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By Roger Ariew

Descartes one of the Scholastics takes the placement that philosophical structures can't be studied competently except their highbrow context: philosophers settle for, adjust, or reject doctrines whose which means and value are given in a specific tradition. hence, the amount treats Cartesian philosophy as a response opposed to, in addition to an indebtedness to, scholastic philosophy and touches on many issues shared via Cartesian and past due scholastic philosophy: topic and shape, causation, infinity, position, time, void, and movement; the substance of the heavens; rules of metaphysics (such as team spirit, precept of individuation, fact and falsity). One strikes from inside of Cartesian philosophy and its highbrow context within the 17th century, to dwelling philosophical debate among Descartes and his contemporaries, to its first reception.Scientific and realized Cultures and Their associations, 1

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Of course, Descartes is merely stressing the academic rigor of the teaching, the discipline, and the social ethos of La Flèche; on the face of it this is quite compatible with the Discourse thesis that the subjects taught there were not much use. But why should one recommend a more rigorous school over a less rigorous one when what is taught more rigorously is of little use? This question becomes more pressing when one realizes that, as early as , Regius (Chair of Medicine, and from  September  on, extraordinary Professor at Utrecht) was already giving private lessons, loosely based on Cartesian philosophy and physics, having been taught the matter by Reneri, Descartes’ friend and earliest supporter in the Netherlands.

Pierre Gassendi, philosopher and historian. Descartes became very angry with Gassendi when the latter published Disquisitio Metaphysica, a separate edition with rejoinders; so, for the  French edition of the Meditations, Descartes asked his translator Clerselier to omit Gassendi’s objections and to substitute instead a letter produced by his friends, in which he would answer a selection of Gassendi’s strongest arguments. . ” . The Jesuit mathematician Pierre Bourdin. Descartes received Bourdin’s voluminous packet of objections in January , when his Dutch publisher Elsevier was already printing the second edition of the Meditations.

For the impossibility of void, see AT IV, . 34 Meditation III, AT VII, – (AT IX, –). 35 AT I,  and elsewhere. 36 For the doctrine that the numerical unity of a body does not depend upon its matter but its form, which is the soul, see the letter to Mesland, AT IV, : CSMK . See also chapter . 37 AT III, –: CSMK . 38 AT VII, : CSM II . 39 AT III, –; AT VI, –. 40 The institutional setting of early modern French education was fairly complex; the dominant players at the time were the dozen or so secular Catholic colleges of the University of Paris, together with seculars in about a dozen major cities, and those of the three principal teaching orders: the Jesuits, the Oratorians, and the Doctrinaires.

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