History of Philosophy Quarterly 36 (2):139-159 (2019)

Authors
Jemimah Thompson
Yale University
Abstract
This article redresses the function of the theodicy in Descartes's epistemological project. In the Fourth Meditation, Descartes establishes the meditator's knowledge as attainable through the proper use of the freedom of the will in the act of judgment. This freedom implies a will that is at once perfect in its likeness to God's own will and only perfectible in its propensity to err in its judgments. The theodicy is thus necessary to sustain the balance between the (unlimited) perfection of God and the (limited) perfection of the meditator.
Keywords Descartes  Theodicy  Knowledge  Free will  Perfection
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