Squaring the Circle in Descartes' Meditations

Squaring the Circle in Descartes' Meditations : The Strong Validation of Reason

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Descartes' Meditations is one of the most thoroughly analyzed of all philosophical texts. Nevertheless, central issues in Descartes' thought remain unresolved, particularly the problem of the Cartesian Circle. Most attempts to deal with that problem have weakened the force of Descartes' own doubts or weakened the goals he was seeking. In this book, Stephen I. Wagner gives Descartes' doubts their strongest force and shows how he overcomes those doubts, establishing with metaphysical certainty the existence of a non-deceiving God and the truth of his clear and distinct perceptions. Wagner's innovative and thorough reading of the text clarifies a wide range of other issues that have been left unclear by previous commentaries, including the nature of the cogito discovery and the relationship between Descartes' proofs of God's existence. His book will be of great interest to scholars and upper-level students of Descartes, early modern philosophy and theology.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139991213
  • 9781139991216

Table of contents

1. A proposal for achieving the strong validation of reason; 2. The experiential method of demonstration; 3. Meditation I - experiencing the causal power of the imagination; 4. Meditation II - experiencing the causal power of the intellect; 5. Meditation III - experiencing the causal power of God; 6. Meditation IV - eliminating error; 7. Meditation V - establishing the structure of science; 8. Conclusion.
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About Stephen I. Wagner

Stephen I. Wagner is Professor of Philosophy at St John's University and the College of St Benedict, Minnesota. He has published articles on Descartes and early modern philosophy in journals, including History of Philosophy Quarterly.
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