Philosophy Today 61 (3):633-653 (2017)

Authors
Stuart Dalton
Western Connecticut State University
Abstract
Descartes’s work as a philosopher was inspired by three dreams he had on November 10, 1619, and yet the philosophy that Descartes produced in response to this inspiration included an argument that all dreams are deceptive. This particular incongruity is indicative of a more general ambivalence and anxiety in Descartes’s thought concerning images, which creates a tension that is never fully resolved. In this essay I focus primarily on one side of that tension: the part of Descartes’s philosophy that is distrustful of images. To do this I first reconstruct Descartes’s theory of images, drawing from several of his lesser-known writings on optics, and then I consider how that theory of images leads Descartes to conceptualize true vision as a matter of “insight” rather than “eyesight” and to argue that the blind actually see better than those with working eyes. In the final part of the essay I briefly consider some of the consequences of Descartes’s theory of vision and the suspicion of images that animates it.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  Continental Philosophy
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0031-8256
DOI 10.5840/philtoday2017928175
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,078
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

From Eyesight to Insight in Advance.Stuart Dalton - forthcoming - Philosophy Today.
George Berkeley’s Embodied Vision.Steven Schroeder - 2002 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 9 (2):87-92.
George Berkeley’s Embodied Vision.Steven Schroeder - 2002 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 9 (2):87-92.
An Essay on Eyesight.Oliver Jelly - 1963 - Hodder & Stoughton.
Differentiating Insight From Non-Insight Problems.K. J. Gilhooly & P. Murphy - 2005 - Thinking and Reasoning 11 (3):279 – 302.
The Puzzle of the Subject as Subject in Lonergan.Frederick E. Crowe - 2003 - International Philosophical Quarterly 43 (2):187-205.
The Puzzle of the Subject as Subject in Lonergan.Frederick E. Crowe - 2003 - International Philosophical Quarterly 43 (2):187-205.
The Nature of Insight.Stuart G. Shanker - 1995 - Minds and Machines 5 (4):561-581.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-11-18

Total views
4 ( #1,273,787 of 2,498,942 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #421,180 of 2,498,942 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes