious demon", "evil genius", etc, depending on translation. I'm looking for the original latin phrase.

1 Answer 1


From meditation 1:

, sed genium aliquem malignum eundemque summe potentem et callidum omnem suam industriam in eo posuisse, ut me falleret: (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23306/23306-h/23306-h.htm)

genium malignum --> evil genius

or possibly genius malignus

depending on how he's doing his declining of Latin.

In translation:

but some evil genius not less powerful than deceitful, has employed his whole energies in deceiving me (http://selfpace.uconn.edu/class/percep/DescartesMeditations.pdf)

  • True, but OP does ask for the Latin phrase. If he can't decipher Latin well enough to find the phrase there ...
    – virmaior
    Mar 2, 2019 at 4:53
  • … didn’t Descartes also use deus deceptor somewhere?
    – viuser
    Mar 2, 2019 at 4:54
  • If so not in the meditations
    – virmaior
    Mar 2, 2019 at 4:55
  • 1
    Corpus Descartes allows online search for in all his writings. Genius/m/, deceptor, etc produces some dozens of results, so you can make have an answer as to where unicaen.fr/puc/sources/prodescartes/…
    – sand1
    Mar 2, 2019 at 9:04

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