Philosophical Review 108 (2):221-244 (1999)

Dugald Murdoch
Stockholm University
This paper suggests that the appearance of circularity in descartes' arguments is due to a lack of precision in his statements of them, Rather than to any flaw in his reasoning. The clear and distinct perceptions presupposed in the demonstrations of the existence of God are not the same as those whose reliability depends upon the existence of god. He is presupposing the reliability only of those clear and distinct perceptions which are known through the light of nature and have metaphysical certainty in that they cannot be imagined false even on the demon hypothesis. And the only clear and distinct perceptions whose reliability he is demonstrating are those which are not known through the light of nature with metaphysical certainty but are subject to metaphysical doubt on the demon hypothesis, Even though they have moral or psychological certainty
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0031-8108
DOI 10.2307/2998301
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References found in this work BETA

Descartes and the Autonomy of Reason.Peter A. Schouls - 1972 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 10 (3):307-322.

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Citations of this work BETA

Descartes, the Cartesian Circle, and Epistemology Without God.Michael Della Rocca - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (1):1–33.
The Cartesian Circle.Gary Hatfield - 2006 - In Stephen Gaukroger (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Descartes' Meditations. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 122--141.

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