Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy, Volume VIII$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Daniel Garber and Donald Rutherford

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829294

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829294.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 December 2019

Imitation and ‘Infinite’ Will

Imitation and ‘Infinite’ Will

Descartes on the Imago Dei

(p.1) 1 Imitation and ‘Infinite’ Will
Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy, Volume VIII

Marie Jayasekera

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates Descartes’s conception of the imago Dei, that it is above all in virtue of the will that human beings bear the image and likeness of God. The chapter begins by illuminating his understanding of the doctrine—how he conceives of the relation between human beings and God. It is argued that Descartes is alluding not to Scholastic conceptions of analogy but instead to the Augustinian–Thomistic tradition on the nature of image. Turning to Descartes’s conception of the likeness between the human will and God’s will, the chapter argues that he thinks the likeness is that both are infinite in ‘extent’. This means that human will can ‘extend itself’ to things that can be the object of God’s will, notable because Descartes famously thinks that absolutely anything can be the object of God’s will. An explanation is offered for why this interpretation is not implausible, contrary to first appearances.

Keywords:   Descartes, imago Dei, analogy, will, God, infinite, Scholastics, Augustine, Aquinas

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 .