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Cartesian Truth - Thomas C. Vinci

Hardcover

Published: 1st November 1997
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Bold and pioneering, this book makes a detailed historical and systematic case that Descartes's theory of knowledge is an elegant and powerful combination of a priori, naturalistic, and dialectical elements meriting serious consideration by both contemporary analytic philosophers and postmodern thinkers. In the course of making this case Thomas Vinci develops a broad reinterpretation of Cartesian thought that unlocks novel solutions to many of the most vexed questions in Cartesian scholarship.

"Cartesian Truth offers a careful philosophical reconstruction of central parts of Descartes's metaphysics and his theory of perception, each considered in relation to Descartes's epistemology. Vinci aims to further our contemporary understanding of what Wilfrid Sellars called the relation between the 'scientific' and 'manifest' images of the world, thereby establishing the continuing interest of Descartes's epistemology. Of the many substantial original contributions here, most notable perhaps is Vinci's examination of the important positive role Descartes gave to sense perception in his epistemology, and of the use to which Descartes put his reflections on sense perception in framing his criticism of previous theories of the sensory qualities of objects. [Hatfield cont.] Vinci offers new insights in his examination of Descartes's theory of the cognition of object properties, and especially of the so-called 'primary qualities.' On other key Cartesian philosophical arguments and positions, Vinci offers analysis of equal depth and interest. Overall, this penetrating work shows that the project of speculative argumentative reconstruction is alive and well."--Gary Hatfield, University of Pennsylvania "Cartesian Truth offers a careful philosophical reconstruction of central parts of Descartes's metaphysics and his theory of perception, each considered in relation to Descartes's epistemology. Vinci aims to further our contemporary understanding of what Wilfrid Sellars called the relation between the 'scientific' and 'manifest' images of the world, thereby establishing the continuing interest of Descartes's epistemology. Of the many substantial original contributions here, most notable perhaps is Vinci's examination of the important positive role Descartes gave to sense perception in his epistemology, and of the use to which Descartes put his reflections on sense perception in framing his criticism of previous theories of the sensory qualities of objects. [Hatfield cont.] Vinci offers new insights in his examination of Descartes's theory of the cognition of object properties, and especially of the so-called 'primary qualities.' On other key Cartesian philosophical arguments and positions, Vinci offers analysis of equal depth and interest. Overall, this penetrating work shows that the project of speculative argumentative reconstruction is alive and well."--Gary Hatfield, University of Pennsylvania

Primary Works Used or Citedp. xvii
Introductionp. 3
Self-Knowledge and the Rule of Truthp. 9
Introductionp. 9
Propositional Awareness and Nonpropositional Awarenessp. 13
Intuitive Knowledge and Certain Knowledgep. 19
The Method of Clear and Distinct Ideasp. 23
The First Phase of Descartes's Account of Self-Knowledge: Meditation IIp. 31
The Intuitive Phase of Descartes's Account of Self-Knowledgep. 39
The Rule of Truth and the Intuitive Cogitop. 43
Identifying Intuitional Awarenessp. 48
Foundationalism and Privileged Access Revisitedp. 50
Defending Descartes against the Charge of Circularityp. 52
Truth, Existence, and Ideasp. 54
Introductionp. 54
Descartes's Concepts of Truth and Existencep. 55
Descartes's General Theory of Existential Reasoningp. 60
The Objective Reality of Ideas: The Basic Picturep. 61
The Ontological Status of Immutable Essencesp. 64
Descartes's Notion of Eminent Containment: An Epistemic Interpretationp. 69
The Third Element of Objective Reality: The Form or Content of Perceptions of Objectsp. 73
Ideas as Images: Presentation versus Representationp. 79
Causes, Existence, and Ideasp. 82
Introductionp. 82
Descartes's Causal Principles and the Rule of Truthp. 84
The Fundamentality Thesis and the Main Causal Argument for the Existence of God in Meditation IIIp. 88
The Relation between the Causal Argument and the Ontological Argumentp. 94
The Causal Principle and the Proof of the External World in Meditation VIp. 96
The Proof of the External World in Principles II, 1p. 103
Descartes's Ambivalence toward the Sensesp. 107
Alternative Accounts of Descartes's Notion of Eminent Containmentp. 110
Inadequacy versus Misperception in our Idea of Godp. 111
The Sense Experience of Primary Qualitiesp. 113
Some Backgroundp. 113
The Account of Sense Experience of Primary Qualities in Mature Cartesian Philosophyp. 116
Descartes's Empirical Theory of the Sense Experience of Primary Qualitiesp. 122
Referred Sensationsp. 131
Imaginal Imagesp. 135
The Perceptual Representation of Ordinary Objectsp. 139
Descartes's Theory of Natural Signs: The Constitutive versus the Minimalist Interpretationp. 139
Referral Judgments: What are They?p. 143
Referral Judgments: Why Do We Make Them?p. 151
The Theory of Natural Knowledgep. 156
Introductionp. 156
The Account of Cognitive Impulse in the Rules for the Direction of the Mindp. 158
The Mature Theory of Natural Reasonsp. 159
Natural Inclinations and the Proofs of the External World in Meditation VI and Principles II, 1p. 168
Dispositions to Affirm Particular Properties of Corporeal Thingsp. 173
The Cartesian Circle and the Theory of Natural Knowledgep. 177
The Janus-faced Theory of Ideas of the Sensesp. 179
Introduction: The Cartesian Regulatory Idealp. 179
The Doctrine of the Material Falsity of Ideas of the Senses in Meditation IIIp. 180
The Non(re)presentational Propertyp. 182
Material Falsity as Mis(re)presentationp. 184
Descartes's Case against Treating Ordinary Sense Experience as a Form of Concrete Intuitive Awareness of Aristotelian Objectsp. 187
Descartes's Argument that Aristotelian Objects Are Inconceivable (The Causal Argument)p. 190
The Methodological Corollary and the Mind-Body Problemp. 194
Material Falsity as Obscurity: Sense (3)p. 195
From Obscure Ideas of the Senses to Clear and Distinct Ideas of the Sensesp. 198
Epiloguep. 208
The Cogito: Syllogism or Immediate Inferencep. 223
Notesp. 227
Bibliographyp. 253
Indexp. 259
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195113297
ISBN-10: 0195113292
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 1st November 1997
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.2 x 16.4  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.58