Nietzche quoting Descartes... without source


In the Will to Power Nietzche quotes Descartes

omne illud verum est, quod clare et distincte percipitur

However I cannot find the quoted source. Can anyone identify it?

Giacomo Tesio

Posted 2018-06-11T15:51:52.597

Reputation: 123

2I can't find 'percipitur' in the Meditations or the Principles but I haven't checked the Replies to Objections. It looks as if Nietzsche was either misquoting from memory or giving his own gloss, without textual exactitude, on Descartes' tenet. – Geoffrey Thomas – 2018-06-11T19:15:09.127



Descartes' Meditations (1641), III.2 :

illud omne esse verum, quòd valde clare & distincte percipio.

John Veitch English translation of 1901 :

all that is very clearly and distinctly apprehended (conceived) is true.

See also Principia Philosophiae (1644), Pars prima, XXX :

omnia qua clare percepimus, vera esse.


Posted 2018-06-11T15:51:52.597

Reputation: 33 575

1Accepted answer. Still Veitch translation from Latin is a bit loose. Percipio means "I perceive": the personal perspective is very important in Descartes reasoning... – Giacomo Tesio – 2018-06-12T07:35:37.003

@GiacomoTesio - Agreed. But also the French transl of 1647 (presumably known to D) sound "impersonal" : "toutes les choses que nous concevons fort clairement et fort distinctement, sont toutes vraies." – Mauro ALLEGRANZA – 2018-06-12T07:43:51.353


In Descartes's Meditations, I found

illud omne esse verum, quòd valde clare & distincte percipio.

MEDITATIO III; De Deo, quòd existat; par. 2.

Another source puts the quote in Meditations III, par. 1.

That is the closest example I could find. Perhaps Descartes wrote a similar quote elsewhere.

Mark Andrews

Posted 2018-06-11T15:51:52.597

Reputation: 4 397