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  1. Descartes's Method of Doubt.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    Enlightenment philosopher, René Descartes, set out to establish what could be known with certainty, untainted by a deceiving demon. With his method of doubt, he rejected all previous beliefs, allowing only those that survived rigorous scrutiny. In this essay, Leslie Allan examines whether Descartes's program of skeptical enquiry was successful in laying a firm foundation for our manifold beliefs. He subjects Descartes's conclusions to Descartes's own uncompromising methodology to determine whether Descartes escaped from a self-imposed radical skepticism.
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  2. Moving Cartesian Bodies.Tyler Doggett - manuscript
    Argues that Descartes's commitment to mind-body causation leads to a commitment to body-body causation.
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  3. Descartes' Refutation of Atheism: A Defense.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    Descartes argues that, apart from the existence of a veracious God, we can have no reason to believe that we possess reliable cognitive faculties, with the result that, if atheism is true, not even our seemingly most certain beliefs can count as knowledge for us. Since the atheist denies the existence of God, he or she will be precisely in this position. I argue that Descartes' argument is sound, and that atheism is therefore self-refuting.
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  4. Descartes and the Crazy Argument.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In Meditation I, Descartes dismisses the possibility that he might be insane as a ground for doubting that the senses are a source of knowledge of the external world. In this paper, I argue that Descartes was justified in so doing, and draw some general epistemological conclusions from this result.
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  5. The Problem of the Poor King, From Descartes and Rousseau.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    In this paper, I present the problem of the poor king, from combining Descartes and Rousseau.
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  6. Why Does Descartes Say That He is Not His Body in the Second Meditation?Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This paper contests a standard interpretation of how Descartes comes to the conclusion that he is not his body in the second meditation. I propose an alternative interpretation in its place.
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  7. Madness at the Centre: On Descartes’ First Meditation Turned Into a Dialogue.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    Charles Larmore presents the central part of Descartes’ first meditation as a brief dialogue between a skeptic and a sensible empiricist. I point out a source of discontent about this innovative transformation.
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  8. The First Meditation Again: A Hidden Source of Doubt?Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    I raise the question of whether there is a hidden source of doubt in Descartes’ first meditation, if one adopts the perspective of some people he describes as insane.
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  9. Descartes on What "Truly Belongs" to Us.Saja Parvizian - manuscript
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  10. God, the Demon, and the Cogito.William J. Rapaport - manuscript
    The purpose of this essay is to exhibit in detail the setting for the version of the Cogito Argument that appears in Descartes’s Meditations. I believe that a close reading of the text can shed new light on the nature and role of the “evil demon”, on the nature of God as he appears in the first few Meditations, and on the place of the Cogito Argument in Descartes’s overall scheme.
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  11. The Early Modern Rationalists and the Substantial Form: From Natural Philosophy to Metaphysics.Valtteri Viljanen - manuscript
    This paper argues that, contrary to what one might think, early modern rationalism displays an increasing and well-grounded sensitivity to certain metaphysical questions the substantial form was designed to answer – despite the fact that the notion itself was in such disrepute, and emphatically banished from natural philosophy. This main thesis is established by examining the thought of Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz through the framework constituted by what have been designated as the two aspects, metaphysical and physical, of the substantial (...)
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  12. Against Passionate Epistemology: Defending Pure Thought in the Meditations.Saja Parvizian -
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  13. Not a Sailor in His Ship: Descartes on Bodily Awareness.Colin Chamberlain - forthcoming - In Routledge Handbook of Bodily Awareness.
    Despite his reputation for neglecting the body, Descartes develops a systematic account of bodily awareness. He holds that in bodily awareness each of us feels intimately connected to our body. We experience this body as inescapable, as infused with bodily sensations and volitions, and as a special object of concern. This multifaceted experience plays an ambivalent role in Descartes’s philosophy. Bodily awareness is epistemically dangerous. It tempts us to falsely judge that we cannot exist apart from our bodies. But bodily (...)
