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The Senses and the Fleshless Eye: The Meditations as Cognitive Exercises

In Amelie Rorty (ed.), Essays on Descartes' Meditations. University of California Press. pp. 45–76 (1986)

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  1. Athanasius Kircher’s Magical Instruments: An Essay on ‘Science’, ‘Religion’ and Applied Metaphysics.Koen Vermeir - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 38 (2):363-400.
    In this paper I endeavour to bridge the gap between the history of material culture and the history of ideas. I do this by focussing on the intersection between metaphysics and technology—what I call ‘applied metaphysics’—in the oeuvre of the Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher. By scrutinising the interplay between texts, objects and images in Kircher’s work, it becomes possible to describe the multiplicity of meanings related to his artefacts. I unearth as yet overlooked metaphysical and religious meanings of the camera (...)
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  • Teresa, Descartes, and de Sales: The Art of Augustinian Meditation.Wilson Underkuffler - forthcoming - Intellectual History Review:1-24.
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  • Activating the Mind: Descartes' Dreams and the Awakening of the Human Animal Machine.Anik Waldow - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (2):299-325.
    In this essay I argue that one of the things that matters most to Descartes' account of mind is that we use our minds actively. This is because for him only an active mind is able to re-organize its passionate experiences in such a way that a genuinely human, self-governed life of virtue and true contentment becomes possible. To bring out this connection, I will read the Meditations against the backdrop of Descartes' correspondence with Elisabeth. This will reveal that in (...)
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  • La refutación cartesiana del escéptico y del ateo. Tres hitos de su significado y alcance.Rodrigo González - 2017 - Anales Del Seminario de Historia de la Filosofía 34 (1):85-103.
    En este artículo argumento que, pese al llamado “escepticismo cartesiano”, el significado y alcance de la refutación cartesiana del escéptico y del ateo pueden comprenderse a la luz de tres hitos metafísicos. En la primera sección examino de qué forma este filósofo emplea argumentos escépticos como método, no como fin. Tal como enfatizo, el cogito es el punto en que la duda hiperbólica debe detenerse. Luego, en la segunda sección, discuto por qué Descartes es contrario al fideísmo. Debido a que (...)
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  • Scepticism and Science in Descartes.José Luis Bermúdez - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (4):743-772.
    Recent work on Descartes has drastically revised the traditional conception of Descartes as a paradigmatic rationalist and foundationalist. The traditional picture, familar from histories of philosophy and introductory lectures, is of a solitary meditator dedicated to the pursuit of certainty in a unified science via a rigourous process of logical deduction from indubitable first principles. But the Descartes that has emerged from recent studies strikes a more subtle balance between metaphysics, physics, epistemology and the philosophy of science. There is much (...)
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  • Simone de Beauvoir. Philosophy, and Feminism.Nancy Bauer - 2001 - Columbia University Press.
    " Nancy Bauer begins her book by asking: "Then what kind of a problem does being a woman pose?
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  • Apriority and Application: Philosophy of Mathematics in the Modern Period.Lisa Shabel - 2005 - In Stewart Shapiro (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic. Oxford University Press. pp. 29--50.
    In the 17th and 18th centuries, mathematics was understood to be the science that systematized our knowledge of magnitude, or quantity. But the mathematical notion of magnitude and the methods used to investigate it underwent a period of radical transformation during the modern period, which forced philosophers of mathematics to confront a changing mathematical landscape. In this context, the modern philosopher of mathematics had to provide an account of the apriority and applicability of mathematical reasoning, as such reasoning was then (...)
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  • The Ontological Argument as an Exercise in Cartesian Therapy.Lawrence Nolan - 2005 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (4):521 - 562.
    I argue that Descartes intended the so-called ontological "argument" as a self-validating intuition, rather than as a formal proof. The textual evidence for this view is highly compelling, but the strongest support comes from understanding Descartes's diagnosis for why God's existence is not 'immediately' self-evident to everyone and the method of analysis that he develops for making it self-evident. The larger aim of the paper is to use the ontological argument as a case study of Descartes's nonformalist theory of deduction (...)
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  • What is the Importance of Descartes’s Meditation Six?Catherine Wilson - 2005 - Philosophica 76.
    In this essay, I argu e that Descartes considered his theory that the body is an inn ervated machine – in which the soul is situated – to be his most original contribution to philosophy. His ambition to prove the immortality of the soul was very poorly realized, a predictable outcome, insofar as his aims were ethical, not theological. His dualism accordingly requires reassessment.
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  • Descartes' Physiology and its Relation to His Psychology.Gary Hatfield - 1992 - In John Cottingham (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Descartes. Cambridge University Press. pp. 335--370.
