Will and the Theory of Judgment

Contemporary discussions typically give somewhat sort shrift to the theory of judgment Descartes advances in the Fourth Meditation.' One reason for this relative neglect is presumably the prima facie implausibility of the theory. It sounds odd to say that, in believing something, one's mental affirmation is an act of free will, on a par with freely deciding what to do. In addition, Descartes advances the theory as a way to explain the possibility of human error, which doubtless strikes many as a rather esoteric undertaking. The need to explain error, moreover, arises because of the divine guarantee, and epistemic theodicy is a project unlikely to interest most contemporary readers. And because the theory of judgment postulates two mental..
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