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  14. Cartesianism and its Feminist Promise and Limits: The Case of Mary Astell.Karen Detlefsen - forthcoming - In Catherine Wilson & Stephen Gaukroger (eds.), Descartes and Cartesianism: Essays in Honour of Desmond Clarke. Oxford University Press.
    In this paper, I consider Mary Astell's contributions to the history of feminism, noting her grounding in and departure from Cartesianism and its relation to women.
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  15. Du Châtelet and Descartes on the Role of Hypothesis and Metaphysics in Science.Karen Detlefsen - forthcoming - In Eileen O'Neill & Marcy Lascano (eds.), Feminism and the History of Philosophy. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    In this chapter, I examine similarities and divergences between Du Châtelet and Descartes on their endorsement of the use of hypotheses in science, using the work of Condillac to locate them in his scheme of systematizers. I conclude that, while Du Châtelet is still clearly a natural philosopher, as opposed to modern scientist, her conception of hypotheses is considerably more modern than is Descartes’, a difference that finds its roots in their divergence on the nature of first principles.
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  16. Descartes on the Unity of the Virtues.Saja Parvizian - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Research.
    Commentators have neglected a tension in Descartes’ virtue theory. In some texts, Descartes seems to argue that there are distinct virtues. In other texts, Descartes seems to argue that there is only a single virtue–the firm and constant resolution to use the will well. In this paper, I reconcile this tension. I argue that Descartes endorses a specific version of the unity of the virtues thesis, namely, the identity of the virtues. Nonetheless, Descartes has the resources to draw conceptual distinctions (...)
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  17. What Did Elisabeth Ask Descartes? A Reading Proposal of the First Letter of the Correspondence.Katarina Peixoto - forthcoming - Revista Seiscentos.
    In May 1643 Elisabeth of Bohemia addressed a question to Descartes which inaugurated a six-year Correspondence, until his death. He dedicates his mature metaphysical work to the Princess (Principles of First Philosophy, 1644) and writes Passions of the Soul (1649) as one of the results of the dialogue with the philosopher of Bohemia. The silencing of the last hundred years of historiography on Elisabeth of Bohemia's legacy in this epistolary exchange caused distortions and, in some cases, underpinned the bias as (...)
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  18. Context and Self-Related Reflection: : Elisabeth of Bohemia’s Way to Address the Moral Objectiveness – Forthcoming/Last Draft.Katarina Peixoto - forthcoming - In Women in the History of Philosophy and Sciences.
    In this work I intend to explore the textual and conceptual roots of the moral view in the Early Modern Rationalism of Cartesian spectrum as detected by Elisabeth of Bohemia. To this intent, I will drive my analysis, first, to the remark Descartes adds to his own provisional morality of the Discourse in the Letter of August 4th, 1645 to Elisabeth. Second, I will approach the two aspects of her reply to Descartes, both in her Letter of September 13th 1645, (...)
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  19. Descartes on Necessity and the Laws of Nature.Nathan Rockwood - forthcoming - Journal of Analytic Theology.
    This paper is on Descartes’ account of modality and, in particular, his account of the necessity of the laws of nature. He famously argues that the necessity of the “eternal truths” of logic and mathematics depends on God’s will. Here I suggest he has the same view about the necessity of the laws of nature. Further, I argue, this is a plausible theory of laws. For philosophers often talk about something being physically necessary because of the laws of nature, but (...)
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  20. Two Problems in Spinoza's Theory of Mind.James Van Cleve - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind.
    My aim in what follows is to expound and (if possible) resolve two problems in Spinoza’s theory of mind. The first problem is how Spinoza can accept a key premise in Descartes’s argument for dualism—that thought and extension are separately conceivable, “one without the help of the other”—without accepting Descartes’s conclusion that no substance is both thinking and extended. Resolving this problem will require us to consider a crucial ambiguity in the notion of conceiving one thing without another, the credentials (...)
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  21. “Man-Machines and Embodiment: From Cartesian Physiology to Claude Bernard’s ‘Living Machine’”.Charles T. Wolfe & Philippe Huneman - forthcoming - In Justin E. H. Smith (ed.), Embodiment, Oxford Philosophical Concepts. Oxford University Press.
