Authors
Alice Sowaal
San Francisco State University
Abstract
At the crux of Descartes's general metaphysics and epistemology are his accounts of substances, attributes and ideas of substances and attributes. In spite of the centrality of these theories, there is wide disagreement among scholars about how to interpret them. I approach these debates by focusing on Descartes's theory of the infinite substance ? God. I argue that God's attributes are neither individual, inseparable properties that inhere in God (contra Kenny, Wilson, Curley, Hoffman) nor deductions from God (contra Lennon), but attributions that can consistently be made to God. On this account, the diversity of God's attributes is due to how meditators refer to the various cognitive routes they take to clear and distinct perceptions of God; what makes a meditator's clear and distinct perception of God more distinct is that it becomes more stable ? the meditator can more easily retain and regain the perception. Other virtues of this interpretation include accounts of the following: the puzzling remarks about essences that Descartes makes to Gassendi; what founds conceptual distinctions in reality; and why the Cartesian meditator ?proves? the existence of God several times in the Meditations
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09608788.2011.563520
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 51,756
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

The Philosophical Writings of Descartes.Rene Descartes - 1984 - Cambridge University Press.
Descartes’s Theory of Distinction.Paul Hoffman - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (1):57-78.
Descartes: A Study of His Philosophy.Anthony Kenny (ed.) - 1968 - St. Augustine's Press.

View all 31 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Unity of Substance and Attribute in Spinoza.R. Kyle Driggers - forthcoming - British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-19.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Silence of Descartes.John J. Conley - 1994 - Philosophy and Theology 8 (3):199-212.
Substance, Reality, and Distinctness.Boris Hennig - 2008 - Prolegomena 7 (1):2008.
Descartes, the Cartesian Circle, and Epistemology Without God.Michael Della Rocca - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (1):1–33.
Descartes's Ontological Proof of God's Existence.Cecilia Wee - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (1):23 - 40.
A Note on Descartes and Eternal Truths.Ermanno Bencivenga - 1999 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 57 (1):1-5.
The Relation of God and Being in Descartes.Ilyas Altuner - 2012 - Igdir University Journal of Social Sciences (2): 33-51.
A Journey Around the Cartesian Circle.Ewing Y. Chinn - 1983 - Philosophy Research Archives 9:279-292.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-05-26

Total views
76 ( #121,948 of 2,333,923 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #194,312 of 2,333,923 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes