What is at stake in the cartesian debates on the eternal truths?

Philosophy Compass 4 (2):348-362 (2009)

Abstract

Descartes's claim that the eternal truths were freely created by God is fraught with interpretive difficulties. The main arguments in the literature are classified as concerning the ontological status or the modalities of possibility and necessity of the eternal truths. The views of the principal defenders of the Creation Doctrine – Robert Desgabets, Pierre Sylvain Régis, and Antoine Le Grand are contrasted with those of Nicolas Malebranche. In clarifying the theological, ontological, and logical terms of the debate we can see that what was at stake was the objectivity and certainty of the truths of mathematics and physics. I conclude by suggesting that this issue might fruitfully be used to clarify the disparate discussions in the contemporary literature.

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References found in this work

Does God Have a Nature?Alvin Plantinga - 1962 - Marquette University Press.
Descartes on the Creation of the Eternal Truths.Harry Frankfurt - 1977 - Philosophical Review 86 (1):36-57.
The Search After Truth.Nicolas Malebranche - 1991 - In Aloysius Martinich, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Early Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell.
Descartes on the Creation of the Eternal Truths.E. M. Curley - 1984 - Philosophical Review 93 (4):569-597.

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