    Descartes understood the subject matter of physics (or natural philosophy) to encompass the whole of nature, including living things. It therefore comprised not only nonvital phenomena, including those we would now denominate as physical, chemical, minerological, magnetic, and atmospheric; it also extended to the world of plants and animals, including the human animal (with the exception of those aspects of the human mind that Descartes assigned to solely to thinking substance: pure intellect and will). Descartes wrote extensively on physiology and (...)
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  • Can Feminists Be Cartesians?Brie Gertler - 2002 - Dialogue 41 (1):91-112.
    I defend one leading strand of Descartes's thought against feminist criticism. I will show that Descartes's “first-person” approach to our knowledge of minds, which has been criticized on feminist grounds, is at least compatible with key feminist views. My argument suggests that this strand of Cartesianism may even bolster some central feminist positions.
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  • A Função das Dúvidas Céticas nas Meditações de Descartes.Flavio Williges - 2007 - Doispontos 4 (2).
    Normal 0 21 The main goal of this paper is to maintain that the skeptical hypotheses in the First Meditation, and especially the doubt about material things, should be interpreted as a kind of mental exercise whose purpose is both to weaken our confidence in the senses and to prepare the reader of the Meditation for the learning of the truths accessible through the light of reason. Thus, the paper purports to show that in the economy of the Meditations skeptical (...)
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  • Does Malebranche Need Efficacious Ideas? The Cognitive Faculties, the Ontological Status of Ideas, and Human Attention.Susan Peppers-Bates - 2005 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 43 (1):83-105.
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  • Natural Geometry in Descartes and Kepler.Gary Hatfield - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (1):117-148.
    According to Kepler and Descartes, the geometry of the triangle formed by the two eyes when focused on a single point affords perception of the distance to that point. Kepler characterized the processes involved as associative learning. Descartes described the processes as a “ natural geometry.” Many interpreters have Descartes holding that perceivers calculate the distance to the focal point using angle-side-angle, calculations that are reduced to unnoticed mental habits in adult vision. This article offers a purely psychophysiological interpretation of (...)
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  • Synthesis, Cognitive Normativity, and the Meaning of Kant's Question, 'How Are Synthetic Cognitions a Priori Possible?'.R. Lanier Anderson - 2001 - European Journal of Philosophy 9 (3):275–305.
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  • The Priority of Reason in Descartes.Louis E. Loeb - 1990 - Philosophical Review 99 (1):3-43.
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  • Descartes on the Cognitive Structure of Sensory Experience.Alison Simmons - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (3):549–579.
    Descartes is often thought to bifurcate sensory experience into two distinct cognitive components: the sensing of secondary qualities and the more or less intellectual perceiving of primary qualities. A closer examination of his analysis of sensory perception in the Sixth Replies and his treatment of sensory processing in the Dioptrics and Treatise on Man teIls a different story. I argue that Descartes offers a unified cognitive account of sensory experience according to which the senses and intellect operate together to produce (...)
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  • Descartes on the Passions: Function, Representation, and Motivation.Sean Greenberg - 2007 - Noûs 41 (4):714–734.
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  • Descartes' Resolution of the Dreaming Doubt.Brad Chynoweth - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (2):153-179.
    After resolving the dreaming doubt at the end of the Sixth Meditation, Descartes concedes to Hobbes that one could apply the criterion for waking experience in a dream and thus be deceived, but he no longer considers this possibility to have skeptical force. I argue that this is a legitimate response by Descartes since 1) the dreaming doubt in the Sixth Meditation is no longer a global skeptical hypothesis as it is in the First, and 2) the level of certainty (...)
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  • Spatial Perception From a Cartesian Point of View.Alison Simmons - 2003 - Philosophical Topics 31 (1/2):395-423.
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  • Taking Note.Lorraine Daston - 2004 - Isis: A Journal of the History of Science 95:443-448.
    Because reading was and remains a central aspect of doing science, reading practices may provide insights into cognitive practices—such as observation, economies of attention, arts of memory, and the solidification and erosion of belief—in the context of science. Reading has since ancient times been the model for all forms of understanding and possibly also the template upon which other ways of making the world intelligible were formed. Reading practices may also provide keys to the formation of the specifically scientific self, (...)
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  • Descartes's Meditations and Devotional Meditations.Bradley Rubidge - 1990 - Journal of the History of Ideas 51 (1):27.
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  • Reforming the Art of Living: Nature, Virtue, and Religion in Descartes's Philosophy.Rico Vitz - 2015 - Springer.
