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Descartes' Meditations


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Descartes's Meditations, one of the most influential works in western philosophy, continues to provoke discussion and debate. This volume of original essays by leading established and emerging early modern scholars ranges over all six of the Meditations and explores issues such as scepticism, judgement, causation, the nature of meditation and the meditator’s relation to God, the nature of personhood, Descartes’ theory of sense perception, and his ideas on the nature of substance. The contributors bring new insights to both central and less-studied topics in the Meditations, and connect the work with the rich historical and intellectual context in which Descartes forged his thought. The resulting volume will appeal to a wide range of scholars of early modern thought.


Introduction; Part I. Skepticism: 1. The skepticism of the first meditation Thomas M. Lennon and Michael W. Hickson; 2. Descartes and content skepticism Deborah Brown; Part II. Substance and Cause: 3. Descartes against the materialists: how Descartes' confrontation with materialism shaped his metaphysics Daniel Garber; 4. Thinking: the nature of Descartes' mental substance Martha Brandt Bolton; 5. Causation and causal axioms Tad M. Schmaltz; Part III. Sensations: 6. Sensation and knowledge of body in Descartes' Meditations John Carriero; 7. Descartes on sensory representation, objective reality, and material falsity Gary Hatfield; Part IV. The Human Being: 8. Teleology and natures in Descartes' sixth meditation Karen Detlefsen; 9. The role of will in Descartes' Account of Judgment Lilli Alanen; 10. God and meditation in Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy Jorge Secada; 11. Cartesian selves Lisa Shapiro.


Thomas M. Lennon, Michael W. Hickson, Deborah Brown, Daniel Garber, Martha Brandt Bolton, Tad M. Schmaltz, John Carriero, Gary Hatfield, Karen Detlefsen, Lilli Alanen, Jorge Secada, Lisa Shapiro

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