    A common and enduring early modern intuition is that materialists reduce organisms in general and human beings in particular to automata. Wasn’t a famous book of the time entitled L’Homme-Machine? In fact, the machine is employed as an analogy, and there was a specifically materialist form of embodiment, in which the body is not reduced to an inanimate machine, but is conceived as an affective, flesh-and-blood entity. We discuss how mechanist and vitalist models of organism exist in a more complementary (...)
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  22. Descartes: Diálogos musicais.Tiago de Lima Castro - 2022 - Dissertation, UNESP
    The philosopher René Descartes wrote the Compendium musicæ in 1618. Even though he was not known for his music production, he maintained a long correspondence around the subject in dialogue with Marin Mersenne, Constantjin Huygens, Isaac Beeckman and Joan-Albert Ban. However, his musical propositions appear as a marginal subject in his intellectual journey. To understand whether the musical theme relates to the development of his ideas, first, the organization of his correspondence about music and the citations to it in his (...)
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  23. Filozofija uma: pregled suvremenih rasprava o umu i tijelu (Eng. Philosophy of mind: a survey of contemporary debates on the mind-body problem).Marko Jurjako & Luca Malatesti - 2022 - Rijeka: University of Rijeka, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
    The book deals with a contemporary discussion of the relationship between mind and body. This discussion takes its modern form during the 17th century in the works of René Descartes. Therefore, in the book, an overview of these topics begins with a consideration of the scientific picture of the world taking on a new form in Descartes' time and the way Descartes begins to think about the nature of the mind and its place in the world. The book covers the (...)
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  24. Francis Bacon Y René Descartes acerca Del dominio de la naturaleza, la autoconservación Y la medicina.Silvia Manzo - 2022 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 63 (151):99-119.
    RESUMEN Francis Bacon y René Descartes han sido presentados tradicionalmente como pioneros de corrientes filosóficas opuestas entre sí. Sin embargo, son cada vez más los estudios que muestran importantes continuidades entre sus filosofías. Este artículo explora una de ellas: sus perspectivas sobre la medicina. El dominio sobre la naturaleza y el instinto de autoconservación son los elementos centrales del marco teórico dentro del cual se inserta su valoración de la medicina como la disciplina más destacada por sus beneficios para el (...)
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  25. The Essential Superficiality of the Voluntary and the Moralization of Psychology.Matthieu Queloz - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (5):1591–1620.
    Is the idea of the voluntary important? Those who think so tend to regard it as an idea that can be metaphysically deepened through a theory about voluntary action, while those who think it a superficial idea that cannot coherently be deepened tend to neglect it as unimportant. Parting company with both camps, I argue that the idea of the voluntary is at once important and superficial—it is an essentially superficial notion that performs important functions, but can only perform them (...)
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  26. Mary Astell on the Social Nature of the Cartesian Passions.Maks Sipowicz - 2022 - Studia Z Historii Filozofii 12 (3):37-59.
    Scholars have long recognised that Mary Astell builds her feminist critique of society on a foundation of Cartesian views about human nature and the passions. At the same time, the full extent of the influence of Descartes’ view of embodiment on the solution Astell proposes in her Serious Proposal to the Ladies is only beginning to come to light. In this paper, I contribute to this ongoing project by arguing that Astell builds on Descartes’ ideas by addressing a blind spot (...)
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  27. What Hume Didn't Notice About Divine Causation.Timothy Yenter - 2022 - In Gregory Ganssle (ed.), Philosophical Essays on Divine Causation. New York, NY, USA: pp. 158-173.
    Hume’s criticisms of divine causation are insufficient because he does not respond to important philosophical positions that are defended by those whom he closely read. Hume’s arguments might work against the background of a Cartesian definition of body, or a Malebranchian conception of causation, or some defenses of occasionalism. At least, I will not here argue that they succeed or fail against those targets. Instead, I will lay out two major deficiencies in his arguments against divine causation. I call these (...)
