Descartes on seeing: epistemology and visual perception by Assistant Professor Celia Wolf-Devine B.A. M.A. Ph.D.

By Assistant Professor Celia Wolf-Devine B.A. M.A. Ph.D.

During this first book-length exam of the Cartesian conception of visible belief, Celia Wolf-Devine explores the numerous philosophical implications of Descartes’ thought, concluding that he eventually didn't offer a very mechanistic conception of visible perception.Wolf-Devine lines the advance of Descartes’ thought of visible notion opposed to the backdrop of the transition from Aristotelianism to the hot mechanistic science—the significant clinical paradigm shift occurring within the 17th century. She considers the philosopher’s paintings when it comes to its historical past in Aristotelian and later scholastic notion instead of it "backwards" during the later paintings of the British empiricists and Kant. Wolf-Devine starts off with Descartes’ principles approximately conception within the principles and maintains in the course of the later clinical writings during which he develops his personal mechanistic concept of sunshine, colour, and visible spatial belief. all through her dialogue, she demonstrates either Descartes’ continuity with and holiday from the Aristotelian tradition.Wolf-Devine seriously examines Cartesian idea through concentrating on the issues that come up from his use of 3 varied types to give an explanation for the habit of sunshine in addition to at the ways that smooth technological know-how has now not proven a few of Descartes’ important hypotheses approximately imaginative and prescient. She exhibits that the alterations Descartes made within the Aristotelian framework created a brand new set of difficulties within the philosophy of conception. whereas such successors to Descartes as Malebranche, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume authorized the center of his concept of imaginative and prescient, they struggled to explain the ontological prestige of colours, to split what's strictly conversing "given" to the feel of sight from what's the results of judgments by means of the brain, and to confront a "veil of notion" skepticism that may were unthinkable in the Aristotelian framework.Wolf-Devine concludes that Descartes was once now not finally winning in delivering a very mechanistic thought of visible notion, and due to this, she indicates either that alterations within the conceptual framework of Descartes are so as and partial go back to a couple positive aspects of the Aristotelian culture should be beneficial.

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P. cm. (Journal of the history of philosophy monograph series) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Descartes, René, 15961650Contributions in concept of perception. 2. Perception (Philosophy)History17th century. I. Title. II. Series. 3dc2092-12756 ISBN 0-8093-1838-5CIP Illustrations from Oeuvres de Descartes, ed. Charles Adam and Paul Tannery, 196476, courtesy of Librairie Philosophique, J. Vrin, Paris. 481984. Page v Contents The Journal of the History of Philosophy Monograph Series vii Acknowledgments viii Introduction 1 Chapter 1 Descartes' Thought about Perception in Rule XII 10 Chapter 2 Descartes' Theory of Light and Color 27 Chapter 3 The Mechanics of Vision and Our Perception of Light and Color 51 Chapter 4 Descartes' Theory of Visual Spatial Perception 66 Conclusion 90 Notes 97 Bibliography 109 Index 117 Page vii The Journal of the History of Philosophy Monograph Series THE JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY MONOGRAPH SERIES, CONsisting of volumes averaging 80 to 120 pages, accommodates serious studies in the history of philosophy that are between article length and standard book size.

Page ii The Journal of the History of Philosophy Monograph Series Edited by Richard A. Watson and Charles M. Young Also in this series Shūzō Kuki and Jean-Paul Sartre: Influence and Counter-Influence in the Early History of Existential Phenomenology Stephen Light The Scottish Enlightenment and the Theory of Spontaneous Order Ronald Hamowy The Dream of Descartes Gregor Sebba Kant's Newtonian Revolution in Philosophy Robert Hahn Aristotle on the Many Senses of Priority John J. Cleary The Philosophical Orations of Thomas Reid D.

But his later remarks on vision where they differ from the earlier account can best be understood in light of Descartes' continuing attempt to wrestle with problems arising out of that earlier account. Given that Descartes was, and saw himself as, engaged in a struggle against scholastic Aristotelianism, I develop my account of Descartes' theory of visual perception against the background of broadly Aristotelian doctrines about perception. While Descartes keeps many of the elements of the Aristotelian system, he rethinks it radically in order to harmonize it with his mind/body dualism and (relatedly) the need of the new physics for a mechanistic theory of nature.

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