The European Legacy 4 (4):98-101 (1999)

Authors
James Mahon
Lehman College (CUNY)
Abstract
In this review of two books, Descartes: An Intellectual Biography, by Stephen Gaukroger, and Descartes and his Contemporaries: Meditations, Objections, and Replies, edited by Roger Ariew and Marjorie Grene, I consider arguments about the motivation of Descartes for writing the Meditations on First Philosophy. According to Gaukroger, Descartes wrote the Meditations simply to legitimate his natural philosophy, which he had already worked out, for an audience of theologians and Scholastic philosophers, whom he feared would condemn it (as Galileo had been condemned by the Inquisition in 1633). If Gaukroger is right, it would explain something that is not mentioned in the collection edited by Ariew and Grene, namely, that five of the seven sets of objections are from theologians, and that the strong objections made by philosophers Gassendi and Hobbes are given relatively short shrift, whereas, the weak objections made by the Jesuit theologian Pierre Bourdin are responded to at great length. Gaukroger, however, has an extremely implausible interpretation of Descartes's position on animals, according to which Descartes held that animals had thoughts and experiences, just not thoughts and experiences like ours, and hence, that he did not think of animals as machines (the "bete machine" hypothesis).
Keywords Descartes  bete machine  intellectual biography  natural philosophy  metaphysics  Mersenne
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1080/10848779908579984
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: 50,018
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

Meditations, Objections, and Replies.René Descartes - 2006 - Hackett Publishing Company.
Unmasking Descartes’s Case for the Bête Machine Doctrine.Lex Newman - 2001 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (3):389-425.
Descartes’ Dog: A Clock with Passions?Abel Franco - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (1):101-130.
Two New Descartes.Roger Ariew - 1997 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 5 (1):165 – 173.
Who Was That Masked Man?Daniel Garber - 1998 - British Journal for the History of Science 31 (1):55-62.
Descartes and the First Cartesians by Roger Ariew. [REVIEW]John Grey - 2016 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 54 (1):167-168.
Descartes: An Intellectual Biography by Stephen Gaukroger.T. Sorell - 1996 - European Journal of Philosophy 4:107-110.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-12-01

Total views
72 ( #127,007 of 2,324,077 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #468,536 of 2,324,077 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes