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Descartes Notes

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AD 9 Much of Descartes seems obvious and natural. Is this just because it has penetrated so thoroughly into our culture and education that it seems natural? Note the scholastic elements in Descartes. Elimination of final causes. His is even a scholastic type philosophy, concerned with science and possible knowledge. Similarity between other projects and his.

AN 34 Hegel on Descartes. Locating being in thought. Comparing him to Fichte.

41 Causes being fought in modern philosophy. Those who believe that Descartes can be unravelled, and some of the deep problems of our culture can thereby be solved.

AK7 In Descartes himself is Leibniz's idea that God created this world because it is the best of all possible.

AJ 356 Different aims of philosophy. Scientific, anti scientific, religious. Bradley, Russell, Descartes, Bacon, Wittgenstein. Scientifically orientated philosophies, following seventeenth century manifestos, all the way down to modern scientific philosophies, such as those concerned to incorporate the latest ideas in physics into philosophy.

Discourse on Method. Deference in matters of religion, partly prudential, though partly congenial. Descartes' orthodoxy no in dispute. But one presupposes a lot of people in France must have liked orthodoxy, or the Reformation would have been successful. But there is a connection between Descartes and Hobbes in delegating the disputes of religion to an authority to decide

Some people argue that modern physicist's conception of time and space will one day seem as obvious as that the earth is round. Others dispute this..

Scientific technologism has done harm to the world (as well as good). It has created its own forms of oppression. Simplistic methods of thought. Mistaken faith that it can solve everything. Originally, with Descartes, the mechanistic hypothesis.

Modern culture, one admits, is different , ie based on different assumptions, from the culture which preceded it, Its inferiority can be demonstrated.

One is not just to take 'assumptions' as unanalysable forms of life, each as good as any other. That is irrationalism.

Easy to get excited about what can be done, disregarding what can't. The magical philosophies that preceded Descartes and Bacon.

AI333 "On its deepest metaphorical level, in its most secret application, the Art works out the structure of the universe in terms of the circle, the triangle and the square. Though the Lullian geometry deals in 'similitudes' and is not genuinely mathematical, yet the long practise of Lullism through the centuries must have helped to form a habit of mind which sought for mathematical explanations, or demonstrations, of reality. As is well known, Descartes told his friend Beeckman that his new universal system of knowledge, based on analytical geometry, was to take the place of the Art of Ramon Lull" (Frances Yates, Lull and Bruno, London 1982, p 55.

 
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