Modern Philosophy

Cartesian Ontology and First Philosophy

In my PHIL 202: Modern Philosophy course, we just finished a segment looking at Descartes in Context. We read Don Rutherford’s “Innovation and orthodoxy in modern philosophy”1, and some texts from Montaigne, Bacon, and Galileo, which are included in Ariew & Watkins’ Modern Philosophy anthology2, before working through the Meditations, selected Objections and Replies,¬†Book I…

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…