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

By Noa Naaman-Zauderer

This ebook bargains a brand new approach of coming near near where of the desire 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 vital mark of human rationality, either highbrow and useful. via an in depth examining of Cartesian texts from the Meditations onward, she brings to mild a deontological and non-consequentialist size of Descartes' later considering, which credit the correct use of loose will with a constitutive, evaluative position. She exhibits that definitely the right use of unfastened will, to which Descartes assigns compulsory strength, constitutes for him an result in its personal correct instead of only a method for achieving the other finish, even though worthy. Her very important research has major implications for the harmony of Descartes' considering, and for the problem of accountability, inviting students to re-evaluate Descartes' philosophical legacy.

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This may suggest that only ideas, by virtue of their representational character, can qualify as the locus of truth and falsehood. But Descartes then proceeds to argue that ideas, insofar as they are considered solely in themselves and are not referred to anything external, “cannot strictly speaking be false” (AT vii 37: CSM ii 26). He then clarifies that “falsity in the strict sense, or formal falsity, can occur only in judgments” (AT vii 43: CSM ii 30). 39 Contrary to both these options, I claim that the kind of falsity denied to ideas in this passage is not propositional but formal.

In the Comments on a Certain Broadsheet, he writes that innate ideas “always exist within us potentially, for to exist in some faculty is not to exist actually, but merely potentially” (AT viiib 361: CSM i 305). Possessing a certain degree of objective reality, even if only minimal, suffices for an idea to be true. A false idea, by contrast, is one representing a non­-thing (a non­-possible entity) and, as such, can have no objective reality. , Kenny (1968: 151–56; 1970: 692–93, 397); Gewirth (1970: 678); Schmaltz (1991); Chappell (1997); Nolan (1997); Cunning (2003); Doney (2005).

Nolan 1997: 192 n. 22; Wells 1990), whereas others insist on the need to distinguish between them, suggesting different accounts of this distinction. See, for example, Chappell (1986: 190); Normore (1986: 238); Nadler (1989: 159); Field (1993: 318–19 n. 10); Nelson (1996: 16–20); Kaufman (2000: 392); Alanen (2003: 122–37); Brown (2008: 200–01, 207). 31 In the First Replies, Descartes accordingly argues that the objective being of true and immutable natures requires a formal cause: “even if the nature of the triangle is immutable and eternal, it is still no less appropriate to ask why there is an idea of it within us” (AT vii 104: CSM ii 76).

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