Philosophical Inquiry and the Problem of Current Commitments

David Cunning

in Argument and Persuasion in Descartes’ Meditations

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780195399608
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866502 | DOI:
Philosophical Inquiry and the Problem of Current Commitments

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This chapter locates Descartes within a long-standing tradition of philosophers who are sensitive to the pedagogical problem of how to speak to somebody who occupies a different intellectual paradigm, and how to get them to see the plausibility of arguments that entail that their own paradigm is to be rejected. These philosophers include Plato, Lucretius, Spinoza, Malebranche, Cavendish, Mettrie, Wittgenstein, Kuhn, and others. Like Descartes, these thinkers are interested in truth, but they are also interested in making sure that it gets communicated. They think about issues of pedagogy because they are interested in reaching their audience.

Keywords: paradigm; Plato; Spinoza; Malebranche; Kuhn; Wittgenstein; pedagogy; audience

Chapter.  6666 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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