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Descartes’ Circle Recycled?

Descartes' Circle Recycled? by Roger Montague (University of Leicester) I try to show that some powerful arguments advanced by Anthony Kenny1 and H. G. Frankfurt2 do not rescue Descartes from circular reasoning in the Meditations. In Section I, I select some texts to show the alleged circularity. I accept an argument of Kenny's, which rejects Descartes' own defence against Arnauld's criticism. (Kenny's defence of Descartes' position chooses firmer ground.) I add some remarks about clear and distinct perceptions, because this notion is central to Descartes' argument. In Sections II and III I criticise some of Frankfurt's arguments, for two reasons: first, because they are so important in their own right, and secondly because Kenny accepts them in constructing his own extended defence of Descartes. In Section IV I discuss Kenny's view that Descartes does not appeal to that universal proposition which one tradition says he does. Section V concerns reasons for the truth of intuitions, an area where Kenny's perceptive insights deserve close study. In Meditation III, Descartes says: "it seems to me already possible to propose (statuere) as a general rule that all that which I perceive very clearly and distinctly is true3." He at least appears http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie de Gruyter

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