Two by Descartes

We continue "Objections Urged by Certain Men of Learning against the Preceding Meditations; with the Author's Replies" with the third set of objections.

This set is between Hobbes (!) and Descartes and covers each of the six Meditations.  The translator in the below link, Jonathan Bennett, inter-weaves the objections and replies in a way that can be read as "The Great Hobbes - Descartes Debate."

Come hear two very different thinkers come up with different answers to the same questions.  Or maybe not.

Can two brilliant minds have a conversation without driving each other crazy?

The Objections are available here:

http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdfs/descartes1642.pdf

Familiarity with the "Meditations" is helpful but not necessary.  Newcomers to Descartes are welcome.


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  • Terry

    Hey Rick, wanted to tell you at the Art & Philosophy meetup that I just finished reading the Replies and Objections! A long haul but worth it! Glad to say, I think get it now, and accept it for the most part. With the certainty one has of one's own existence, one can certainty in knowledge of the world. There can be certainty built on this firm foundation, if conclusions are drawn carefully and rationally. / There's a short piece by Descartes called "The Search for Truth" that's included at the end of the Univ of Cambridge Press book that's fun-in the form of a dialogue- that is not too technical and sums things up clearly that you might like. / And hey, in my opinion if in minimalist art an image is clear and distinct, it's art and has some truth to it! Cheers, thanks for all your work on this. Terry

    1 · January 10

    • Rick O.

      Ah - you remind me -I have one more Objection to go! I'm glad we got to spend time on these with the group. REALLY made me revamp my opinion on Descartes. Hmm, "Search for Truth" sounds like a nice read for a Monday?

      January 15

  • Rick O.

    In my readings of Hegel's Logic I came upon the following:

    "It is equally well known that the most sublime conception of Descartes, that the God is that whose notion implies his Being, was degraded to the bad form of the formal syllogism, namely to the form of this proof, and finally succumbed to the "critique of reason" and to the idea that existence cannot be extracted out of the Notion." - Science of Logic, sec 2 Objectivity

    Or, similar to what I think we are finding in the Objections, that the criticisms of Descartes stem from a misunderstanding of Descartes.

    1 · August 31

    • Terry

      It seems like philosophy and particularly ideas about God run into problems because things can not be turned into ideas. The idea is somewhat of a lesser reflection of the reality of the thing acc Descartes. Or maybe the idea of a thing is just different.

      September 1

  • Rick O.

    Caterus remarks in the opening of the first set of Objections (referring to Descartes):

    "I regard him as having the highest intellect and the utmost modesty...he is an ingenious author"

    Hobbes opens with:

    "I am sorry that Descartes should be publishing this old stuff."

    ...And this is just the beginning. I think the dynamic in this set of Objections will be a wee bit different! - this should be fun.

    August 29

  • Anneliese

    I don't know if I can make this one yet. We'll probably be driving back from Wisconsin, so I don't know how tired we'll be (or if my brother will need a place to crash). But I trust it will be a good one!

    August 26

    • Rick O.

      I was afraid of that - hope you can make it. Bring your brother - will be an entertaining read!

      August 26

    • Anneliese

      :) I'll see what I can do.

      August 26

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