Descartes' Deontological Turn: Reason, Will, and Virtue in by Noa Naaman-Zauderer

By Noa Naaman-Zauderer

This e-book deals a brand new manner of drawing close where of the need in Descartes' mature epistemology and ethics. Departing from the generally permitted view, Noa Naaman-Zauderer means that Descartes regards the need, instead of the mind, because the most important mark of human rationality, either highbrow and sensible. via an in depth studying of Cartesian texts from the Meditations onward, she brings to mild a deontological and non-consequentialist measurement of Descartes' later pondering, which credit the right kind use of loose will with a constitutive, evaluative position. She exhibits that the perfect use of loose will, to which Descartes assigns compulsory strength, constitutes for him an result in its personal correct instead of in basic terms a method for achieving the other finish, despite the fact that beneficial. Her very important learn has major implications for the solidarity of Descartes' considering, and for the difficulty of accountability, inviting students to think again Descartes' philosophical legacy.

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In the Fifth Meditation, Descartes finds within himself countless ideas of things that although they may not exist anywhere outside his mind, “still cannot be called nothing; for although in a sense they can be thought of at will, they are not my invention but have their own true and immutable natures” (AT vii 64: CSM ii 44). And in the Fifth Replies he states that there may not be any existing figures corresponding to the perfect figures conceived by the geometer (AT vii 381–82: CSM ii 262). But even if no perfect triangle actually exists anywhere outside thought, as the Fifth Meditation indicates, “there is still a determinate nature, or essence, or form of the triangle which is immutable and eternal, and not invented by me or dependent on my mind” (AT vii 64: CSM ii 45).

This interpretation is also found in Hoffman (2009: ch. 11). In an earlier paper, however, Hoffman suggests that, for Descartes, what our ideas seem to represent must exist in those ideas (or in the intellect) objectively (1996: 373). This reading leads him to hold that despite his endorsement of the most fundamental element of the Aristotelian–Thomistic theory of cognition, Descartes still leaves room for ideas containing objective reality to be misrepresentations (pp. ; see also his 2009: ch.

11), who hold that ideas taken objectively, apart from being the thing represented by ideas taken materially, are themselves representative and, as such, contain different degrees of objective reality. 27 22 Descartes’ Deontological Turn taking them not materially but formally” (AT vii 232: CSM ii 163). The formal sense of ideas should not be confused with the ontological notion of formal reality, which is an attribute of ideas in the material sense. Whereas formal reality is an attribute of ideas taken materially, objective reality is an attribute of ideas taken objectively or formally.

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