Download e-book for kindle: Descartes (Blackwell Great Minds) by Andre Gombay

By Andre Gombay

ISBN-10: 0470777362

ISBN-13: 9780470777367

ISBN-10: 0631233458

ISBN-13: 9780631233459

ISBN-10: 0631233466

ISBN-13: 9780631233466

A daring and insightful departure from similar texts, Descartes is going past the explicit institutions put on the philosopher’s principles, and explores the subtleties of his ideals.

  • An dependent, compelling and insightful advent to Descartes' existence and paintings.
  • Discusses a extensive diversity of his such a lot scrutinized philosophical suggestion, together with his contributions to common sense, philosophy of the brain, epistemology, metaphysics, the philosophy of technological know-how, and the philosophy of faith.
  • Explores the subtleties of Descartes' likely contradictory ideals.
  • Addresses topics left unexamined in different works on Descartes.

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Additional info for Descartes (Blackwell Great Minds)

Sample text

Descartes will be repeatedly quizzed on that point, and, as we shall see, his answers leave something to be desired. Also lost in the switch is the issue of fabrication. Exactly how would the cunning demon ensnare us? It would be by casting a spell, or hypnotizing us, putting as it were dreams into our heads (this is Descartes’ word: see text on p. 26). That is of course an intelligible technique, but more complicated than God’s way would be were he to deceive us. God, who is our maker, would simply have made us in the first place like clocks that always ring the wrong time – rigged pieces of machinery.

28 distrust and deception DESC02 19/9/06 6:04 PM Page 29 One final question: exactly who are the “some” that Descartes is addressing when he offers the blind-force argument? (look back to the first line: “there will be some (nonnulli) who . ”). In the Meditation he affixes no label; but he will do so when he restates that doubt in the Sixth Replies (AT 7, 428; CSM 2, 289): the less power the atheist assigns to the author of his being, the more he will have occasion to worry (occasionem dubitandi) that his nature may be so imperfect that he is mistaken even in what seems most evident to him.

It’s commonsense enough: we do not expect an apprentice to make as good a watch as will a master craftsman. However, as we shall see, the seventeenth century and Descartes (and perhaps we, too) apply the axiom not just to the making of mechanical contraptions such as watches; no, that century (and perhaps we, too) extend it to what may seem at first to be a very different sort of product – the ideas that human beings have. And in that special context, the axiom will play a pivotal role in the Meditations.

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Descartes (Blackwell Great Minds) by Andre Gombay

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