Descartes' Deontological Turn: Reason, Will, and Virtue in by Noa Naaman-Zauderer

By Noa Naaman-Zauderer

This e-book deals a brand new manner of forthcoming where of the desire in Descartes' mature epistemology and ethics. Departing from the generally authorised view, Noa Naaman-Zauderer means that Descartes regards the desire, instead of the mind, because the most vital mark of human rationality, either highbrow and sensible. via an in depth studying of Cartesian texts from the Meditations onward, she brings to mild a deontological and non-consequentialist size of Descartes' later considering, which credit the right kind use of loose will with a constitutive, evaluative position. She indicates that the best use of loose will, to which Descartes assigns compulsory strength, constitutes for him an lead to its personal correct instead of simply a method for achieving the other finish, in spite of the fact that important. Her very important research has major implications for the cohesion of Descartes' considering, and for the difficulty of accountability, inviting students to think again Descartes' philosophical legacy.

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26 As Kenneth Clatterbaugh observes (1980: 382), Descartes does not specify in what conditions an efficient cause is total and, except for God, he does not give any examples of a total efficient cause. But since he also applies this principle to finite causes sufficient to produce an alteration in bodies or in the soul, we may assume that a total efficient cause, as used in this principle, signifies something whose presence is sufficient to bring about an alteration in the effect. 23 24 Truth, falsehood, and clear and distinct ideas 21 produced by nothing (Second Replies, AT vii 135: CSM ii 97).

20 Second Replies (AT vii 160–61: CSM ii 113); Third Replies (AT vii 181: CSM ii 127); Fifth Replies (AT vii 366: CSM ii 253). 21 In the Optics, for instance, Descartes says that “in order to have sensory perception the soul does not need to contemplate any images resembling the thing which it perceives” (AT vi 114: CSM i 166). Likewise, he writes in The World that “although everyone is commonly convinced that the ideas we have in our mind are wholly similar to the objects from which they proceed, nevertheless I cannot see any reason which assures us that this is so” (AT xi 3: CSM i 81).

See also Jolley (1990: 36–39). 46 To say that true and immutable natures are potential or possible objective beings surely does not explain what exactly their ontological status is qua possible objects of true thoughts: whether they inhere potentially in the mind (as in Wells 1990), or whether they constitute Third­-Realm Platonic entities, which are neither extending beings nor objective beings in the mind (as in Kenny 1970). Other scholars suggest viewing these natures as identified with God’s decrees (Schmaltz 1991: 137–39), or, alternatively, with the objects having those true and immutable natures (Cunning 2003).

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