Authors
Brendan Larvor
University of Hertfordshire
Abstract
It would be a mistake to imagine that the problem of the Cartesian circle lies in Descartes’ suggestion that we cannot know anything unless we know God. It is true that this thought seems fatal to his enterprise; for if we cannot know anything prior to knowing that God exists, then it follows that we cannot know the arguments that prove God’s existence. However the problem of the Cartesian circle does not consist in this logical error. It consists, rather, in the fact that Descartes’ attempts to deal with the charge of circular reasoning seem so inadequate. It is implausible that Descartes simply failed to appreciate the point, for the objection is a very simple one, requiring no special vocabulary nor any advanced logical apparatus. He addressed the problem twice in the replies to his critics and went over it again in the Principles of Philosophy. Despite these qualifications, Descartes was not able to lay out his position with sufficient clarity to satisfy his reviewers or to prevent the publication of a bewildering variety of interpretations. The question then becomes, if Descartes understood the objection, why did he not deal with it more effectively.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0093-4240
DOI 10.5840/gfpj200122229
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: 50,447
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Cartesian Circle and Two Forms of Scepticism.Ruth Weintraub - 1997 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 14 (4):365 - 377.
Quine’s Eliminativism and the Crystal Spheres.Nathan Stemmer - 2007 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 38 (2):315 - 327.
The Cartesian Circle.J. M. Orenduff - 1982 - Philosophical Topics 13 (Supplement):109-113.
The Cartesian Circle.Elizabeth G. Salmon - 1938 - New Scholasticism 12 (4):378-391.
The Cartesian Circle.Alan Gewirtz - 1941 - Philosophical Review 50 (4):368-395.
The Cartesian Circle.Dugald Murdoch - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (2):221-244.
Bernard Williams and the Cartesian Circle.A. C. Stubbs - 1980 - Analysis 40 (2):103 - 108.
Memory and the Cartesian Circle.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1962 - Philosophical Review 71 (4):504-511.
The Cartesian Circle Reconsidered.Alan Gewirth - 1970 - Journal of Philosophy 67 (19):668-685.
The Cartesian Circle.Lynn E. Rose - 1965 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 26 (1):80-89.
The Cartesian Circle and the Eternal Truths.Anthony Kenny - 1970 - Journal of Philosophy 67 (19):685-700.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-01-09

Total views
11 ( #755,904 of 2,326,342 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #644,397 of 2,326,342 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes