Oxford, England: Oxford University Press (1990)

Authors
Emily Grosholz
Pennsylvania State University
Abstract
The Cartesian method, construed as a way of organizing domains of knowledge according to the "order of reasons," was a powerful reductive tool. Descartes made significant strides in mathematics, physics, and metaphysics by relating certain complex items and problems back to more simple elements that served as starting points for his inquiries. But his reductive method also impoverished these domains in important ways, for it tended to restrict geometry to the study of straight line segments, physics to the study of ambiguously constituted bits of matter in motion, and metaphysics to the study of the isolated, incorporeal knower. This book examines in detail the negative and positive impact of Descartes's method on his scientific and philosophical enterprises, exemplified by the Geometry, the Principles, the Treatise of Man, and the Meditations.
Keywords Methodology History  Analysis (Philosophy History  Reductionism History
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Reprint years 1991
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Call number B1875.G76 1991
ISBN(s) 0198242506   9780198242505
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Chapters BETA
Introduction

Descartes was not only a philosopher, but a mathematician and physicist as well. Over the centuries and with currently renewed intensity, his Meditations inspired serious discussions among philosophers. This book a... see more

Descartes’s Principles: Physical Unities

This chapter examines Descartes's difficulties in establishing starting points for his physics. In one sense, the starting point of the Principles, taken as a whole, is opposed to God and man as radically different... see more

Descartes’s Physiology

This chapter treats Descartes's physiology based on the Treatise of Man, claiming that his physiology must be read as a materialist epistemology. It turns to Descartes's attempt to reconstruct the even higher-level... see more

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Leibniz's Models of Rational Decision.Markku Roinila - 2008 - In Marcelo Dascal (ed.), Leibniz: What Kind of Rationalist? Springer. pp. 357-370.

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Cartesian Method and the Aristotelian-Scholastic Method.D. Anthony Larivière - 2009 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 17 (3):463-486.

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