Get Cartesian Metaphysics: The Scholastic Origins of Modern PDF

By Jorge Secada

ISBN-10: 0521452910

ISBN-13: 9780521452915

This is often the 1st book-length research of Decartes' metaphysics to put it in its speedy old context, the overdue Scholastic philosophy of thinkers comparable to Suárez opposed to which Descartes reacted. Jorge Secada perspectives Cartesian philosophy as an "essentialist" respond to the "existentialism" of the college, and his dialogue contains cautious analyses and unique interpretations of such valuable Cartesian subject matters because the position of skepticism, the idea of substance, and the dualism of brain and subject. His learn deals an image of Descartes' metaphysics that's either novel and philosophically illuminating.

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In Descartes’s 17 18 The unity of Cartesian metaphysics refutation of the sceptical arguments, the intellect validates itself and assigns to the senses their correct epistemic function. Scepticism serves the double purpose of drawing the mind away from the senses and of directing it towards pure intellectual perception, with which it can uncover the clear and distinct grounds of all knowledge. The Cartesian way to knowledge starts with the unveiling of a world of essences which exists within the mind and which the intellect alone can perceive clearly and distinctly.

A demonstration that an F exists is not a demonstration that God exists, even if the only F there exists is God. Thomist existentialism requires that there be a gap between an initial account of the meaning of a name and the final essential definition of its 21 22 The unity of Cartesian metaphysics existing referent; and it meets this requirement through its empiricist understanding of science. The existentialist needs an account of how we initially identify God through some possibly non-essential description, and how our coming to know His essence supposes that He exists.

The structure of the Meditations makes manifest the essentialist character of the Cartesian philosophy. Let us turn towards the individual cases: first, extended substance. In the Fifth Meditation Descartes claims to possess knowledge of the essence of matter. He displays some of this knowledge by referring to geometrical truths. Later, at the beginning of the Sixth Meditation, he maintains that this knowledge assures him of the possibility of the existence of extended substance or body. Finally, he establishes that there actually exists a material substance through an argument that involves reference to God’s existence and nature, to the natural inclinations of the self, and to sensory perceptions.

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Cartesian Metaphysics: The Scholastic Origins of Modern Philosophy by Jorge Secada


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