Cartesian Questions: Method and Metaphysics by Jean-Luc Marion

By Jean-Luc Marion

Jean-Luc Marion is without doubt one of the so much admired younger philosophers operating at the present time and the most effective modern Descartes students. Cartesian Questions, his 5th booklet on Descartes, is a suite of 7 essays on Descartes' procedure and its relation to his metaphysics. Marion reads the philosopher's Discourse on Method in mild of his Meditations, interpreting how Descartes' metaphysics replaced from one ebook to the opposite and pursuing such questions because the prestige of the ontological argument sooner than and after Descartes. The essays contact at the significant issues of Marion's profession, together with the relationship among metaphysics and technique, the idea that of God, and the structure of the considering topic. of their variety, the essays are an outstanding advent to Marion's proposal in addition to a sophisticated and complicated interpretation of Descartes. the gathering is an important paintings not just for students of Descartes but in addition for a person attracted to the country of latest French philosophy.

"Besides the impression in their content material, the readability and succeed in of those essays strength one to contemplate foundational questions referring to philosophy and its history."—Richard Watson, Journal of the background of Philosophy

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But since mathematical truths, simple natures, and eternal truths are not exposed to doubt, shall we conclude that any metaphysical breakthrough is excluded? Of course not; we can only reasonably conclude the following: If a metaphysics is present, doubt as it is formulated here cannot provide access to it. This does not preclude the possibility that another breakthrough in 1637 could reach the metaphysical domain proper. ” 19 However, two arguments limit the extent of this admission. First, Descartes makes a pedagogical argument: Arguably, he could have demonstrated the actual distinction between the soul and the body, but he worried that this might have made his treatise too technical, which would have interfered with his desire to reach a WHAT IS THE METAPHYSICS WITHIN THE METHOD?

A) An indisputable point (as we saw above in §1): In 1637 doubt affects only the realm of the senses and its representations, in other words, “ everything material” (AT I, 353, 1. 14). It follows that the ego that is freed by this doubt is freed only from its material presup­ positions; it “ does not require any place, or depend on any material thing” (DM, 33, 5-7). But since mathematical truths, simple natures, and eternal truths are not exposed to doubt, shall we conclude that any metaphysical breakthrough is excluded?

28-29); “idea of a supremely perfect and infinite being” (46, 11. 11-12 ). Yet this idea of the infinite does not coincide, in extension or in understanding, with the idea of most perfect being, which is why Descartes carefully distinguishes between them, at least in 1641. For, in 1637, the only three occurrences of the infinite always associate it with perfection (DM, 35, 11. 4-6; 39, 11. 4-5; 43, 11. 7-8): In the Discourse the same single concept of divine essence determines and legitimizes, without distinguishing between them, two proofs as different as the so-called ontological argument and the demonstration by the idea of the infi­ nite.

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