Problems with Descartes’ Method and Its Implementation

David Cunning

in Argument and Persuasion in Descartes’ Meditations

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780195399608
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866502 | DOI:
Problems with Descartes’ Method and Its Implementation

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This chapter considers a number of problems and worries that arise in the light of the pedagogical method of the Meditations. One is that as an intuitionist Descartes expects that after we have thought things through we will simply recognize particular propositions to be true, without any further justification or foundation. Another is that Descartes’ method might seem to be duplicitous, and that he might seem to be engaging in dissimulation, in that he allows his reader to pursue lines of thought that (by Cartesian standards) are extremely muddled. Another is that Descartes insists that there are claims that are so clear and obvious that they can be known once and for all, and are wholly unassailable, but his views on embodiment entail that we should probably be more fallibilistic. Another is that it is not clear that Descartes’ emended conceptions can generate all of the results that he attempts to pull from them.

Keywords: intuition; dissimulation; pedagogical; fallibilist

Chapter.  3706 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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