P._Oxy._I_29 (1)

Descartes and Geometrical Demonstration

Reproduction of a proof from Euclid’s Elements (Public Domain: via Wikipedia Commons)   Those long chains of utterly simple and easy reasonings that geometers commonly use to arrive at their most difficult demonstrations had given me occasion to imagine that all the things that can fall within human knowledge follow from one another in the…

Reading Questions for 9/30

For Wednesday, Read the Objections and Replies to Descartes’ Meditations (pp. 69 -92). Think about the following questions, and come prepared to ask some questions of your own: How does Descartes’ discussion of the ‘geometrical style of writing’ relate to your own experience of reading the text? What do you think about the distinction he is…

IMG_1377

Reading Questions for 9/25

For Friday, read (and/or re-read) Meditation Five. Be sure you are ready to answer the following questions: What are the two main topics of the fifth meditation? What are some of the things the Meditator claims to imagine distinctly regarding material objects? What does the Meditator mean in saying that some ideas have ‘true and…

Image in Public Domain. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditations_on_First_Philosophy

Exercise with Meditation One

(Updated January 23, 2016) If we take Descartes at his word, he is expecting something fairly uncommon from us. He is not simply telling us a story about what he did in a stove-heated room. He also isn’t merely laying out a set of factual propositions, drawing out conclusions from these starting points, and expecting…

Modern Philosophy

Infographic for the History of Philosophy

Here is an infographic that is helpful for visualizing some of the historical and conceptual relations between thinkers and ‘scools of thought’ in the History of Western Philosophy. We see major figures in the Ancient and Hellenistic Greek and Roman traditions; Medieveal, Renaissance, and Modern European traditions; and Contemporary European and American traditions. Individuals are…