    Descartes’s concern with the proper method of belief formation is evident in the titles of his works—e.g., The Search after Truth, The Rules for the Direction of the Mind, and The Discourse on Method of rightly conducting one’s reason and seeking the truth in the sciences. It is most apparent, however, in his famous discussions, both in the Meditations and in the Principles, of one particularly noteworthy source of our doxastic errors—namely, the misuse of one’s will. What is not widely (...)
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  • The Poverty of Conceptual Truth: Kant's Analytic/Synthetic Distinction and the Limits of Metaphysics.R. Lanier Anderson - 2015 - Oxford University Press.
    R. Lanier Anderson presents a new account of Kant's distinction between analytic and synthetic judgments, and provides it with a clear basis within traditional logic. He reconstructs compelling claims about the syntheticity of elementary mathematics, and re-animates Kant's arguments against traditional metaphysics in the Critique of Pure Reason.
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  • On Natural Geometry and Seeing Distance Directly in Descartes.Gary Hatfield - 2015 - In Vincenzo De Risi (ed.), Mathematizing Space: The Objects of Geometry from Antiquity to the Early Modern Age. Berlin: Birkhäuser. pp. 157-91.
    As the word “optics” was understood from antiquity into and beyond the early modern period, it did not mean simply the physics and geometry of light, but meant the “theory of vision” and included what we should now call physiological and psychological aspects. From antiquity, these aspects were subject to geometrical analysis. Accordingly, the geometry of visual experience has long been an object of investigation. This chapter examines accounts of size and distance perception in antiquity (Euclid and Ptolemy) and the (...)
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  • Squaring the Circle in Descartes' Meditations: The Strong Validation of Reason.Stephen I. Wagner - 2014 - Cambridge University Press.
    Descartes' Meditations is one of the most thoroughly analyzed of all philosophical texts. Nevertheless, central issues in Descartes' thought remain unresolved, particularly the problem of the Cartesian Circle. Most attempts to deal with that problem have weakened the force of Descartes' own doubts or weakened the goals he was seeking. In this book, Stephen I. Wagner gives Descartes' doubts their strongest force and shows how he overcomes those doubts, establishing with metaphysical certainty the existence of a non-deceiving God and the (...)
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  • La teoría de las ideas de Descartes.Antoni Gomila Benejam - 1996 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 16 (1):47-69.
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  • Descartes's Geometry as Spiritual Exercise.Matthew L. Jones - 2001 - Critical Inquiry 28 (1):40-71.
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  • The Nature and Relation of the Three Proofs of God's Existence in Descates' Meditations.David N. Stamos - unknown
    My aim in this paper is to examine the nature of and the relation between Descartes's three proofs of God's existence in the "Meditations". Within this aim I want to pursue and argue three interrelated theses: that Descartes's three proofs of God's existence in the "Meditations" are in fact deductive demonstrations, that all three proofs are logically independent of each other, and that the ordering of the three proofs in the "Meditations" was for psychological rather than logical or methodological reasons.
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  • Passion and Action: The Emotions in Seventeenth-Century Philosophy.Susan James - 1997 - Oxford University Press.
    Passion and Action is an exploration of the role of the passions in seventeenth-century thought. Susan James offers fresh readings of a broad range of thinkers, including such canonical figures as Hobbes, Descartes, Malebranche, Spinoza, Pascal, and Locke, and shows that a full understanding of their philosophies must take account of their interpretations of our affective life. This ground-breaking study throws new light upon the shaping of our ideas about the mind, knowledge, and action, and provides a historical context for (...)
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  • Kapitel III Descartes - Mechanismus und Menschenvernunft.Markus Wild - 2007 - In Die Anthropologische Differenz: Der Geist der Tiere in der Frühen Neuzeit Bei Montaigne, Descartes Und Hume. Walter de Gruyter.
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  • The Good Life in the Scientific Revolution: Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz and the Cultivation of Virtue.Matthew L. Jones - 2006 - University of Chicago Press.
    The Good Life in the Scientific Revolution presents a triptych showing how three key early modern scientists, René Descartes, Blaise Pascal, and Gottfried ...
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  • Feminist Interpretations of René Descartes.Susan Bordo (ed.) - 1999 - Pennsylvania State University Press.
    Contributors are Susan Bordo, Stanley Clarke, Erica Harth, Leslie Heywood, Luce Irigaray, Genevieve Lloyd, Mario Moussa, Eileen O'Neill, Adrianna Paliyenko, Ruth Perry, Mario Sáenz, Karl Stern, Thomas Wartenberg, and James Winders.
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  • Descartes's Changing Mind.Peter K. Machamer - 2009 - Princeton University Press.
    This is the first book to focus on Descartes's changing views, and it is welcome."--Roger Ariew, University of South Florida.