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  28. Descartes’ Discourse on Method - Irfan Ajvazi.Irfan Ajvazi - 2021 - Idea Books.
    Descartes’ Discourse on Method - Irfan Ajvazi.
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  29. O CONCEITO DE HÁBITO A PARTIR D’AS PAIXÕES DA ALMA DE DESCARTES.Abel dos Santos Beserra - 2021 - Kinesis 13 (34):52-80.
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  30. How Physics Flew the Philosophers' Nest.Katherine Brading - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88:312-20.
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  31. Reasons for the Method in Descartes’ Discours.Patrick Brissey - 2021 - Journal of Early Modern Studies 10 (1):9-27.
    In the practical philosophy of the Discours de la Méthode, before the theoretical metaphysics of Part Four and the Meditationes, Descartes gives us an inductive argument that his method, the procedure and cognitive psychology, is veracious at its inception. His evidence, akin to his Scholastic predecessors, is God, a maximally perfect being, established an ontological foundation for knowledge such that reason and nature are isomorphic. Further, the method, he tells us, is a functional definition of human reason; that is, like (...)
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  32. Of Dreams, Demons, and Whirlpools: Doubt, Skepticism, and Suspension of Judgment in Descartes's Meditations.Jan Forsman - 2021 - Dissertation, Tampere University
    I offer a novel reading in this dissertation of René Descartes’s (1596–1650) skepticism in his work Meditations on First Philosophy (1641–1642). I specifically aim to answer the following problem: How is Descartes’s skepticism to be read in accordance with the rest of his philosophy? This problem can be divided into two more general questions in Descartes scholarship: How is skepticism utilized in the Meditations, and what are its intentions and relation to the preceding philosophical tradition? -/- I approach the topic (...)
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  33. Locke on Scientific Methodology.Huaping Lu-Adler - 2021 - In Jessica Gordon-Roth & Shelley Weinberg (eds.), The Lockean Mind. pp. 277-89.
    This chapter brings some much-needed conceptual clarity to the debate about Locke’s scientific methodology. Instead of having to choose between the method of hypothesis and that of natural history (as most interpreters have thought), he would resist prescribing a single method for natural sciences in general. Following Francis Bacon and Robert Boyle, Locke separates medicine and natural philosophy (physics), so that they call for completely different methods. While a natural philosopher relies on “speculative” (causal-theoretical) hypotheses together with natural-history making to (...)
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  34. Spinoza on Causa Sui.Yitzhak Melamed - 2021 - In Blackwell Companion to Spinoza. Blackwell. pp. 116-125.
    The very first line of Spinoza’s magnum opus, the Ethics, states the following surprising definition: By cause of itself I understand that whose essence involves existence, or that whose nature cannot be conceived except as existing [Per causam sui intelligo id, cujus essentia involvit existentiam, sive id, cujus natura non potest concipi, nisi existens]. As we shall shortly see, for many of Spinoza’s contemporaries and predecessors the very notion of causa sui was utterly absurd, akin to a Baron Munchausen attempting (...)
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  35. O que Elisabeth da Bohemia perguntou a Descartes? Uma proposta de leitura da carta que inaugura a Correspondência.Katarina Peixoto - 2021 - Seiscentos 1 (1):91-108.
    Em maio de 1643, Elisabeth da Bohemia endereçou uma questão a Descartes que inaugurou uma Correspondência de seis anos, até a morte do filósofo. Ele dedica à Princesa o seu trabalho de maturidade metafísica (Princípios de Filosofia Primeira, 1644) e redige Paixões da Alma (1649) como um dos resultados do diálogo com a filósofa. O silenciamento dos últimos cem anos de historiografia sobre o legado de Elisabeth da Bohemia nesta troca epistolar causou distorções e, em alguns casos, lastreou o viés (...)
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  36. Descartes, Methodical doubt, and the Grounding of Method.M. T. Shahed Tabatabaei - 2021 - Occidental Studies 12 (1):85-107.
