Cartesianism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Cartesianism

According to one panoramic view of modern philosophy, René Descartes is the father and Cartesianism an inherited characteristic or family trait. With no disparagement intended of this assessment of Descartes's influence, the term Cartesianism will be used here in a less contentious way to refer to the multifarious, more or less self-conscious efforts on the part of his contemporaries and immediate successors to supply what they found lacking in his ambitious attempt to reconstitute human knowledge. Three directions of their activities can be distinguished and, corresponding to them, three particular applications of the term Cartesianism.

(1) It was evident that Descartes's project of a universal and all-encompassing science of nature was not fully realized. His intended summa philosophiae, Principia Philosophiae (Principles of Philosophy, Amsterdam, 1644), lacked the proposed parts on plants and animals and man; and his posthumously published and widely read Trait&#x...

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This section contains 5,237 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Cartesianism Encyclopedia Article
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Cartesianism from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.