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, 2018. 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 September 2018

Freedom and Alternative Possibilities in the Meditations

Freedom and Alternative Possibilities in the Meditations

Chapter:
(p.83) Chapter 3 Freedom and Alternative Possibilities in the Meditations
Source:
The Will to Reason
Author(s):

C. P. Ragland

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190264451.003.0004

Descartes’ view of freedom seems incoherent because he seems to both affirm and deny the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), according to which we do something freely only if we could have done otherwise. However, careful scrutiny reveals that he consistently endorsed PAP, as this chapter argues from evidence internal to the Meditations, Objections, and Replies. Descartes’ emphasis on the similarity between God’s will and the human will makes sense only on the assumption that embraces PAP. Descartes’ definition of freedom requires both alternative possibilities and spontaneity, although the Fourth Meditation is certainly ambiguous about whether freedom requires alternative possibilities.

Keywords:   free will, alternative possibilities, spontaneity, clear and distinct perception, determinism, Descartes

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 .