    Descartes' methodical doubt is being criticized by naïve realists and others who don't find doubt as a good starting point for metaphysical thought, however, the philosophical achievements of his method have been absorbed in all later philosophies. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate how an inevitable question concerning the foundation of Descartes' mathesis universalis, which led him to investigate this foundation by applying this very method in Metaphysics, has finally enabled him to discover his most important philosophical principle, (...)
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  37. En torno a la imaginación y el entendimiento en Descartes y Hume.Mario Edmundo Chávez Tortolero - 2021 - In Descartes y sus interlocutores. Doce ensayos en interlocución con Descartes,Benítez Grobet, Laura y Velázquez Zaragoza, Alejandra (coords.). Ciudad de México, CDMX, México: pp. 171-179.
    En este capítulo se ofrece una posible crítica de Hume a Descartes en torno a la imaginación y el entendimiento. Primero se analiza el concepto de imaginación en Descartes y se sostiene que el concepto es equívoco, ya que en un sentido carece de valor epistémico pero en otro sentido sí lo tiene. A continuación se explora el concepto de imaginación como una facultad subordinada al entendimiento y se observan sus repercusiones en Spinoza y Leibniz. Finalmente se exponen las críticas (...)
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  38. Against the Doctrine of Infallibility.Christopher Willard-Kyle - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (4):pqaa082.
    According to the doctrine of infallibility, one is permitted to believe p if one knows that necessarily, one would be right if one believed that p. This plausible principle—made famous in Descartes’ cogito—is false. There are some self-fulfilling, higher-order propositions one can’t be wrong about but shouldn’t believe anyway: believing them would immediately make one's overall doxastic state worse.
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  39. Zasnivanje novovekovne metafizike u stavu cogito ergo sum.Hristina Banic - 2020 - Čemu 15 (26):50-66.
    The author aims to show how the foundation of modern metaphysics took place. In order to achieve that, it will be crucial to understand the meaning of the first principle, which carries the entire metaphysical construction. The principle in question will be formulated as cogito ergo sum. It will be necessary to master the framework in which the principle appears because we are trying to talk about a complete project that has its meaning only in its entirety. In addition to (...)
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  40. Personal Identity and Self-Interpretation & Natural Right and Natural Emotions.Gabor Boros, Judit Szalai & Oliver Toth (eds.) - 2020 - Budapest: Eötvös University Press.
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  41. What Am I? Descartes’s Various Ways of Considering the Self.Colin Chamberlain - 2020 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 2 (1):2.
    In the _Meditations_ and related texts from the early 1640s, Descartes argues that the self can be correctly considered as either a mind or a human being, and that the self’s properties vary accordingly. For example, the self is simple considered as a mind, whereas the self is composite considered as a human being. Someone might object that it is unclear how merely considering the self in different ways blocks the conclusion that a single subject of predication—the self—is both simple (...)
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  42. Cartesian Circles and the Analytic Method.Thomas Feeney - 2020 - International Philosophical Quarterly 60 (4):393-409.
    The apparently circular arguments in Descartes’s Meditations should be read as analytic arguments, as Descartes himself suggested. This both explains and excuses the appearance of circularity. Analysis “digs out” what is already present in the meditator’s mind but not yet “expressly known”. Once this is achieved, the meditator may take the result of analysis as an epistemic starting point independent of the original argument. That is, analytic arguments may be reversed to yield demonstrative proofs that follow an already worked-out order (...)
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  43. "All in Their Nature Good": Descartes on the Passions of the Soul.Marie Jayasekera - 2020 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (1):71-92.
    Descartes claims that the passions of the soul are “all in their nature good” even though they exaggerate the value of their objects, have the potential to deceive us, and often mislead us. What, then, can he mean by this? In this paper, I argue that these effects of the passions are only problematic when we incorrectly take their goodness to consist in their informing us of harms and benefits to the mind-body composite. Instead, the passions are good in their (...)
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  44. The Mind-Body Problem(s) in Descartes’ “Meditations” and Husserl’s “Crisis” (Part1).Andrii Leonov - 2020 - Filosofska Dumka 4:91-100.
