Descartes and the tree of knowledge

Synthese 92 (1):101 - 116 (1992)
Authors
Roger Ariew
University of South Florida
Abstract
Descartes' image of the tree of knowledge from the preface to the French edition of the Principles of Philosophy is usually taken to represent Descartes' break with the past and with the fragmentation of knowledge of the schools. But if Descartes' tree of knowledge is analyzed in its proper context, another interpretation emerges. A series of contrasts with other classifications of knowledge from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries raises some puzzles: claims of originality and radical break from the past do not seem warranted. Further contrasts with Descartes' unpublished writings and with school doctrines lead to the ironic conclusion that, in the famous passage, Descartes is attempting to appeal to conventional wisdom and trying to avoid sounding novel.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00413744
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 34,562
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Jesuit Mathematical Science and the Reconstitution of Experience in the Early Seventeenth Century.Peter Dear - 1987 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 18 (2):133-175.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Vegetal Anti-Metaphysics: Learning From Plants.Michael Marder - 2011 - Continental Philosophy Review 44 (4):469-489.
Descartes and the Bologna Affair.Gideon Manning - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Science 47 (1):1-13.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Scepticism and Naturalism.Timothy Lee Griffin - 1995 - Dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The Body and the Brain.John Sutton - 2000 - In S. Gaukroger, J. Schuster & J. Sutton (eds.), Descartes' Natural Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 697--722.
Descartes, Epistemic Principles, Epistemic Circularity, and Scientia.Keith DeRose - 1992 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 73 (3):220-238.
The Silence of Descartes.John J. Conley - 1994 - Philosophy and Theology 8 (3):199-212.
Descartes on Divine Providence and Human Freedom.C. P. Ragland - 2005 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 87 (2):159-188.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
145 ( #39,895 of 2,268,307 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #145,368 of 2,268,307 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature