Cartesian Views: Papers Presented to Richard A. Watson by Richard A. Watson;Thomas M. Lennon

By Richard A. Watson;Thomas M. Lennon

Many types of Cartesian perspectives are handled by means of those papers: the perspectives that Descartes held, perspectives from our point of view on these perspectives, perspectives on Descartes held by way of his early critics and fans, and perspectives which are Cartesian in outlook (not for not anything is Descartes nonetheless considered as the daddy of contemporary philosophy.) those overlapping perspectives give you the team spirit of this quantity, and mirror the solidarity of Richard A.Watson’s philosophical paintings. no longer least between Watson’s contributions has been his depiction of Cartesianism as a reaction to a suite of difficulties inside Descartes’s philosophy. The later Cartesians weren't slavish fans of Descartes. The members to this quantity may be seen as status to Watson because the Cartesians did to Descartes.

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Thus, Spinoza claims, the greater the mind’s intellectual achievement in terms of the acquisition of adequate ideas, “the less is death harmful to us”. ”23 However, if what one is looking for after this temporal existence is a personal immortality of the soul, then the eternity of the mind held out by Spinoza will seem a very thin and disappointing recompense for having lived a life of good. Since the pursuit of knowledge just is virtue, for Spinoza, it can indeed be said that, in a sense, the increased share in eternity that accrues to a person from the acquisition of adequate ideas is the “reward” for virtue in this life.

23 But if even ‘being’ (or ‘entity’, ens) and ‘thing’ are, as Geulincx claims, ways or ‘forms’ (modi ) of thought, applied and affixed to ‘things’ by the intellect, how can we truly discuss what we see and feel and what we think at all? Surely we can—and we must, Geulincx argues. We are bound to apply linguisitic categories and to keep applying them: things [as they are] in themselves are not things, or do not have that modus of our intellect by which they are given the status of ‘things’. Yet, when we wish to speak of them even in this way, that is to say if we wish to speak of them in the way they are in themselves, we necessarily attribute to them the form (modus) of a subject or entity, or rather, we necessarily grasp them [in this way].

What remains is simply a body of eternal, abstract knowledge that, after my demise, bears no personal relationship to me whatsoever. It is an impersonal collection of adequate ideas. 25 But let me say here that anyone who even seeks to find in Spinoza a doctrine of personal immortality fails to grasp one of the essential, large-scale aspects of his philosophical project. Regardless of what one thinks of my reading of Spinoza’s doctrine of the eternity of the mind, and irrespective of the strength or weakness of the arguments that I offer for that reading, there is one very good reason—indeed, to my mind the strongest possible reason—for thinking that Spinoza intended to deny the personal immortality of the soul: such a religiously charged doctrine goes against every grain of his philosophical persuasions.

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