Noûs 39 (2):309–336 (2005)
In this paper, I provide what I believe to be Descartes's own solution to the problem of the Cartesian Circle. As I argue, Descartes thinks he can have certain knowledge of the premises of the Third Meditation proof of God's existence and veracity (i.e., the 3M-Proof) without presupposing God's existence. The key, as Broughton (1984) once argued, is that the premises of the 3M-Proof are knowable by the natural light. The major objection to this "natural light" gambit is that Descartes identifies the natural light with the faculty of clear and distinct perception, a faculty that cannot be known to be reliable in advance of the 3M-Proof. I explain that Descartes distinguishes between three kinds of clear and distinction perceptions depending on their source; the senses, the imagination, or the intellect. I claim that although the First Meditation is designed to cast doubt on the clear and distinct perceptions of the senses and of the imagination, it is not designed to cast doubt on the clear and distinct perceptions of the intellect. The "natural light" gambit relies on the assumption that the natural light, by which propositions can be certainly known without presupposing knowledge of God's existence, is to be identified with the faculty of *intellectual* clear and distinct perception.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Foundationalism, Epistemic Principles, and the Cartesian Circle.Van Cleve James - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (1):55-91.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Descartes: An Analytical and Historical Introduction.Georges Dicker - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
Do Descartes and St. Thomas Agree on the Ontological Proof?John Edward Abbruzzese - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (4):413-435.
The Importance of Cartesian Triangles: A New Look at Descartes's Ontological Argument.M. V. Dougherty - 2002 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 10 (1):35 – 62.
God and Descartes' Principle of Clear and Distinct Knowledge.Sara F. García-Gómez - 1988 - Philosophy Research Archives 14:283-302.
Descartes's Reply to Gassendi: How We Can Know All of God, All at Once, but Still Have More to Learn About Him.Alice Sowaal - 2011 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (3):419 - 449.
Descartes' Lumen Naturale and the Cartesian Circle.Dale Jacquette - 1996 - Philosophy and Theology 9 (3-4):273-320.
Descartes, the Cartesian Circle, and Epistemology Without God.Rocca Michael Della - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (1):1–33.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads87 ( #60,141 of 2,172,036 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #117,665 of 2,172,036 )
How can I increase my downloads?