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By Jean-Luc Marion

Jean-Luc Marion is among the such a lot widespread younger philosophers operating this day and the best modern Descartes students. Cartesian Questions, his 5th e-book on Descartes, is a set of 7 essays on Descartes' strategy and its relation to his metaphysics. Marion reads the philosopher's Discourse on Method in gentle of his Meditations, interpreting how Descartes' metaphysics replaced from one ebook to the opposite and pursuing such questions because the prestige of the ontological argument sooner than and after Descartes. The essays contact at the significant subject matters of Marion's occupation, together with the relationship among metaphysics and strategy, the idea that of God, and the structure of the considering topic. of their variety, the essays are a good creation to Marion's concept in addition to a sophisticated and intricate interpretation of Descartes. the gathering is an important paintings not just for students of Descartes but additionally for an individual drawn to the kingdom of latest French philosophy.

"Besides the impression in their content material, the readability and achieve of those essays strength one to contemplate foundational questions touching on philosophy and its history."—Richard Watson, Journal of the historical past of Philosophy

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It should not surprise us that ideas not only are reduced to the role of a simple mode of thought {modi cogitationis, modi cogitandif but are radically iden­ tified with it: “ ideas, that is thoughts [ideae sive cogitationes], of such things” (AT VII, 35, 1. 21; PW II, 24 [modified]); “ the idea or the thought” (AT V, 354, 11. 10 -11). , thought— rather than the matter of the thing itself.

We finally unearth here the speculative role of one last lexicological fact noted above in §3: The Discourse omits— purposefully, we may now surmise— the term cause with re­ gard to God. We now see that this term would have reintroduced the entire problematic of the infinite (relativized in 1637), of incom­ prehensibility (unknown in 1637), and of power (in the letters of 1630). It would thus have required, to save it from incoherence, a complete reworking of the ontotheology of thought as the Being of beings; this Descartes could probably not have dared to do in 1637.

21-23) and will be repeated in the Replies (108, 11. 18-22; 164, 1. 28-165, 1. 3; 238, 11. 11- 17 ) . , causality under­ stood as the metaphysical principle, without exceptions, of existence. Further, the previously noted absence of the infinite is explained and confirmed by the absence of causality: Meditation I I I introduces the definition of God as infinite (“a supreme God, eternal, infinite,” AT VII, 40,11. 16-17), while, on the same page, presenting the principle of the evidence of causality (“Now it is manifest by the natural light that there must be as much [reality] in the efficient and total cause as in the effect of that cause,” 40, 11.

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