Prompt: What standard must a claim meet before Descartes is willing to affirm it? Does Descartes believe that his own standard for accepting propositions is satisfied by its own requirement for affirmation? Why does Descartes claim that his standard of affirmation is warranted only if God exists? Do either of Descartes’ arguments for the existence of God meet Descartes’ own standards for affirming his claim that God exists?

Readings (all can be found on Modern Philosophy: An Anthology of Primary Sources 2nd ed., attached):

Descartes, Discourse on Method

Meditations: Dedicatory letter, Preface, Synopsis of the Meditations

Descartes, Meditations I-VI

Hobbes and Descartes: Objections and Replies

Arnauld and Descartes, Objections and Replies

Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding

(Additional notes attached)


-at least 5 pages

-double spaced

-cite references as footnotes

-include other philosophers on the topic

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Modern Philosophy An Anthology of Primary Sources Second Edition Modern Philosophy An Anthology of Primary Sources Second Edition Edited by Roger Ariew and Eric Watkins Hackett Publishing Company Indianapolis/Cambridge For David, Daniel, Christa, and Nicholas, who we hope will find this anthology of use someday. Copyright © 2009 by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America 14 13 12 11 10 09 1234567 For further information, please address Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. P.O. Box 44937 Indianapolis, Indiana 46244-0937 Cover design by Abigail Coyle Interior design by Dan Kirklin Composition by Scribe, Inc. Printed at United Book Press, Inc. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Modern philosophy : an anthology of primary sources / edited by Roger Ariew and Eric Watkins. — 2nd ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 978-0-87220-978-7 (pbk.) — ISBN 978-0-87220-979-4 (cloth) 1. Philosophy, Modern. I. Ariew, Roger. II. Watkins, Eric, 1964— B791.M65 2009 190—dc22 2009003757 PRC ISBN: 978-1-62466-237-9 CONTENTS General Introduction Note to the Second Edition 1. Descartes’ Meditations and Associated Texts Montaigne, Apology for Raymond Sebond, “The Senses Are Inadequate” Bacon, New Organon I, Aphorisms 1–3, 11–31, and 36–46 Galileo, The Assayer, “Corpuscularianism” Descartes, Discourse on Method 1, 2, and 5 Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy Descartes, Hobbes, and Arnauld, Objections and Replies II, III, and IV Spinoza, Descartes’ Principles of Philosophy, “Prolegomenon” and “Definitions” Leibniz, On Descartes (from the letters to Foucher, to Elisabeth, and to Molanus) Pascal, Pensées, “The Wager” 2. Spinoza’s Ethics and Associated Texts Hobbes, Leviathan, Introduction, 1–5, 34, and 46 Spinoza, From the Letters to Oldenburg and to Meyer (Letters 2, 12, and 32) Spinoza, The Ethics, Parts I, II, and V 3. Leibniz’s Monadology and Associated Texts Malebranche, The Search after Truth, III.2.1–4, 6, 7, VI.2.3, Elucid. 15 Leibniz, Discourse on Metaphysics Leibniz, From the Letters to Arnauld Leibniz, Primary Truths Leibniz, A New System of Nature Leibniz, Monadology Newton, Principia, “Scholium to Definitions” and “General Scholium,” and Optics, “Query 31” Leibniz, From the Letters to Clarke (Letters 1–4) 4. Locke’s Essay and Associated Texts Boyle, Of the Excellency and Grounds of the Corpuscular or Mechanical Philosophy Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding I.1–2, II.1–14, 21–3, 27, III.3, 6, and IV.1–4, 10–1, 15–6 Leibniz, New Essays, Preface 5. Berkeley’s Three Dialogues and Associated Texts Berkeley, Principles of Human Knowledge, Preface, Introduction, Part I sec. 1–33 Berkeley, Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous Berkeley, On Motion, 1–6, 26–8, 35–41, 52–3, 66–7, and 71–2 6. Hume’s Enquiry and Associated Texts Bayle, Dictionary, “Pyrrho,” Note B Hume, Treatise On Human Nature Introduction, I.4.5–6 Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Parts 1–5 and 9–12 Reid, Inquiry into the Human Mind, Conclusion; and Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, “Of Judgment,” Chapter 2: “Of Common Sense” 7. Kant’s Prolegomena and Critique of Pure Reason Kant, Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, abridged GENERAL INTRODUCTION When G. W. Leibniz traveled to Paris in 1672, he found an intellectual environment in great turmoil. Leibniz was trained in Aristotelian (or scholastic) philosophy, which had dominated European thought ever since the thirteenth century when the majority of the Aristotelian corpus was rediscovered and translated from Greek and Arabic into Latin and then made compatible with Christian doctrine (by Thomas Aquinas and others). Until his trip to Paris, Leibniz’s properly philosophical works consisted primarily of a thesis on the scholastic problem of the principle of individuation and the publication of a new edition of an obscure 16th-century philosopher who had attempted to rehabilitate a more authentic Aristotelian philosophy from the “barbarism” of the scholastics. But a philosophical revolution was taking place in mid-17th-century Paris. New scientific and philosophical doctrines had emerged from Galileo Galilei, from René Descartes and his followers, from Francis Bacon, Blaise Pascal, Thomas Hobbes, and countless others. Scholastics had fought back fiercely against the new philosophy and science; they had succeeded in getting Galileo condemned by the Catholic Church in 1633 and in putting Descartes’ works on the Index of Prohibited Books in 1663. Still, the substantial forms and primary matter of the scholastics were giving way to a new mechanistic world of geometrical bodies, corpuscles, or atoms in motion. With this world came novel mathematical tools and scientific methods for dealing with its newly conceived entities. Old problems that seemed to have been resolved within a scholastic framework were raised again with new urgency: what can one say about necessity, contingency, and freedom in a world of atoms governed by laws of motion? The structure of the universe, whether it is finite or infinite, as well as the concepts of space and time, were up for grabs. Other basic philosophical issues were also keenly debated, including the location of the soul, its immortality, God’s purpose in the creation, and his relation to the universe. With such a great intellectual upheaval came the questioning of whether humans even have knowledge at all. Leibniz, of course, became a major contributor to this intellectual movement that defined the modern world. In Paris, he read and copied Descartes’ manuscripts and sought out proponents of the new philosophy, such as Antoine Arnauld and Nicholas Malebranche; his own later work was often precipitated by the correspondence he maintained with them and others such as Pierre Bayle. He traveled to London and met members of the Royal Society (Henry Oldenberg and Robert Boyle, among others, though not Isaac Newton, with whom he later corresponded). On his way back to Lower Saxony, he visited Baruch Spinoza in the Netherlands. Of course Leibniz did not have the opportunity to interact with David Hume and Immanuel Kant; Hume was born just four years prior to Leibniz’s death and Kant almost a decade after that. Yet Leibniz would have been quite interested in both of these figures’ acute, albeit radically divergent reflections on these philosophical developments. For Hume’s empiricist approach led to a certain kind of skepticism, while Kant’s criticism of pure reason did not obviate completely the possibility of substantive knowledge of the world. Historians of philosophy often draw a broad picture of modern European philosophy, depicting two distinct camps: rationalists (Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz) who emphasize reason at the expense of the senses, and empiricists (John Locke, George Berkeley, and Hume) who emphasize the senses after rejecting innate ideas. This rudimentary picture is often filled out as follows. After calling into doubt seemingly all beliefs (especially those based on the senses), Descartes, the father of modern philosophy, attempts to ground all of our knowledge on innate ideas he discovers and rationally reflects on within himself, beginning with the idea he has of himself as a thinking thing (in the cogito). Accordingly, reason, by coming to a clear and distinct conception of its own ideas, attempts to establish knowledge about the world with the same kind of absolute certainty, precision, and necessity attainable in mathematics. While Spinoza and Leibniz revise and even reject some of Descartes’ fundamental principles, they both accept Descartes’ “rationalist” approach of rejecting sensory ideas as inadequate or confused in favor of innate ideas, which alone can be adequate or clear and distinct to reason. In this way, it is often claimed, Spinoza and Leibniz carry Descartes’ rationalist philosophy to its ultimate, logical conclusion. Locke, by contrast, breaks with the rationalists’ approach by rejecting innate ideas and by claiming instead that the content of all of our mental states or ideas must stem from experience, whether it be from sensation or reflection—a claim that more or less defines empiricism in this context. Locke rejects innate ideas, not only because he cannot find any ideas that enjoy universal assent, but also because he thinks that philosophers often talk about ideas without understanding clearly what meaning they have—an error encouraged by accepting innate ideas, since believing that an idea is innate precludes one from determining its true origin and thus its precise meaning. Since Locke rejects innate ideas, he views the proper task of philosophy as one of analyzing the precise meaning of the ideas we get from sensation and reflection and determining what we can come to know about the world purely on the basis of these ideas. Just as Spinoza and Leibniz follow Descartes’ rationalist assumptions to their logical conclusions, so too, it is often claimed, Berkeley and especially Hume correct the inconsistencies in Locke’s position, thus drawing out the proper consequences of Locke’s empiricist approach. (Often Kant is presented as the culminating figure of modern philosophy with his attempt at synthesizing the rationalist and empiricist traditions, though Kant, too, was in turn successively “corrected” by German Idealists, such as Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel.) While there is some truth underlying

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