Download A Descartes Dictionary by John G. Cottingham PDF

By John G. Cottingham

To confront the philosophical process of Rene Descartes is to think about a magnificently laid out map of human cognitive endeavour. In following Descartes arguments, the reader is drawn into probably the most primary and demanding concerns in all of philosophy. during this dictionary, John Cottingham offers an alphabetied consultant to this such a lot stimulating and widely-studied of philosophers. He examines the main innovations and concepts in Cartesian idea and areas them within the context either one of the seventeenth-century highbrow weather and of next interpretation. The entries variety over a wide selection of parts together with cosmology, physics, theology, psychology and ethics. The ebook is designed to entice the newcomer to Descartes, no matter if pupil or basic reader, whereas additionally offering exact severe remark and special textual references for the extra complex reader. additionally integrated are a normal advent describing Descartes' existence and works, and bibliographic advisor to the Cartesian texts and the mass of interpretative literature on Descartes.

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Extra resources for A Descartes Dictionary

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Cf. Fourth Replies, AT VII 246: CSM II 1 7 1 ) . Descartes' reply to the circularity challenge is not wholly satisfying for two reasons. The first is that his strategy rests on the claim that the premises needed to prove God's existence are so simple and transparent that, so long as we attend to them, their certainty is guaranteed. But critical scrutiny of the premises used in the proof of God in Meditation I I I reveals them to be far from straightforward (see CAUSE ) . Second, Descartes' claim that some simple propositions are so transparent and self-evident that nothing could call them into question sits uneasily with the possibility of extreme or 'hyperbolical' doubt that he himselfhad raised in the First Meditation.

This short work was written in Latin and published under the title Notae in Programma quoddam early in 1 648, by the house of Elzevir at Amsterdam. The work is sometimes known as the 'Notes against a Programme' (a crudely literal rendering of the Latin title) . In the Comments, Descartes replies to the points made in a broadsheet published Comments on a Certain Broadsheet COMMON NOTION 37 anonymously by Henri le Roy (Henricus Regius) towards the end of 1 647. Regius, Professor of Medicine at the University of Utrecht, had strongly supported Descartes' ideas earlier in the 1 640s, but Descartes was angered by the publication of Regius' Foundations of Physics, in 1 646, which, he claimed, repeated many of his ideas (some gleaned from private correspond­ ence), and distorted others, 'but all in such a confused manner, and with so few arguments, that the book can only make my views look ridiculous' (AT IV 5 1 0: CSMK 296).

But then the two 'images' formed on the retinas of the eyes are combined together in the 'common' sense, to form a little image of a cat, which Rene's soul then inspects. For one of the many passages which illustrate Descartes' tortuous manoeuvres on the psycho- physiology of vision, compare Passions of the Soul, art. 35: 'If we see some animal approaching us, the light reflected from its body forms two images, one in each of our eyes; and these images form two others, by means of the optic nerves, on the internal surface of the brain facing its cavities.

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