René Descartes: The Mind-Body Distinction
Though foundationalism brilliantly allows for the expansion ofknowledge from first principles, Descartes thinks that a complementarymethod is needed to help us discover genuine first principles. As GaryHatfield writes, “the problem is not to carry out proofs (whichmight well be assented to, given the definitions and axioms), but todiscover the axioms themselves, (which are hopelessly obscured by theprejudices of the senses)” (1986, 71). Descartes thereforedevises the method of doubt for this purpose — a method to help“set aside” preconceived opinions.
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It would be misleading to characterize the arguments of theMeditations as unfolding straightforwardly according togeometric method. But Descartes maintains that they canbe reconstructed as such, and he expressly does so at the end of theSecond Replies — providing a “geometrical”exposition of his central constructive steps, under the followingheadings: definitions, postulates, axioms orcommon notions, and propositions (AT 7:160ff).
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examples, it is loss of life in one case and loss of property in the other.
Most moralists, however, have dissented from this Hobbesian, call it
“particularist,” outlook; and held that over and above the specific harms
that individual lies cause or aim to cause, there is a generic harm common
to all lying, to all deceit.
Essay on Descartes' Meditations | René Descartes | Reality
The dialectic of the First Meditation features a confrontation betweenparticularism and methodism, with methodism emerging the victor. Forexample, the meditator (while voicing empiricist sensibilities) putsforward, as candidates for the foundations of Knowledge, such primafacie obvious claims as “that I am here, sitting by the fire,wearing a winter dressing-gown, holding this piece of paper in my hands,and so on” — particular matters “about whichdoubt is quite impossible,” or so it would seem (AT 7:18). Inresponse (and at each level of the dialectic), Descartes invokes his ownmethodical principles to show that the prima facie obviousness ofsuch particular claims is insufficient to meet the burden of proof.
30/12/2017 · Essay on Descartes’ Meditations
It is hard to see, though, how that divide has any
relevance to the question that Mersenne and Hobbes asked: might not
fathers rig matters as well as tell lies – stage Santa Claus, for example?
If, on the other hand, Descartes is basically contrasting malevolence
with non-malevolence, and saying that in the Meditations he had only
malevolence in mind, because non-malevolent deceit isn’t really deceit:
if that is his stance, then he is surely conceding too much.
What is the role of the malicious demon in Meditation 1
As the first real fencing theorist, Agrippa’s impact on the field was profound. Not only did he articulate the basis for what would eventually become codified in the modern sport of fencing, but no fencing book after him was complete without some discussion of the nature of art and science — though most showed the application of this theory rather than its causes. Ridolfo Capo Ferro, in his treatise of 1610, even argued that fencing was an art, not a science, because fencing does not examine ‘eternal and divine things going beyond the will of humans,’ but an elevated ‘art of doing’ (as opposed to a craft or trade) whose products are ephemeral and whose rules are both universally true and well-ordered (Capo Ferro 1610: 5; trans. Leoni 2011: 8). His teaching consists mostly of examples of tactical actions. Likewise, Salvator Fabris, fencing master of Christian IV of Denmark, whose Lo Schermo was printed in Italian in Copenhagen in 1606, protested his poor learning and that he would not use fancy geometrical terms and proofs — though the art was founded in geometry — and that he would, instead, explain it in plain language (Fabris 1606: A4; trans. Leoni 2005: 2).