Generosity, the Cogito, and the Fourth Meditation

Res Philosophica 93 (1):219-243 (2016)
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Abstract

The standard interpretation of Descartes's ethics maintains that virtue presupposes knowledge of metaphysics and the sciences. Lisa Shapiro, however, has argued that the meditator acquires the virtue of generosity in the Fourth Meditation, and that generosity contributes to her metaphysical achievements. Descartes's ethics and metaphsyics, then, must be intertwined. This view has been gaining traction in the recent literature. Omri Boehm, for example, has argued that generosity is foundational to the cogito. In this paper, I offer a close reading of Cartesian generosity, arguing that the meditator cannot acquire generosity in the Second or Fourth Meditation.

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Saja Parvizian
University of Illinois, Chicago (PhD)

Citations of this work

Scientia, diachronic certainty, and virtue.Saja Parvizian - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9165-9192.
Against Passionate Epistemology.Saja Parvizian - 2023 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 40 (3):258-277.

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References found in this work

The philosophical writings of Descartes.René Descartes - 1984 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Descartes and the Passionate Mind.Deborah J. Brown - 2006 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Descartes's moral theory.John Marshall - 1998 - Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Descartes’s Theory of Distinction.Paul Hoffman - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (1):57-78.

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