more from René Descartes

Single Idea 2296

[catalogued under 13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 3. Illusion Scepticism]

Full Idea

I have heard it said by people whose arm or leg has been amputated that they still sensed pain in the lost limb. Thus it does not seem certain that one of my bodily members causes me pain, even though I sense pain in it.

Gist of Idea

If pain is felt in a lost limb, I cannot be certain that a felt pain exists in my real limbs


René Descartes (Meditations [1641], §6.77)

Book Reference

Descartes,René: 'Discourse on Method/The Meditations', ed/tr. Sutcliffe,F.E. [Penguin 1968], p.155