Descartes and Augustine
This book is the first systematic study of Descartes' relation to Augustine. It offers a complete re-evaluation of Descartes' philosophy, and of the philosophical ideas in Augustine that were Descartes' starting point. Descartes and Augustine will engage the attention of historians of medieval, neo-Platonic, and early modern philosophy. That Descartes was indebted to Augustine is not in itself a fresh discovery. What distinguishes Stephen Menn's book is his detailed demonstration that the key to the Meditations is Descartes' use of Augustine's method for establishing a knowledge of God and the soul independent of any theory of the physical world. This method gives Descartes an independent starting point for reconstructing the system of the sciences. Where the scholastics had tried to show that Augustine's metaphysics of God and the soul is compatible with an Aristotelian physics of matter and form, Descartes argues that they are not compatible, and that Augustinian metaphysics provides the foundation for an anti-Aristotelian mechanistic physics. Menn gives a detailed analysis of the Meditations, showing how the novel form of Descartes' argument arises from the challenge of presenting Augustine's metaphysics in a way that makes it suitable for its new foundational task. Descartes and Augustine includes a complete reading of the Meditations, a historical and philosophical introduction to Augustine's thought and to Plotinian neo-Platonism, and a discussion of the contemporary context of Descartes' earlier and later philosophical projects.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
actually Albinus argues argument Aristotelian Aristotle Arnauld assent Augustine Augustine's Augustinian metaphysics believe better bodies cartes cause Chapter Christian Cicero cited claim conceive concept Confessions VII contemplation corporeal created creatures deceiving demiurge derive Descartes says discipline discussion distinct divine divine Nous doctrine doubt error essence eternal truths evil Evodius existence faculties faith fourth Meditation Gassendi Gilson give God's God’s gustine human soul ibid idea immutable infinite intellectual intelligible judge judgment knowledge Libero Arbitrio Lucullus Manichees mathematics matter merely Mersenne mind motion mutable nature objects passage perceive perception perfection philosophy physics Platonic Platonists Plotinian Plotinus Plutarch Porphyry principles Principles of Philosophy proceed produce rational soul reality reason recognize Rule sceptical scholastic scholasticism scientific second Meditation Section sensation senses sensible sensory sixth Meditation standard Stoicism Stoics substance texts theodicy things third Meditation thought Timaeus true understand universal mathematics wisdom world-soul