Author Topic: The Thomist Critique of Cartesianism  (Read 422 times)

When Antisemites Attack!

Re: The Thomist Critique of Cartesianism
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2018, 12:19:58 PM »
The wikipedia entry fills in some of the context you're looking for: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogito_ergo_sum

E.g.:

Quote
Cogito ergo sum[a] is a Latin philosophical proposition by René Descartes usually translated into English as "I think, therefore I am". The phrase originally appeared in French as je pense, donc je suis in his Discourse on the Method, so as to reach a wider audience than Latin would have allowed.[1] It appeared in Latin in his later Principles of Philosophy.

Quote
In 1641, Descartes published (in Latin) Meditations on first philosophy in which he referred to the proposition, though not explicitly as "cogito ergo sum" in Meditation II:

(Latin:) hoc pronuntiatum: ego sum, ego existo,[c] quoties a me profertur, vel mente concipitur, necessario esse verum.

(English:) this proposition: I am, I exist,[c] whenever it is uttered from me, or conceived by the mind, necessarily is true.

That helps with the issue of the translation. It's also useful to know that he landed on this formula while contending with truly radical skepticism - his purpose wasn't to refute scholastic realism (which was already out of favour among philosophers):

Quote
At the beginning of the second meditation, having reached what he considers to be the ultimate level of doubt—his argument from the existence of a deceiving god—Descartes examines his beliefs to see if any have survived the doubt. In his belief in his own existence, he finds that it is impossible to doubt that he exists. Even if there were a deceiving god (or an evil demon), one's belief in their own existence would be secure, for there is no way one could be deceived unless one existed in order to be deceived.

As far as it goes, it's true that the very act of doubt proves the existence of the doubting self. I could be wrong but I think G-L's criticism is more subtle than a flat rejection of the cogito. G-L is pointing out certain flaws which separate the cogito as a grounding of knowledge from the superior philosophy of realism, namely that underlying the thinking self is a more undifferentiated experience of being and, built on that, an intuited principle of non-contradiction. In a word, not I think, therefore I am, but: existence is, and then, I participate in it. In my previous post I referred to a metanoia because the two really are different modes of living.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 12:42:19 PM by When Antisemites Attack! »
 

Rubecorks

Re: The Thomist Critique of Cartesianism
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2018, 12:27:27 PM »
The wikipedia entry fills in some of the context you're looking for: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogito_ergo_sum

E.g.:

Quote
Cogito ergo sum[a] is a Latin philosophical proposition by René Descartes usually translated into English as "I think, therefore I am". The phrase originally appeared in French as je pense, donc je suis in his Discourse on the Method, so as to reach a wider audience than Latin would have allowed.[1] It appeared in Latin in his later Principles of Philosophy.

Quote
In 1641, Descartes published (in Latin) Meditations on first philosophy in which he referred to the proposition, though not explicitly as "cogito ergo sum" in Meditation II:

(Latin:) hoc pronuntiatum: ego sum, ego existo,[c] quoties a me profertur, vel mente concipitur, necessario esse verum.

(English:) this proposition: I am, I exist,[c] whenever it is uttered from me, or conceived by the mind, necessarily is true.

That helps with the issue of the translation. It's also useful to know that he happened on this formula while contending with truly radical skepticism - his purpose wasn't to refute scholastic realism (which was already out of favour among philosophers).

Quote
At the beginning of the second meditation, having reached what he considers to be the ultimate level of doubt—his argument from the existence of a deceiving god—Descartes examines his beliefs to see if any have survived the doubt. In his belief in his own existence, he finds that it is impossible to doubt that he exists. Even if there were a deceiving god (or an evil demon), one's belief in their own existence would be secure, for there is no way one could be deceived unless one existed in order to be deceived.

As far as it goes, it's true that the very act of doubt proves the existence of the doubting self. I could be wrong but I think G-L's criticism is more subtle than a flat rejection of the cogito. G-L is pointing out certain flaws which separates the cogito as a grounding of knowledge from the superior philosophy of realism, namely that underlying the thinking self is a more undifferentiated experience of being and, built on that, an intuited principle of non-contradiction. In a word, not I AM, but existence is, and then, I participate in it.

