Rethinking the Ontology of Cartesian Essences

The old and recent debates on Cartesian essences have focused on the question of whether Descartes is a Platonist or a conceptualist about essences. I argue that this is a false dichotomy. An adequate account of Cartesian essences must accommodate and reconcile two central doctrines and texts in Descartes' philosophy. I will argue that recent conceptualist and Platonist interpretations neither accommodate these doctrines nor reconcile these texts. Such failures are not accidental since Descartes' doctrines of divine creation and simplicity render it impossible for Descartes to be either a conceptualist or a Platonist. Failure to notice this fact explains why there has been no progress on this exegetical issue
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09608788.2011.583414
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,822
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Jonathan Bennett (1994). Descartes's Theory of Modality. Philosophical Review 103 (4):639-667.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Lawrence Nolan (1997). The Ontological Status of Cartesian Natures. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (2):169–194.
T. J. Mawson (2001). Eternal Truths and Cartesian Circularity. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 9 (2):197 – 220.
Raffaella De Rosa (2009). Cartesian Sensations. Philosophy Compass 4 (5):780-792.
Raffaella de Rosa (2007). The Myth of Cartesian Qualia. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (2):181-207.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

24 ( #122,354 of 1,724,745 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #349,121 of 1,724,745 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.