Pathways in Cartesian Philosophy


Roger Ariew, Descartes among the Scholastics (Leiden: Brill, 2011), ISBN–13: 978-9004207240, ISBN–10: 9004207244, pp. xiii + 360. Revised and expanded edition of Descartes and the last Scholastics (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999), ISBN–13: 978-0801436031, ISBN– 10:0801436036, pp. xii + 230.

Mihai-Dragos VADANA

However paradoxical it may sound, “Descartes among the Scholastics” is our Descartes, insofar as this contemporary reading of the modern philosopher is in line with a longstanding tradition of Cartesian research. This tradition dates back to 1913, when the French scholar Étienne Gilson published La liberté chez Descartes et la théologie and Index Scolastico-cartésien1. According to Gilson, every product of the human mind depends organically on the social-cultural milieu where it was born and developed. In the early seventeenth century, this milieu consisted mainly in Scholasticism and the competing new natural philosophies. Since then, much interpretation of Descartes’ philosophy was conducted in the light of this milieu.

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