Home » (Maxims) » Two Quotes. Of Reason. Of Intuition.

Two Quotes. Of Reason. Of Intuition.

We know truth not only through the reason but also through the heart. From the latter we know first principles; and reasoning, which has no part in this, tries in vain to fight against them. [. . .] For the knowledge of first principles—such as space, time, motion, numbers—is as firm as any that our reasonings give to us. And it is on this knowledge of the heart and instinct that the reason must lean, and on which it bases all its arguments. [. . .] So for the reason to require the heart to prove first principles before allowing them as premises is as pointless and ridiculous as it would be for the heart to require the reason to intuit all the propositions it will demonstrate before accepting them.


Reason without imagination and memory is a consequence without its premises.


* From Pensées, §282. Translation mine.

** From a selection titled “Comments on Spinoza’s Philosophy” (p. 279) by the editors of Philosophical Essays (Hackett Publishing). Translated by Roger Ariew.


One thought on “Two Quotes. Of Reason. Of Intuition.

  1. Pingback: A Passage. An Illustration. Of Imagination. Of Mathematics. Of Science. | The Overflow

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