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  • Descartes on the Dubitability of the Existence of Self.David Cunning - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):111 - 131.
    In a number a passages Descartes appears to insist that "I am, I exist" and its variants are wholly indubitable. These passages present an intractable problem of interpretation in the face of passages in which Descartes allows that any result is dubitable, "I am, I exist" included. Here I pull together a number of elements of Descartes' system to show how all of these passages hang together. If my analysis is correct, it tells us something about the perspective that Descartes (...)
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  • Descartes and the Community of Inquirers.Amy Mullin - 2000 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 17 (1):1 - 27.
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  • Regimens of the Mind: Boyle, Locke, and the Early Modern Cultura Animi Tradition.Sorana Corneanu - 2011 - University of Chicago Press.
    Francis Bacon and the art of direction -- An art of tempering the mind -- The distempered mind and the tree of knowledge -- A comprehensive culture of the mind -- The end of knowledge -- The study of nature as regimen -- Cultura and medicina animi: an early modern tradition -- The physician of the soul -- Sources -- Genres -- Utility: practical versus speculative knowledge -- Self-love and the fallen/uncultured mind -- The office of reason -- Passions, errors, (...)
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  • Argument and Persuasion in Descartes' Meditations.David Cunning - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    This important volume will be of great interest to scholars of early modern philosophy.
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  • How History Matters to Philosophy: Reconsidering Philosophy's Past After Positivism.Robert C. Scharff - 2014 - Routledge.
    In recent decades, widespread rejection of positivism’s notorious hostility toward the philosophical tradition has led to renewed debate about the real relationship of philosophy to its history. How History Matters to Philosophy takes a fresh look at this debate. Current discussion usually starts with the question of whether philosophy’s past should matter, but Scharff argues that the very existence of the debate itself demonstrates that it already does matter. After an introductory review of the recent literature, he develops his case (...)
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  • The'meditational'genre of Descartes'meditations.Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam - 2008 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 13 (1):51-68.
    In this paper, I reflect on Descartes' employment of the meditational genre in the weaving of the text of the Meditations. In the first part, the possible influences behind Descartes' choice of the meditational genre are examined. The second part of the paper attempts to spell out the significance of Descartes' use of the meditational form. The claim advanced here is that Descartes adopted this unique genre ultimately to further his radical philosophical project of a subject-centred theory of knowledge and (...)
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  • Descartes and Spinoza on Epistemological Egalitarianism.Amélie Oksenberg Rorty - 1996 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 13 (1):35 - 53.
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  • The Methodology of the Meditations: Tradition and Innovation.Christia Mercer - 2014 - In David Cunning (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Descartes’ Meditations. Cambridge University Press. pp. 23-47.
    Descartes intended to revolutionize seventeenth-century philosophy and science. But first he had to persuade his contemporaries of the truth of his ideas. Of all his publications, Meditations on First Philosophy is methodologically the most ingenuous. Its goal is to provoke readers, even recalcitrant ones, to discover the principles of “first philosophy.” The means to its goal is a reconfiguration of traditional methodological strategies. The aim of this chapter is to display the methodological strategy of the Meditations. The text’s method is (...)
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  • Las raíces ignacianas de Descartes. Estado de la cuestión.Ramon Ramon - 2010 - Pensamiento 66 (250):981-1002.
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  • Finitude, Infinitude and the Imago Dei in Catherine of Siena and Descartes.Veda Cobb-Stevens - 1990 - Analecta Husserliana 28:655.
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  • The Texture of Thought: Why Descartes'“Meditationes” is Meditational, and Why It Matters.Dennis L. Sepper - 2000 - In John Schuster, Stephen Gaukroger & John Sutton (eds.), Descartes' Natural Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 736--750.
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  • Between Two Worlds: A Reading of Descartes's Meditations.John Peter Carriero - 2009 - Princeton University Press.
    Introduction -- The first meditation -- The second meditation -- The third meditation : the truth rule and the "chief and most common mistake" -- The third meditation : two demonstrations of God's existence -- The fourth meditation -- The fifth meditation -- The sixth meditation.
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  • Before Imagination: Embodied Thought From Montaigne to Rousseau.John D. Lyons - 2005 - Stanford University Press.
    Before imagination became the transcendent and creative faculty promoted by the Romantics, it was for something quite different. Not reserved to a privileged few, imagination was instead considered a universal ability that each person could direct in practical ways. To imagine something meant to form in the mind a replica of a thing—its taste, its sound, and other physical attributes. At the end of the Renaissance, there was a movement to encourage individuals to develop their ability to imagine vividly. Within (...)
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