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Descartes and Cartesianism
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Descartes and Cartesianism (Hardback)

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Synopsis

Descartes is well known for his decisive and spectacular break with the philosophical tradition. Indeed, on account of that break, he is frequently reputed to be the "father of modern philosophy." This reputation, in an important sense, seems deserved. The present collection, however, attempts to reevaluate the currency of this common opinion by attending to the impact of "Cartesianism" on philosophy from its immediate epicenter in 17th century science and metaphysics up to its continuing consequences today. In a larger sense, the volume aims to contribute to efforts underway in contemporary scholarship to arrive at a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of Descartes' philosophical achievement as such. Accordingly, the essays in Part I address the character of Descartes' originality with respect to the foundations, method and trajectory of his philosophical project, while those in Part II focus more exclusively on the lasting challenges which issue from that originality. The range and variety of approaches assembled in the collection are intended to reflect the complexity of Descartes' own thought.

The result is a volume which will be of interest to students of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and the history of philosophy as well as contemporary phenomenology, philosophy of mind and philosophy of language.

Nathan D. Smith is a doctoral candidate at Boston College pursuing a joint degree with the University of Paris, Sorbonne. He is currently writing a dissertation on The Nature of Mind: Epistemology and Metaphysics in Rene Descartes. Jason P. Taylor earned an MA in Classical Studies at Boston University before entering the doctoral program at Boston College. He is currently writing a dissertation entitled Machiavelli's Patrimony: a Study of Vico's New Science.

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