Comments on Cottingham ‘Plato’s Sun and Descartes’s Stove’


in Rationalism, Platonism and God

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264201
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734670 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Comments on Cottingham ‘Plato’s Sun and Descartes’s Stove’

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This chapter comments on John Cottingham’s chapter on Platonism in Rene Descartes’ cosmology, metaphysics, and moral theory. It explains the concept of implicit Platonism as consisting in certain Platonic or Neoplatonic notions, such as the notion of Ideas or Archetypes in the mind of God, and suggests that there is nothing Platonic in Descartes’ philosophy beyond such widely accepted ideas. It also questions Cottingham’s assumption that Platonism does not contain within itself the means of reconciling the controlling and contemplative mindsets.

Keywords: Platonism; Rene Descartes; John Cottingham; cosmology; metaphysics; moral theory; Neoplatonism; God; Ideas; Archetypes

Chapter.  2285 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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