    The main topic of this paper is the mind-body problem. The author analyzes it in the context of Hus- serlian phenomenology. The key texts for the analysis and interpretation are Descartes’ magnum opus “Meditations on the First Philosophy” and Husserl’ last work “The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology”. The author claims that already in Descartes’ text instead of one mind-body problem, one can find two: the ontological mind-body problem (mind-brain relation) and conceptual one (“mind” and “body” as concepts). (...)
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  45. The Mind-Body Problem(s) in Descartes’ “Meditations” and Husserl’s “Crisis” (Part2).Andrii Leonov - 2020 - Filosofska Dumka 5:117-128.
    The main topic of this paper is the mind-body problem. The author analyzes it in the context of Hus- serlian phenomenology. The key texts for the analysis and interpretation are Descartes’ magnum opus “Meditations on the First Philosophy” and Husserl’ last work “The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology”. The author claims that already in Descartes’ text instead of one mind-body problem, one can find two: the ontological mind-body problem (mind-brain relation) and conceptual one (“mind” and “body” as concepts). (...)
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  46. Al-Ghazālī and Descartes on Defeating Skepticism.Saja Parvizian - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Research 45:133-148.
    Commentators have noticed the striking similarities between the skep­tical arguments of al-Ghazālī’s Deliverance from Error and Descartes’ Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy. However, commentators agree that their solutions to skepticism are radically different. Al-Ghazālī does not use rational proofs to defeat skepticism; rather, he relies on a supernatural light [nūr] sent by God to rescue him from skepticism. Descartes, on the other hand, relies on the natural light of reason [lumen naturale] to prove the existence of God, (...)
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  47. Cartesian Clarity.Elliot Samuel Paul - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (19):1-28.
    Clear and distinct perception is the centrepiece of Descartes’s philosophy — it is the source of all certainty — but what does he mean by ‘clear’ and ‘distinct’? According to the prevailing approach, what it means for a perception to be clear is that its content has a certain objective property, like truth. I argue instead that clarity is at least partly a subjective, phenomenal quality whereby a content is presented as true to the perceiving subject. Clarity comes in degrees. (...)
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  48. Elisabeth da Bohemia - Verbete.Katarina Peixoto - 2020 - Mulheres Na Filosofia.
    O estudo das Cartas de Descartes a Elisabeth ocupou a literatura, ao passo que a fortuna da contribuição de Elisabeth foi soterrada pela historiografia. Essa negligência intelectual merece registro, visto que as cartas de Elisabeth foram descobertas no Século XIX e publicadas pela primeira vez em 1876 (Ebbersmeyer 2020, p. 4). O fato de que Elisabeth tenha sido ignorada pela historiografia explicita a precariedade a que o viés pode condenar uma narrativa, e torna o estudo sobre Elisabeth da Bohemia difícil. (...)
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  49. DESCRIPTION, ESPACE LOGIQUE ET ENJEU DE L'IMPLICATION DE L'OUVERTURE AU LANGAGE POUR LA CONCEPTION DU JUGEMENT DE LA LOGIQUE DE PORT-ROYAL.Katarina Peixoto - 2020 - Logique Et Analyse 249 (249-250):79-95.
    In this study, I intend to show how and why, in the Port-Royal Logic, a singular term can reveal the nature of the logical judgment in the handbook. As I argue, the treatment given to one of thee singular terms, namely, the defined descriptions, in the terminology introduced by Russell, leads to an opening to langage that sounds unexpected and unjustified. Considering the privilege of thinking over langage and also that judgment is the mental act that defines logic, however, we (...)
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  50. The Fourth Meditation and Cartesian Circles.C. P. Ragland & Everett Fulmer - 2020 - Philosophical Annals: Special Issue on Descartes' Epistemology 68 (2):119-138.
    We offer a novel interpretation of the argumentative role that Meditation IV plays within the whole of the Meditations. This new interpretation clarifies several otherwise head-scratching claims that Descartes makes about Meditation IV, and it fully exonerates the Fourth Meditation from either raising or exacerbating Descartes’ circularity problems.
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1 — 50 / 293