Descartes in the History of Being: Another Bad Novel?

Descartes in the History of Being: Another Bad Novel? 75 Descartes in the History of Being: Another Bad Novel? ROBERT BERNASCONI University of Essex What is Descartes' place in the history of metaphysics? The usual answer would appear to be that Descartes stands at the beginning of modern philosophy and Heidegger seemed most often to accept this.' However, Heidegger can also be found, for example in his 193'-i--36 lecture course, contesting the customary portrait of Descartes on which he believes that this answer is based. According to this picture, Descartes was someone who, through the procedure of doubting, discovered the ego sum as an indubitable foundation and so liberated philosophy from its subordination to theology and its stultification in the mere analysis of concepts and the discussion of traditional opinions (FD 76-77/98-99). NIy question on this occasion is not how adequate or just Heidegger's caricature of the standard portrait of Descartes was to the philosophers and scholars of his day. Nor shall I ask whether the changes since undergone in the study of Descartes would complicate this representation. More serious still, be- cause it exaggerates the provisional status of my treatment of these issues, I shall have to forgo a detailed discussion of Descartes' own texts. My http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Research in Phenomenology Brill

Descartes in the History of Being: Another Bad Novel?

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Publisher
BRILL
Copyright
© 1987 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0085-5553
eISSN
1569-1640
D.O.I.
10.1163/156916487X00049
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

75 Descartes in the History of Being: Another Bad Novel? ROBERT BERNASCONI University of Essex What is Descartes' place in the history of metaphysics? The usual answer would appear to be that Descartes stands at the beginning of modern philosophy and Heidegger seemed most often to accept this.' However, Heidegger can also be found, for example in his 193'-i--36 lecture course, contesting the customary portrait of Descartes on which he believes that this answer is based. According to this picture, Descartes was someone who, through the procedure of doubting, discovered the ego sum as an indubitable foundation and so liberated philosophy from its subordination to theology and its stultification in the mere analysis of concepts and the discussion of traditional opinions (FD 76-77/98-99). NIy question on this occasion is not how adequate or just Heidegger's caricature of the standard portrait of Descartes was to the philosophers and scholars of his day. Nor shall I ask whether the changes since undergone in the study of Descartes would complicate this representation. More serious still, be- cause it exaggerates the provisional status of my treatment of these issues, I shall have to forgo a detailed discussion of Descartes' own texts. My

Journal

Research in PhenomenologyBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1987

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