Descartes and Augustine

Descartes and Augustine

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This book is a systematic study of Descartes' relation to Augustine. It offers a complete reevaluation of Descartes' thought and as such will be of major importance to all historians of medieval, neo-Platonic, or early modern philosophy. Stephen Menn demonstrates that Descartes uses Augustine's central ideas as a point of departure for a critique of medieval Aristotelian physics, which he replaces with a new, mechanistic anti-Aristotelian physics. Special features of the book include a reading of the Meditations, a comprehensive historical and philosophical introduction to Augustine's thought, a detailed account of Plotinus, and a contextualization of Descartes' mature philosophical project which explores both the framework within which it evolved and the early writings, to show how the collapse of the early project drove Descartes to the writings of Augustine.As we will see, it is precisely the Plotinian-Augustinian idea of God as Nous which this procedure isolates as the only ... there is a God and, if there is, whether he can be a deceiver; for if I am ignorant of this matter, it does not seem that I could ever be ... But rather than arguing directly that God exists and is not a deceiver, Descartes is determined to examine systematically the things we already know (ouranbsp;...

Title:Descartes and Augustine
Author:Stephen Menn
Publisher:Cambridge University Press - 2002-01-28


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