Garber on descartes

He has been called the "Father of Modern Philosophy", and much of subsequent Western philosophy can be seen as a response to his writings.

Garber on descartes

A Critical Guide Published: September 02, Karen Detlefsen ed.

An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.

Reviewed by Michael Della Rocca, Yale University What explains the continuing power the Meditations has over us, its ability to shape our ways of philosophical thinking even today?

I will return to this mysterious power at the end of this review. But this view leaves Descartes open to the Hobbesian objection.

If substance is a mere subject with accidents like thought and extension, then Hobbes is right: But a problem here is that Descartes does not seem Garber on descartes in the earlier texts to regard thought and extension as mere accidents.

Although Descartes does in Garber on descartes reply to Hobbes distinguish the substance as subject and its essence, he does not indicate that this essence is merely an accident.

Indeed, traditionally an essence would be seen as not merely an accident, and Descartes gives no sign of departing from the tradition on this point. Tad Schmaltz advances our understanding of Descartes in three main ways: Along the way, she clarifies the kinds of two-way power and indifference that Descartes appeals to, and the different ways Descartes treats cognitive and practical goods.

John Carriero does a characteristically meticulous job of showing how, although Descartes breaks with Aristotelian views, he is more beholden to Aristotelian ways of thinking than might be apparent to us today.

Such indirect realism is often seen as a major break from Aristotelian accounts of perception, which rely upon an identity of form in -- and thus upon resemblance between -- perceiver and perceived.

For Carriero, the philosophical work that the sharing of forms does for the Aristotelian is performed in Descartes by the thesis that perceiver and perceived share the same reality. Carriero describes this shared reality as shared structure. As Carriero points out, for Descartes, in a physical object such as a red card, there is "only a microphysical texture, a pattern of matter in motion" p.

Carriero goes on to say that "when I have an idea of red, I am not made formally identical with the microphysical texture" p. Dennis Des Chene suggests such a position in a response to Carriero, which Carriero generously quotes p. Gary Hatfield, as well as Carriero, reads Descartes as not wholly breaking with a resemblance account of perception.

But here again the question arises: What is there in bodies for an idea of red to resemble in however obscure a fashion? The fact that Carriero and Hatfield each struggle in different and equally subtle ways to articulate what this resemblance might be for Descartes may be reflective more of a difficulty for Descartes than of a problem with their interpretations.

Garber on descartes

And it is worth noting that Hatfield in the end, perhaps even more than Carriero, leaves the door open to some kind of sign theory of representation in Descartes. Descartes famously rejects teleological explanations -- at least when it comes to physics -- and, for him, things in general do not have end-directed natures.

Of course, as Karen Detlefsen claims in her outstanding paper, artifacts and even many living things have ends imposed on them by something external to them, such as God or some lesser creator.

But these things do not by nature act for the sake of an end, according to Descartes. By contrast, for Descartes, the human being -- the composite of the human mind and the human body -- does have an intrinsic end-directed nature.

Detlefsen asks a deep and generally neglected question: One suggestion is that the mind itself constructs such ends or imposes them on the body and thus on the composite. The only alternative may seem to be to deny that there is any intrinsicially end-directed activity even in human beings.

But Detlefsen does not take this eliminativist line. Detlefsen is able to find surprising textual support though not in the Meditations for this reading, and she is able to say that the value the soul recognizes in the body is found by the soul at the level of the physical disposition of parts such as hands, eyes, etc.

In thus seeing Descartes as drawing a distinction between physical, end-directed nature and metaphysical, teleology-free nature, Detlefsen offers us a Descartes who can consistently fulminate against teleology in objects considered at the metaphysical level while also embracing it in connection with the same objects considered at the level of physical disposition of parts.

This is an extremely promising reading, but I have a question. What is the status of these physical non-metaphysical natures? Is Descartes justified in seeing such natures as genuine aspects of reality, or does the apparently more fundamental metaphysical level and its purely metaphysical, mechanistic explanations prevent such physical natures from having any genuine role to play?

As Shapiro argues, it might seem natural to see a Cartesian self as unified because the self consists of a substance that is the bearer of the various modes or particular mental states that make up the life of a human being.Rejection and Retention In Daniel Garber’s article, “Descartes against his teachers: The Refutation of Hylomorphism”, the metaphysics of the early scholastics is presented to show the similarities and differences between what Descartes was taught through scholasticism and what he came to refute.

Through analysis of the article I will present what Descartes . René Descartes: The Mind-Body Distinction. One of the deepest and most lasting legacies of Descartes’ philosophy is his thesis that mind and body are really distinct—a thesis now called "mind-body dualism." He reaches this conclusion by arguing that the nature of the mind (that is, a thinking, non-extended thing) is completely different from that of the body (that is, an extended, non.

Garber on descartes

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10 Descartes' physics.

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Descartes was by no means alone in opposing the philosophy of the schools. As I noted earlier, there had been numerous attacks on the. AristotelIan natural philosophy by the time Descartes learned blS.

Daniel Garber offers a rich account of the ways in which Descartes' encounter with Hobbes' materialist objections to the cogito argument led Descartes to a "new doctrine of substance" (p.

58) that, unlike his previous theory, did not invite the Hobbesian objection. Asteroid Ephemeris Generator. asteroid & planet positions.

Descartes' Life and Works (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)