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Flashcards in descartes - secondary articles Deck (6)
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1

groarke, d use of certainty

- ‘first to use it as a basis for a philosophical defence of certainty’ (282)
- ‘It must nevertheless be said that his originality has been exaggerated, and that he is not the first to consider the "hyperbolical" doubts which accompany the demon hypothesis.’ (282)

2

cottingham, faith seeking understanding

- ‘Yes, he was a champion of reason, and of the mind’s innate power to apprehend clearly perceived truths; but his reaching for those truths was not conducted in quite the epistemic vacuum that the scepticism‐driven reading of his work suggests. On the contrary, if we look beneath the surface we can see his stance as having more in com- mon with the ‘faith seeking understanding’ tradition, reflecting the ideas of some of his patristic and medieval mentors, whose presence, I shall argue, can be clearly felt at some of the most crucial stages of the Meditations.’ (45)

3

cottingham, meditative tradition

o ‘We have to remember here that Descartes, in writing about God, was steeped in a meditative and contemplative tradition, stretching from Augustine (in his Confessions), through Anselm (in the Proslogion), to Bonaventure (in his Journey of the Mind towards God), a tradition that inter- mingles philosophical reasoning with humble praise and worship’ (47)
o passage at end of M3 parallels doxological style of Anselm and Augustine – voice of a worshipper. Comes at end of proof for God’s existence

4

cottingham, finite vs. infinite

- ‘Descartes’ line of thought about God, not just in his version of the ontological argument, but also in the earlier so‐called ‘Trademark argument’ of the Third Meditation, hinges in one crucial respect on a very similar mode of reflection to that we and in Anselm’s, namely reflection on what happens when the finite creature attempts to confront its in finite creator—when, as Anselm put it, the “wretched mind” is “stirred up to contemplation of God.”’(49)

5

cottingham on Descartes double argument

o M3 and M5 ‘both present a proof of the existence of God, although these two proofs actually outline two possible interpretations of the same Anselmian argument’ (158)
♣ M5 ‘recapitulates Anselm’s argument, though perhaps without understanding it well’
• D interprets A metaphysically
• A’s argument is close to causa sui – divine essence has ‘the same epistemological status assigned to mathematical ideas and, on the other hand, (he assimilates) divine essence to the necessary being’ (158)
♣ M3
• Suggests impossibility of conveying God
• God = infinite
• Echoes Anselm

6

gueroult on plato and descartes

o both D and P ‘recourt à la connaissance rationnelle pour remettre en équilibre les trois éléments constitutifs de notre âme’ (167)