Descartes' Temporal Dualism

Descartes' Temporal Dualism

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Time plays many crucial roles in Descartes' physics, metaphysics, and epistemology, but has been an understudied area of his philosophy. Rebecca Lloyd Waller argues for a new interpretation of Descartes' account of time in light of the views held by his major predecessors. By studying Descartes' account of time through its historical context, Lloyd Waller contends that Descartes' views are actually consistent, comprehensive, and more historically significant than has been recognized. Descartes offers a type of temporal dualism composed of intrinsic duration and an innate idea of time-in-thought. Lloyd Waller's explanation of Descartes' time-in-thought is also the key to resolve many significant problems in the contemporary literature. Given both its historical sensitivity and its ability to directly engage and address common interpretive puzzles, Descartes' temporal Dualism offers a significant contribution to the understanding of an important, but frequently neglected component of Descartes' more

Product details

  • Hardback | 122 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 15.24mm | 340.19g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 073917522X
  • 9780739175224

About Rebecca Lloyd Waller

Rebecca Lloyd Waller is assistant professor of philosophy at Kenyon more

Review quote

Descartes' Temporal Dualism is a well-structured, tightly-argued and eminently readable account of an elusive issue within Cartesian scholarship, namely, Descartes' own considered understanding of time. Lloyd-Waller's discussion situates Descartes' brief (and oftentimes isolated) remarks on time within their historical context, a context encompassing several traditional threads of thought on temporality ranging from the ancient period to Descartes' own early modern contemporaries. She then offers a fascinating series of arguments and close textual readings for the conclusion that Descartes in fact identifies two central temporal attributes, successive duration and a mental analogue. Clear, forceful, and controversial, her account here will undoubtedly rattle the scholarly consensus on the topic. -- Alan Hillman, University of South Alabama Rebecca Lloyd Waller applies considerable skill as an historian of philosophy to put forward a sympathetic and novel interpretation of Descartes' (scant) discussions on time. Her clear writing and extensive research support a compelling thesis: there are two kinds of time, intrinsic duration and time-in-thought. As promised, Descartes' Temporal Dualism presents an elegant solution to a puzzling aspect of Cartesian scholarship. It is a valuable contribution to the literature on Descartes' view of time in particular, as well as Cartesian scholarship and the metaphysics of time in general. -- Kimberly A. Blessing, SUNY Buffalo Stateshow more

Table of contents

Chapter 1. Pre-Cartesian Approaches to Time Chapter 2. Time is Not (and Could Not Be) a Cartesian Substance Chapter 3. Descartes' Temporal Dualism Chapter 4. Two Temporal Attributes that are Ontologically on Par Chapter 5. Temporal Dualism as an Elegant Solutionshow more