Journal of the History of Philosophy 34 (2):193-212 (1996)
Indifference, Necessity, and Descartes's Derivation of the Laws of Motion BLAKE D. DUTTON WHILE WORKING ON Le Monde, his first comprehensive scientific treatise, Des- cartes writes the following to Mersenne: "I think that all those to whom God has given the use of this reason have an obligation to employ it principally in the endeavor to know him and to know themselves. This is the task with which I began my studies; and I can say that I would not have been able to discover the foundations of physics if I had not looked for them along that road" . ' As the letter makes clear, knowl- edge of the foundations of Cartesian physics is inextricably linked to the knowledge of God. Unfortunately, Descartes never explains why this is the case, and the relation in which his theistic doctrine stands to his physics remains unspecified. In what follows I wish to clarify that relation by examining some of the problems surrounding Descartes's attempt to locate the metaphysical founda- tions of his physics in his doctrine of God. I begin my analysis with a discussion of the doctrine of divine indifference and argue that this doctrine is of great importance to any interpretation of the foundations of Cartesian physics, insofar as it provides Descartes with a rationale for dismissing the appeal to final causation in scientific explanation. Insofar as this is the case, it supplies an important piece of his justification for mechanism...
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Cartesian Causation: Body–Body Interaction, Motion, and Eternal Truths.Tad M. Schmaltz - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (4):737-762.
Divine Simplicity and the Eternal Truths: Descartes and the Scholastics.Andrew Pessin - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (1):69-105.
Similar books and articles
Infimus Gradus Libertatis? Descartes on Indifference and Divine Freedom.Dan Kaufman - 2003 - Religious Studies 39 (4):391-406.
The Metaphysical Roots of Cartesian Physics: The Law of Rectilinear Motion.Geoffrey Gorham - 2005 - Perspectives on Science 13 (4):431-451.
Descartes, Spacetime, and Relational Motion.Edward Slowik - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (1):117-139.
The Anticipation of Necessity: Kant on Kepler's Laws and Universal Gravitation.Scott Tanona - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):421-443.
Beeckman, Descartes and the Force of Motion.Richard Arthur - 2007 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (1):1--28.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads18 ( #260,674 of 2,143,567 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #386,855 of 2,143,567 )
How can I increase my downloads?
There are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.