René Descartes

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Further Reading

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

Cottingham, John. "Cartesian Dualism: Theology, Metaphysics, and Science." In Reason, Will, and Sensation: Studies in Descartes' Metaphysics, edited by John Cottingham, pp. 236–57. Oxford: Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1994.

Explores Descartes' three approaches to the mind-body distinction—theological, metaphysical, and scientific—and the relations among the different arguments.

Funkenstein, Amos. "Descartes and More." In his Theology and the Scientific Imagination, from the Middle Ages to the Seventeenth Century, pp. 72–80. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986.

Discusses some of the problems with Descartes' blending of mathematics, physics, and theology, and the relationship between the philosophies of Descartes and Henry More.

Garber, Daniel. "Descartes' Project." In his Descartes' Metaphysical Physics, pp. 30–62. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Explores the structure of Descartes's scientific program and his emphasis on the interconnectedness of the different branches of knowledge.

Gaukroger, Stephen. "The Sources of Descartes' Procedure of Deductive Demonstration in Metaphysics and Natural Philosophy." In Reason, Will, and Sensation: Studies in Descartes's Metaphysics, edited by John Cottingham, pp. 47–60. Oxford: Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1994.

Explores Descartes' philosophical method, claiming that it is neither a synthetic nor analytic discovery of truths, but a presentation of accepted truths by "restructur[ing] already developed material in such a way as to draw from it conclusions which may be obscured."

Hacking, Ian. "Proof and Eternal Truths: Descartes and Leibniz." In Descartes: Philosophy, Mathematics and Physics, edited by Stephen Gaukroger, pp. 169–80. Sussex: The Harvester Press, 1980.

Compares Leibniz's more modern opinion that proof is integral to truth to Descartes' disregard of proof as a truth-condition.

Hatfield, Gary. "Reason, Nature, and God in Descartes." In Essays on the Philosophy and Science of René Descartes, edited by Stephen Voss, pp. 259–87. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Considers Descartes' approach to metaphysics to be redefining "the pure intellect as an instrument of cognition" in order to separate science from (Aristotelian) theology, and compares Descartes to such figures as Francisco Suarez.

Hoffman, Paul. "Cartesian...

(The entire section is 639 words.)