Veronica Porceddu

Vincitori del canale B (lingua straniera), A.S. 2020/2021

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Traccia n°4 It is evident the mind knows not things immediately, but only by the intervention of the ideas it has of them. Our knowledge, therefore is real only so far as there is a conformity between our ideas and the reality of things. But what shall be here the criterion? How shall the mind, when it perceives nothing but its own ideas, know that they agree with things themselves? This, though it seems not to want difficulty, yet, I think, there be two sorts of ideas that we may be assured agree with things. The first are simple ideas, which since the mind, as has been shown, can by no means make to itself, must necessarily be the product of things operating on the mind, in a natural way. (…) This conformity between our simple ideas and the existence of things, is sufficient for real knowledge. Secondly, all our complex ideas, except those of substances, being archetypes of the mind's own making, not intended to be the copies of anything, nor referred to the existence of anything, as to their originals, cannot want any conformity necessary to real knowledge. Thirdly, there is another sort of complex ideas (…) ideas of substances which (…) may, and often do, fail of being exactly conformable to things themselves. - Locke “An essay concerning human understanding”