Descartes 2nd Meditation Essay

Descartes 2nd Meditation Essay-40
She ultimately suggests, contrary to Cartesian orthodoxy, that his version of the notion involves a kind of 'externalism'.Unfortunately, Schmitter does not explain this technical term of recent origin, and I suspect non-expert readers of the will not find that it clarifies significantly Descartes' own appeal to the technical vocabulary of scholasticism.

She ultimately suggests, contrary to Cartesian orthodoxy, that his version of the notion involves a kind of 'externalism'.Unfortunately, Schmitter does not explain this technical term of recent origin, and I suspect non-expert readers of the will not find that it clarifies significantly Descartes' own appeal to the technical vocabulary of scholasticism.

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The essays on the brief 'theodical' Fourth Meditation focus on Descartes' conception of the will.

Thomas Lennon offers a very subtle account of the relations among volition, judgment and freedom, which focuses carefully on the language of the Meditation itself.

along with three thematic essays on method, dualism and God.

The editor provides a substantial introduction, which summarizes the contributions and identifies some of the central aims and methods of the .

But with some 'shoehorning' of texts (as Lennon puts it (185n18)), Wee stakes out a defensible if unusual position in the recently raging debate about Cartesian freedom.

But this defense takes us so far from the themselves, and into scholarly controversies, that readers may worry they have strayed from Descartes' demand that we 'meditate seriously' and withdraw from all 'preconceived opinions' ('Preface to the Reader; AT 7: 9).Descartes' relation to this tradition has been noted by other commentators, as Mercer acknowledges, but she sheds new light on the crucial role of 'meditation' in the transformative project of the .The next two essays, by Charles Larmore and David Cunning, concern the First Meditation.Nevertheless, both chapters provide interesting interpretations of Descartes' insistence that the mind is better known than the body.Lawrence Nolan helpfully distills and defends the two Third Meditation proofs of God's existence, which have often been maligned for (among other things) relying on obscure scholastic principles about causality and 'degrees of reality'.Alanen argues that Descartes is concerned early on to downplay the role of the body in human cognition, not only in relation to the intellect but also in relation to the imagination, sensation and the will Nevertheless, the theory of the mind-body 'union' that comes in the Sixth Meditation shows that Descartes is not only concerned with the intellect, but also with 'the human mind, a mind destined to be and already in fact embodied' (103).Morris' unorthodox essay -- which involves very close, successive re-readings of the wax passage -- introduces more ambivalence and complications than seems warranted by Descartes' preliminary discussion of the nature of body (whose existence is of course not even known until the Sixth Meditation).The lengthy Sixth Meditation, which takes up the mind-body distinction (and union), is discussed in two excellent essays by Deborah Brown and Alison Simmons.Brown emphasizes and explores the distinction, for Descartes, between the metaphysical question of dualism ('what am I?After the strongly rationalist message of earlier chapters, Simmons' essay effectively brings home Descartes' deep engagement with the intricate problems of mind-body union.The volume ends with two brief thematic essays that broach the Descartes-Spinoza connection.

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