Is Descartes's reasoning viciously circular?


Authors
Markus Lammenranta
University of Helsinki
Abstract
Descartes is traditionally accused of reasoning circularly in the _Meditations. Yet, it seems clear that there is no formal or logical circularity in his reasoning. There is another kind of circularity that William Alston calls epistemic circularity, and Descartes's reasoning seems to be circular in this sense. The question is whether this makes his reasoning viciously circular. It is argued that it does if we assume that his aim was to resolve the ancient Pyrrhonian problematic. Because of epistemic circularity, the problematic cannot be resolved by his project
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DOI 10.1080/09608780600601458
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