Oxford University Press (1997)

This book argues that science and metaphysics are closely and inseparably interwoven in the work of Descartes, such that the metaphysics cannot be understood without the science and vice versa. In order to make his case, Thomas Vinci offers a careful philosophical reconstruction of central parts of Descartes' metaphysics and of his theory of perception, each considered in relation to Descartes' epistemology. Many authors of late have written on the relation between Descartes' metaphysics and his physics, especially insofar as the former was intended to justify the latter. Vinci's work does not focus on this relation. It takes as a broad interpretive principle that Descartes wanted to justify a certain picture of matter with his metaphysics, but it focuses its own efforts on the way in which metaphysics and science meet in Descartes' theory of sense-perception. Vinci aims to show that Descartes gave an important positive role to sense-perception in his epistemology, and also that he used his reflections on sense-perception to frame his criticism of previous theories of the sensory qualities of objects.
Keywords Metaphysics  Science Philosophy
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Reprint years 1998
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Call number B1875.V53 1998
ISBN(s) 0195113292   9780195113297
DOI 10.2307/2653555
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Chapters BETA
Self Knowledge and the Rule of Truth

Basic Cartesian intuitions are directed at simple natures, not truths; but intuitions are also a foundation for propositional knowledge. There are two basic objectives of this chapter: (1) to show how Descartes gets from intuitions to propositional knowledge, and (2) to show how his soluti... see more

Causes, Existence, and Ideas

There are two main formulations of a key causal principle in the Cartesian a priori philosophical system: one, present in Meditation III, says that the cause of the representational content (”objective reality”) of an idea must be situated at the same or higher level in ontology than the l... see more

The Theory of Natural Knowledge

Cartesian epistemology comprises three main divisions: (1) an a priori theory, discussed in Chs. 1–3, (2) a psychological theory of error explanations in judgment induced by features of our sense experience discussed in Chs. 4, 5 and 7, and (3) a theory of natural reasons (natural knowledg... see more

The Janus‐Faced Theory of Ideas of the Senses

The leading idea of this chapter is that, for Descartes, intellectual ideas make it obvious what metaphysical category the properties they disclose to the mind fall into but not whether they are actually (formally) exemplified; sensations (ideas of secondary qualities) make it obvious whet... see more

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Semantics and Truth.Jan Woleński - 2019 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag.
Natural Geometry in Descartes and Kepler.Gary Hatfield - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (1):117-148.

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