Simon Dierig
University of Heidelberg
Two major interpretations have been advanced for the sum res cogitans passage in Descartes’s Second Meditation. According to the first interpretation, he argues in this passage that only thinking belongs to his essence. According to the second interpretation, due to Anthony Kenny, Harry Frankfurt and others, no such claim is defended by Descartes. Rather, it is his aim to argue that only thinking can be ascribed to him with certainty. In this essay, it will be shown that the “naive”, essentialist reading of the sum res cogitans reasoning is closer to the text than the perhaps more sophisticated, purely epistemic reading. Although the interpretation defended here is not new, it will be arrived at by way of new arguments.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1515/agph-2018-0134
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,008
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

Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Philosophy of Science 42 (3):341-344.
Descartes: A Study of His Philosophy.Anthony Kenny (ed.) - 1968 - St. Augustine's Press.
Current Issues in the Philosophy of Mind.Daniel C. Dennett - 1978 - American Philosophical Quarterly 15 (4):249-261.
Cartesian Truth.Thomas C. Vinci - 1997 - Oxford University Press.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Descartes’ Ontological Argument in Meditation V.Daniel E. Flage - 2022 - The European Legacy 27 (3-4):335-347.
Proofs for the Existence of God.Lawrence Nolan & Alan Nelson - 2006 - In Stephen Gaukroger (ed.), The Blackwell to Descartes’ Meditations. Blackwell. pp. 104--121.
The First Meditation and the Senses.Marleen Rozemond - 1996 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 4 (1):21 – 52.
The Fourth Meditation and Cartesian Circles.C. P. Ragland & Everett Fulmer - 2020 - Philosophical Annals: Special Issue on Descartes' Epistemology 68 (2):119-138.
Descartes’s Argument From Design.Daniel C. Dennett - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (7):333-345.
Cartesian Analyticity.Jesús A. Díaz - 1988 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):47-55.
Curley and Wilson on Descartes.Willis Doney - 1980 - Philosophy Research Archives 6 (NO 1376):55-74.


Added to PP index

Total views
2 ( #1,447,142 of 2,505,176 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #277,206 of 2,505,176 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes