Philosophical Matrices


Under Reality, Boldface indicates basic objects, italics indicates apparent objects.

Under Knowledge, Boldface indicates best known objects, italics indicates objects of opinion

Reality Knowledge
What Atoms, material things Atoms, material things
How Material things are combinations of atoms Atoms by reason, explaining material things known by senses

Reality Knowledge
What Forms, material things Forms, material things
How Forms exist separately as patterns of material things Forms by reason, directly; opinions about material things based on sense experience

Reality Knowledge
What Substances, other material things Substances, other material things
How Substances are combinations of form and matter The senses provide all initial information; reason (1) infers what is not available to the senses, (2) grasps the universal element

Reality Knowledge
What God, other thinking things, extended things God, my mind, mathematics, mathematical properties of extended things, sensible properties of extended things
How God is an infinite thinking thing; I and other minds are finite thinking things; physical objects are extended and unthinking. All finite things are created by God. The understanding has clear and distinct perceptions of essences. The senses are a fairly reliable guide to what to pursue and what to avoid.

Reality Knowledge
What Bodies The properties of bodies and the causes of their change
How Bodies are extended in space and exist independently of thought. Thinking is computation, which is motion. Sense perception exhibits regularities which are generalized to principles of motion.

Reality Knowledge
What Substance, modes of the attributes of substance Substance, what follows from substance, contingencies
How Substance has infinitely many infinite attributes, including thought and extension. Individual minds and bodies are modes of thought and extension, respectively. From common notions and adequate ideas of the properties of things, and by intuition.

Reality Knowledge
What God, essences, created substances, bodies That God exists and has created the best possible world. Eternal truths of logic and mathematics. Laws of physics. Existence and properties of created substances.
How Essences or possibilities exist in the mind of God. The best combination of these is created by God. A substance's essence contains all its properties. The principle of non-contradiction establishes possibilities. The principle of sufficient reason establishes which possibilities exist.

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