Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Will to ReasonTheodicy and Freedom in Descartes$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

C.P. Ragland

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190264451

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190264451.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 20 February 2019

Descartes’ Deepest Worry

Descartes’ Deepest Worry

(p.10) Chapter 1 Descartes’ Deepest Worry
The Will to Reason

C. P. Ragland

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the nature of Descartes’ First Meditation skeptical doubts and the related problem of the Cartesian Circle. The chapter argues that Descartes’ reasoning is not viciously circular, because he begins with an initial trust in his faculty of Reason and so takes himself to have knowledge (cognitio) of what he currently clearly and distinctly (C&D) perceives. He seeks to prove God’s existence in order to remove doubts about things that no longer C&D perceives, thus achieving perfect knowledge (scientia). Descartes does not merely beg the question against the skeptic, however, because he is open to the possibility that a perfect use of Reason may produce inconsistent beliefs, in which case his initial trust in Reason would be undermined.

Keywords:   Descartes, skepticism, Cartesian Circle, Reason, scientia

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .