By Catherine Wilson
This new advent to a philosophical vintage attracts at the reinterpretations of Descartes' considered the earlier twenty-five years. Catherine Wilson examines the arguments of Descartes' recognized Meditations, revealing how he constructs a idea of the brain, physique, nature, and God from a premise of radical uncertainty. She discusses intimately the old context of Descartes' writings and their courting to early sleek technological know-how.
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Extra info for Descartes's Meditations: An Introduction (Cambridge Introductions to Key Philosophical Texts)
The Withholding Policy instructs me to refuse to believe any opinion of which I am not completely certain, any opinion that it is possible to doubt. But will the Withholding Policy really help with the completion of subtasks (1)–(3)? It is unclear at this stage whether it will help very much. If the Meditator is currently undecided about an opinion, he should withhold assent, according to the Policy. He should withhold assent from all opinions that he currently disbelieves as well. Evidently, if the Meditator is undecided whether buying a new horse would Meditation One 35 be a good idea, or undecided whether the Copernican system or the Ptolemaic system is true, the Meditator should not believe that buying a horse would be a good idea, or that one or the other system is true.
That this approach is dangerous for those of only moderate intelligence . . 46 Descartes’s Meditations I rather think that the First Meditation should be furnished with a brief preface which explains that there is no serious doubt cast on these matters but that the purpose is to isolate temporarily those matters which leave room for even the “slightest” and most “exaggerated” doubt; it should be explained that this is to facilitate the discovery of something so ﬁrm and stable that not even the most perverse skeptic will have even the slightest scope for doubt.
If I am very worried about the condition of my water, I had better have this assurance. At least, I should be assured that the ﬁne print on the ﬁlter box that says that the ﬁlter has been tested by some expert is not a forgery. How, though, can I check whether the Authority Principle or the Conformity Policy “performs as advertised” to separate true from false propositions? Well, since there is no ﬁne print to look at, it seems that all I can do is scrutinize propositions that made it through the ﬁlter and see whether they really are true.
Descartes's Meditations: An Introduction (Cambridge Introductions to Key Philosophical Texts) by Catherine Wilson