') and the existential question of embodiment ('who am I? She argues that the latter question, which concerns the nature of the Cartesian (rather than thinking substance), is very important to Descartes.
Descartes' relation to this tradition has been noted by other commentators, as Mercer acknowledges, but she sheds new light on the crucial role of 'meditation' in the transformative project of the .
The next two essays, by Charles Larmore and David Cunning, concern the First Meditation.
The Fifth Meditation essays are both mainly concerned with Descartes's doctrine of 'true and immutable natures' (such as the truths of geometry).
Descartes introduces this doctrine in preparation for the proof that God's nature entails his existence. ), concluding that Descartes himself might not have resolved this age-old problem to his own satisfaction.
The bibliography simply lists the works referenced in the essays (mostly recent secondary literature or late scholastic/seventeenth century works from Descartes' intellectual milieu); all references to Descartes' own works are to the standard Adam/Tannery edition (AT) and/or the popular translation by Cottingham et al) rather than its composition, editing, reception, etc.
The contributors are mostly prominent Anglophone Descartes scholars -- a slight majority are women.After the strongly rationalist message of earlier chapters, Simmons' essay effectively brings home Descartes' deep engagement with the intricate problems of mind-body union.The volume ends with two brief thematic essays that broach the Descartes-Spinoza connection.The lengthy Sixth Meditation, which takes up the mind-body distinction (and union), is discussed in two excellent essays by Deborah Brown and Alison Simmons.Brown emphasizes and explores the distinction, for Descartes, between the metaphysical question of dualism ('what am I?In contrast, Cecilia Wee must go far beyond the to undergird her 'libertarian' interpretation of Cartesian freedom.As Wee acknowledges, the Fourth Meditation itself seems to allow, perhaps even require, intellectual determinism (a typically Augustinian stance on freedom according to Lennon).In any case, his analysis suggests a novel and interesting way of conceiving the connection between the two proofs.Amy Schmitter provides a detailed analysis of Descartes' understanding of the scholastic notion of 'objective' (representational) reality, which he employs in the Third and Sixth Meditations.Larmore focuses on Descartes' use of skeptical arguments, showing very clearly how they are specifically targeted at the reigning empiricist epistemology of scholasticism.Cunning's paper is also focused on skepticism or doubt, but is less incisive, ranging over a broad range of problems that are not central to the may come away from the chapter no less puzzled than they were upon first reading the original text.