[Advaita-l] definition and criteria of Truth

Guy Werlings werlings.guy at wanadoo.fr
Tue Aug 3 11:31:13 CDT 2010

namo namaH |


Further to my first e-mail today, I wish to correct the quote I made of René Descartes, which was inaccurate. The origin is that, of course I had memorized the French text and translated it into English then again into French believing it was not distorted, but pondering over the matter a while later, I was remembered of the Italian expression "tradutore traditore" and checked in the original works.


While most Westerners hold what I had reported, i.e.
"truth is what I can prove as being such", thinking this is Descartes' view 
what Descartes had actually written in French was that in his search for truth his first rule was  "Ne rien admettre pour vrai que je ne le connusse être évidemment tel".

Now the problem is that no translation in English of Descartes' Meditations found on the Internet is up to the point. Most of the scholars translate: 
"I now admit nothing that is not necessarily true".

This is due to the fact that the subjunctive is practically obsolete in modern English 'except perhaps in "if I were you") to such an extent that most Americans ignore it ever existed. Even if Wikipédia is far from being reliable, those interested may have a glance at



I could attempt again:
"I admit nothing for true that I cannot know it being obviously such".


Please see the trick: Descartes wrote "évidemment" ("obviously"), but the modern scholars interpret "évidemment" as "necessarily". How far and how do they know that what is "obvious" is "necessary"? 


dhanyavAdaH |
shubhAshiShaH ||

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