I hate trying to re-invent the wheel. It would be best to research and find a Catholic authority long ago to give us something more definitive.

 

When Antisemites Attack!

Re: The Thomist Critique of Cartesianism
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2018, 12:32:45 PM »
I hate trying to re-invent the wheel. It would be best to research and find a Catholic authority long ago to give us something more definitive.

Well, G-L usually is considered a Catholic authority. Also, I edited the final paragraph of my post somewhat.
 

Rubecorks

Re: The Thomist Critique of Cartesianism
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2018, 02:36:29 PM »
I hate trying to re-invent the wheel. It would be best to research and find a Catholic authority long ago to give us something more definitive.

Well, G-L usually is considered a Catholic authority. Also, I edited the final paragraph of my post somewhat.

With about 300 years between Descartes and G-L, is there some book approved for seminary use, or general public reference, that says something negative about the axiom?  Merely a theologian speaking as a theologian is not equivalent to what I am looking for.

 

When Antisemites Attack!

Re: The Thomist Critique of Cartesianism
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2018, 03:09:32 PM »
I wish you luck locating such a text, personally I am satisfied with the reasoning of the esteemed G-L.
 
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Rubecorks

Re: The Thomist Critique of Cartesianism
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2018, 03:21:55 PM »
I wish you luck locating such a text, personally I am satisfied with the reasoning of the esteemed G-L.

The absence of which would result in the conclusion that G-L was mistaken.

 

When Antisemites Attack!

Re: The Thomist Critique of Cartesianism
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2018, 03:46:30 PM »
I wish you luck locating such a text, personally I am satisfied with the reasoning of the esteemed G-L.

The absence of which would result in the conclusion that G-L was mistaken.

That doesn't follow at all, unless you don't understand what reasoning is.

Also, the OP's quotation contains this:

Quote
If human intelligence doubts the evidence of, say, the principle of contradiction, then—as Thomists have repeated since the seventeenth century—the principle of Descartes [145] simply vanishes.

It sounds like the texts you demand are out there. Again, good luck.
 
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Rubecorks

Re: The Thomist Critique of Cartesianism
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2018, 04:53:50 PM »
I wish you luck locating such a text, personally I am satisfied with the reasoning of the esteemed G-L.

The absence of which would result in the conclusion that G-L was mistaken.

That doesn't follow at all, unless you don't understand what reasoning is.

Faulty reasoning is not reasoning, just as false religion is not religion.


Also, the OP's quotation contains this:

Quote
If human intelligence doubts the evidence of, say, the principle of contradiction, then—as Thomists have repeated since the seventeenth century—the principle of Descartes [145] simply vanishes.

It sounds like the texts you demand are out there. Again, good luck.

While the premise in bold may be true, it doesn't mean the attempted application to the axiom of Descartes is successful.

 

Geremia

Descartes was a Scotist
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2018, 10:47:50 PM »
from my post here (see the red emphasis at the end):
Quote from: Geremia link=msg=73 date=1472237146
Regarding their differences in philosophy, I found the following table by the Catholic philosopher Roger Ariew in his book:
Quote from: Ariew
ThomasScotus
1. The proper object of the human intellect is the quiddity of material being (quidditas rei materiali)11*. The proper object of the human intellect is being in general (ens in quantum est)2
2. Only analogical predication holds between God and creatures32*. The concept of being holds univocally between God and creatures4
3. Man is a unity of single form (the rational soul)53*. Man is a composite of a plurality of forms (rational, sensitive, and vegetative souls)6
4. Prime matter is pure potency 74*. Prime matter can subsist independently of form by God’s omnipotence 8
5. The principle of individuation is signate matter (materia signata quantitate)95*. The principle of individuation is a haecceity, or form10
6. The immobility of the universe as a whole is the frame of reference for motion116*. Space is radically relative: there is no absolute frame of reference for motion12
7. Without motion there would be no time13 7*. Time is independent of motion 14

Ariew describes the differences in more detail after this table.
There's also a section in that book on Descartes's Scotism (pp. 94ff.).