Chapter

Introduction

Emily R. Grosholz

in Cartesian Method and the Problem of Reduction

Published in print January 1991 | ISBN: 9780198242505
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680502 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198242505.003.0001
Introduction

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Descartes was not only a philosopher, but a mathematician and physicist as well. Over the centuries and with currently renewed intensity, his Meditations inspired serious discussions among philosophers. This book aims to define Descartes's method in broader terms, in order to trace its impact on the domains of mathematics and physics as well as metaphysics. Its impact in all three domains proved to be both helpful and restrictive, and underlies some of the important difficulties in the great thought experiment of the Meditations. Meanwhile, the central importance of Descartes's reductionist canon of construction has been missed by many scholars who have rejected method as the key to understanding Descartes's texts.

Keywords: Descartes; reduction; mathematics; physics; metaphysics; Meditations; method

Chapter.  5687 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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