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p. 5110. The Need for Metaphysicslocked

  • Tom Sorell


In Part Four of the Discourse, Descartes emphasized that certainty about God's existence exceeded that about material things and was necessary for knowledge of them. ‘The Need for Metaphysics’ argues that the Discourse and the Essays aimed to create a sympathetic audience for Descartes' physics. In the Meditations, the resolution to reject anything that could be doubted was pursued via strange sceptical hypotheses. And if the reality of his thoughts was beyond doubt, so was the reality of some subject of thought — hence the first certainty of metaphysics: I am thinking, so I exist. To conciliate the Church, Descartes represented the Meditations as defending the truths of religion against atheists.

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