Cartesian Questions: Method and Metaphysics by Jean-Luc Marion

By Jean-Luc Marion

Jean-Luc Marion is likely one of the such a lot well-liked younger philosophers operating this present day and the most effective modern Descartes students. Cartesian Questions, his 5th publication on Descartes, is a suite of 7 essays on Descartes' procedure and its relation to his metaphysics. Marion reads the philosopher's Discourse on Method in mild of his Meditations, reading how Descartes' metaphysics replaced from one e-book to the opposite and pursuing such questions because the prestige of the ontological argument sooner than and after Descartes. The essays contact at the significant subject matters of Marion's profession, together with the relationship among metaphysics and procedure, the concept that of God, and the structure of the considering topic. of their variety, the essays are a great advent to Marion's notion in addition to a refined and complicated interpretation of Descartes. the gathering is a vital paintings not just for students of Descartes but additionally for someone drawn to the country of up to date French philosophy.

"Besides the effect in their content material, the readability and succeed in of those essays strength one to contemplate foundational questions touching on philosophy and its history."—Richard Watson, Journal of the heritage of Philosophy

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Moreover, by obscuring the idea of the infinite, the concept of supreme perfection also prevents access to Descartes’ most original theoretical advance in rational theology. Hence, we must conclude that the Discourse, far from offering a perfectly elaborated metaphysics of divine existence, provides only a metaphysics of the most perfect being, which limits the essence of God, and thus his existence, to one of the possibilities. 14 It is unnecessary to emphasize here the incommen­ surable historic and historical significance for metaphysics as a whole 30 CHAPTER TWO of a doctrine that accomplishes its essence in this way and thus leads it to perfection: Descartes introduces here the principle of reason, which, although it will remain latent until Leibniz, already possesses its full strength.

Their various occurrences lead in the end to two basic concepts. (a) First, God is defined on the basis of perfection alone, which is simply increased to a maximum (or more often to hyperbole, with the use of a comparative). Thus God is defined as: “ some nature that was in fact more perfect” (DM, 34, 1. 1); “the idea of a being more perfect than my own” (DM, 34, 1. 13); “ a nature truly more perfect than I was and even possessing in itself all the perfections of which I could have any idea, that is .

3), and the methodus extends “ to the discovery of truths in any field what­ ever” (AT X, 374, 11. 8-9). Hence, although it is omitted by the Regulae, metaphysics must be reintegrated into the realm shared by the objects of the method. ” 3 The question of interference between metaphysics and the method is now contained in a much more sharply delineated hermeneutical problem: How does the method approach metaphysics— for it is now clear that it does— in Part Four of the Discourse on the Method} In other words, what is the discourse of the universal project of the method with regard to metaphysics?

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