By Richard Davies
Davies explores overlooked components of Descartes' philosophy, akin to his strategies on advantage, and questions even if this may demand a reassessment of Descartes' position in western philosophy.
Read or Download Descartes: Belief, Scepticism and Virtue (Routledge Studies in Seventeenth Century Philosophy) PDF
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Additional resources for Descartes: Belief, Scepticism and Virtue (Routledge Studies in Seventeenth Century Philosophy)
Yet the more competent Crippens and Mengeles are not shown by their malpractice to 20 Structures lack the medical art, presumably because their initiation into it gave appropriate prominence to health as the essential end; they ought to be distinguished from quacks (see King 1998). , I ii, 71 b 10); hence, they have no real part of the medical art. Insofar as an art involves some measure of organisation of knowledge, not least relations of means to ends, it represents a fairly advanced grade in the formation of an individual.
Doxastic rectitude is a matter of believing only the things that are to be believed and credulity involves believing some things that are not to be believed; so credulity is an excess in belief-formation. Where there is no absolute ban on acquiring this or that belief, credulity is an excess that results in our forming beliefs on which we may act in foolhardy ways. Nevertheless, in the brutal circumstances of a child’s drive to grow up, it is indispensable. A child who from an early age carefully followed the precepts Descartes sets out in Discourse II (see Chapter 8 below) would not respond at all to the world presented by the senses.
G. Armstrong 1973: Chapter 12; Dretske 1981: Part 3; Kvanvig 1986, 1992; Sosa 1991, 1993; Greco 1993). This is a notion of reliability as a truth-conducing property of an enquirer that involves a slide towards what we have distinguished in Aristotelian terms as a raw capacity, an ability or an art. But, we have seen, it is important to observe the distinctions and to hold onto the notion of a virtue as a class on its own, not least because they help us to assess and correct malfunctions of various sorts.