By John Carriero
Among Worlds is an authoritative remark on--and robust reinterpretation of--the founding paintings of recent philosophy, Descartes's Meditations. Philosophers have tended to learn Descartes's seminal paintings in an occasional method, studying its remedy of person issues whereas ignoring different components of the textual content. against this, John Carriero offers a sustained, systematic studying of the entire textual content, giving an in depth account of the positions opposed to which Descartes used to be reacting, and revealing anew the team spirit, that means, and originality of the Meditations. Carriero reveals within the Meditations a virtually non-stop argument opposed to Thomistic Aristotelian methods of considering cognition, and indicates extra sincerely than ever ahead of how Descartes bridged the previous global of scholasticism and the recent one in all mechanistic naturalism. instead of casting Descartes's undertaking essentially by way of skepticism, wisdom, and simple task, Carriero specializes in basic disagreements among Descartes and the scholastics over the character of figuring out, the relation among the senses and the mind, the character of the person, and the way and to what quantity God is cognized via people. by contrast heritage, Carriero indicates, Descartes built his personal conceptions of brain, physique, and the relation among them, making a coherent, philosophically wealthy venture within the Meditations and atmosphere the time table for a century of rationalist metaphysics.
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Additional resources for Between Two Worlds: A Reading of Descartes's Meditations
When treating issues connected with the familiar view, I am sometimes more resolute than I perhaps should be, giving the impression that the rejection of the familiar view is a considered commitment on Descartes’s part. ”) Let’s begin with consciousness. Consciousness is probably at some level important to Descartes’s conception of the mind, even if this 24 INTRODUCTION importance is not especially emphasized in the Meditations. (The Latin word for consciousness, conscius, appears only once in the Meditations.
8)11 We understand the intellect to be that faculty which knows the universal natures of material things. This understanding of the intellect serves as INTRODUCTION 15 the basis for our knowledge of other properties of the intellect, such as its independence of matter and its incorruptibility. As our knowledge that the intellect is a faculty that knows the universal nature of material things depends on the senses, so too does the entire edifice of intellectual self-knowledge. In Aquinas’s view, what is distinctive of human—as opposed to (nonhuman) animal—cognition is our ability to understand.
The superficiality becomes apparent when one reflects that the causal principles that Aquinas employs lead to something uncaused (an unmoved mover or uncaused cause), whereas Descartes’s principles lead (much to Arnauld’s chagrin) to something that supports itself in existence, that is, something self-caused rather than not caused. ) This difference seems to reflect a more fundamental difference between Descartes and Aquinas over how human beings come to have cognition about God. For Aquinas, we arrive at our conception of God by reflecting on natural processes in the world and reasoning about them.
Between Two Worlds: A Reading of Descartes's Meditations by John Carriero