Download PDF by Stephen Gaukroger: Cartesian Logic: An Essay on Descartes's Conception of

By Stephen Gaukroger

ISBN-10: 0198248253

ISBN-13: 9780198248255

This booklet offers with a formerly missed episode within the heritage of common sense and theories of cognition: the best way conceptions of inference replaced throughout the seventeenth century. Gaukroger makes a speciality of the paintings of Descartes, contrasting his rationalization of inference as an immediate clutch in accord with the ordinary gentle of cause with the Aristotelian view of inference as a discursive method. He bargains a brand new interpretation of Descartes' contribution to the query, revealing it to be an important develop over humanist and overdue Scholastic conceptions, and argues that the Cartesian account performed a pivotal function within the improvement of our realizing of the character of inference.

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The pneuma, which is mixed with blood, circulates through an intricate internal system which has its centre in the directive faculty (~YE/LOVtKDV) and terminates in the five senses and the speech and genital organs. There is input into the system through the sense organs and output through the speech organs and genitals, the former emit22 See the commentary in D. M. Balme, Aristotle's De partibus animalium I and De generatione animalium I (Oxford, 1972), 156-65. DESCARTES'S CONCEPTION OF INFERENCE 4' ting external discourse (Aoyos) which reflects man's internal reasoning, the latter the 'seeds of reason' (AOYOL CI1T€PfLUnKOt) whereby one animal generates soul in another.

It comes into being with the body and dies with it. But, it is argued, there must also be a soul which, in true Aristotelian fashion, understands things by taking on, or becoming, their forms. Such a soul cannot be the form of any particular body, Averroes maintained, and it is something which all men partake of in so far as they are engaged in knowing. In the cognitive process this rational soul or intellect combines with the individual person's cogitative soul to form the speculative or theoretical intellect, by which that person thinks and knows.

There are a number of problems with this association of the two doctrines. In the first place, they are developed independently. 3 The doctrine of eternal truths, on the other hand, only makes an appearance in 1630, in the letters to Mersenne. Moreover, although the term intuitus tends to disappear after the Regulae, the doctrine itself does notit is to be found as late as the 1640S in the Search after Truth (AT x. 521),4 for example-yet this doctrine is not altered after 1630 in In this, as in the next quotation, words in italics designate Latin phrases .

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Cartesian Logic: An Essay on Descartes's Conception of Inference by Stephen Gaukroger


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