New Studies in the Philosophy of Descartes: Descartes as Pioneer

By Norman Kemp Smith | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI

Nature did not make human brains first, and then construct things according to their capacity of understanding, but she first made things in her own fashion and then so constructed the human understanding that it, though at the price of great exertion, might ferret out a few of her secrets. "-- GALILEO, Opere, vii, p. 341 (cited and translated by E. A. Burtt).

"It is not accidental to the human body to be united to the mind, but its very nature [ipisissima ejus natura]; because, as the body has all the dispositions requisite for receiving the mind, and without it is not properly the human body, it could not without a miracle happen that the mind should not be united to it."--DESCARTES in letter to Regius.

"L'union de l'âme et du corps est un fait; que nous la com­ prenions ou non, elle reste un fait. Les scolastiques l'ont appelée union substantielle; il n'y a aucun motif pour choisir une autre expression; Descartes la reprend en acceptant le fait qui, comme tel, n'est pas nécessairement réductible à une relation intelligible. . . . Descartes n'a nullement à envisager cette opération faustienne [mêlant une âme qui pense à un corps qui est une machine]; le mot 'homme' n'a jamais évoqué autre chose à son esprit que la réalité mixte antérieure aux définitions de l'âme et du corps, antérieure à toute analyse et même à toute possibilité de savoir jusqu'où irait l'analyse."-- H. GOUHIER, Essais sur Descartes ( 1937), p. 232.

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New Studies in the Philosophy of Descartes: Descartes as Pioneer
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Bibliography vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Contents xi
  • Chapter I 2
  • Appendix A DESCARTES' THREEFOLD DREAM 33
  • Appendix B DESCARTES' ENCOUNTER WITH CHANDOUX, AND SUBSEQUENT INTERVIEW WITH CARDINAL DE BÉRULLE 40
  • Chapter II 48
  • Chapter III 84
  • Chapter IV 102
  • Chapter IV Descartes' Universal Physics as Outlined in His Traité De La Lumière 103
  • Chapter V 124
  • Chapter VI 138
  • Chapter VII 162
  • Chapter VIII 190
  • Chapter IX 220
  • Chapter X 259
  • Chapter XI 294
  • Chapter XII 308
  • Chapter XIII 322
  • INDEX OF PROPER NAMES 365
  • INDEX OF SUBJECTS 367
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