David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (1):1–33 (2005)
This paper defends an interpretation of Descartes according to which he sees us as having normative (and not merely psychological) certainty of all clear and distinct ideas during the period in which they are apprehended clearly and distinctly. However, on this view, a retrospective doubt about clear and distinct ideas is possible. This interpretation allows Descartes to avoid the Cartesian Circle in an effective way and also shows that Descartes is surprisingly, in some respects, an epistemological externalist. The paper goes on to defend this interpretation against some powerful philosophical objections by Margaret Wilson and others by showing how Descartes' doctrine of the creation of the eternal truths can be brought in to support his epistemology. This doctrine and other analogous positions in Descartes can also reveal that Descartes, again surprisingly, takes important steps toward doing epistemology without direct appeal to God and God's veracity.
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References found in this work BETA
René Descartes, Ch Adam & Paul Tannery (1982). Oeuvres de Descartes. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
René Descartes, Elizabeth Sanderson Haldane & G. R. T. Ross (1931). The Philosophical Works of Descartes. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
John Cottingham (ed.) (1998). Descartes. Oxford University Press.
Harry Frankfurt (1977). Descartes on the Creation of the Eternal Truths. Philosophical Review 86 (1):36-57.
Janet Broughton (2002). Descartes' Method of Doubt. Princeton University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Andreea Mihali (2015). Squaring the Circle in Descartes’ Meditations The Strong Validation of Reason STEPHEN I. WAGNER Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014; Xi + 244 Pp.; $99.95 ISBN: 9781107072060. [REVIEW] Dialogue:1-4.
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