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By Frederick Charles Copleston

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Through experience men come to feel what is for their interest and they act in certain ways without making any explicit agreements to do so. Political society and civic obedience can be justified on purely utilitarian grounds without the need of having recourse either to philosophical fictions like that of the social compact or to eternal and self-evident truths. If we wish to find a justification for political society and political obligation, we can find it in their utility, which is first known by a kind of feeling or sense of interest.

P. T. S. for the Passions of the Soul, O. O. for Obj~ctions and Replies to Objections respectively. T. , 1897-1913. , VI. 3. , VI, 5. 63 I be~n ~sed. 2 After leaving La Fleche, Descartes amused himself for a short while, but he soon resolved to study and to learn from the book of the world, as he put it, seeking a knowledge which would be useful for life. He accordingly attached himself to the army of Prince Maurice of Nassau. This may appear to have been a somewhat odd move to make. But Descartes did not accept pay as a soldier, and he combined his new profession with mathematical studies.

Some of them at least might very well be true. At the same time they should be rediscovered, in the sense that their truth should be proved in an orderly way by proceeding systematically from basic and indubitable to derived propositions. Descartes wished to find and apply the right method in the search for truth, a method which would enable him to demonstrate truths in a rational and systematic order, irrespective of whether these truths had been previously acknowledged or not. His primary aim was not so much to produce a novel philosophy, as far as content was concerned, as to produce a certain and well-ordered philosophy.

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