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Abstract
This paper defends an interpretation of Descartes according to which he sees us as having normative (and not merely psychological) certainty of all clear and distinct ideas during the period in which they are apprehended clearly and distinctly. However, on this view, a retrospective doubt about clear and distinct ideas is possible. This interpretation allows Descartes to avoid the Cartesian Circle in an effective way and also shows that Descartes is surprisingly, in some respects, an epistemological externalist. The paper goes on to defend this interpretation against some powerful philosophical objections by Margaret Wilson and others by showing how Descartes' doctrine of the creation of the eternal truths can be brought in to support his epistemology. This doctrine and other analogous positions in Descartes can also reveal that Descartes, again surprisingly, takes important steps toward doing epistemology without direct appeal to God and God's veracity
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
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ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2005.tb00504.x
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References found in this work BETA

Does God Have a Nature?Alvin Plantinga - 1962 - Marquette University Press.
Descartes: A Study of His Philosophy.Anthony Kenny (ed.) - 1968 - St. Augustine's Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Descartes’s Anti-Transparency and the Need for Radical Doubt.Elliot Samuel Paul - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5:1083-1129.
Reflective Knowledge.Kristin Primus - 2021 - In Yitzhak Melamed (ed.), A Companion to Spinoza. Wiley Blackwell. pp. 265-275.
Against the New Cartesian Circle.Everett Fulmer & C. P. Ragland - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (1):66-74.
Memory Aids and the Cartesian Circle.Matthew Homan - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (6):1064-1083.

View all 27 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Cartesian Studies.R. J. Butler - 1972 - Blackwell.
A Journey Around the Cartesian Circle.Ewing Y. Chinn - 1983 - Philosophy Research Archives 9:279-292.
The Silence of Descartes.John J. Conley - 1994 - Philosophy and Theology 8 (3):199-212.
Cómo resolver la problemática pirrónica: lo que se aprende de Descartes.Ernesto Sosa - 1996 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 16 (1):7-26.

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