Descartes inherits his conception of good and existence from the ancient Greek conception of virtue, where what is real, what is true, and what is good are all closely linked. Being good is simply a matter of participating in what is real, and being evil is linked with unreality. The Greek philosophical world was one with a teleology, in which there was reason and purpose in the very workings of the world; being good was seen to be simply a matter of approximating this reality. Descartes is still entrenched in the ancient worldview that he inherited from the Scholastics. This worldview has changed since, as we find in later philosophers like Kant. According to Kant, reason and purpose are things that we apply to the world. Thus, goodness is an idea that our reason imposes upon a morally neutral universe. It is Kant's worldview that we now understand, and it is often difficult to understand a worldview where goodness and existence are considered one and the same.

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