Cover image for Descartes and Augustine
Title:
Descartes and Augustine
Author:
Menn, Stephen, 1964-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First paperback edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2002.

©1998
Physical Description:
xvi, 415 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Originally presented as the author's thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Chicago, 1989.
Language:
English
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9780521012843
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

This book is a systematic study of Descartes' relation to Augustine. It offers a complete reevaluation of Descartes' thought and as such will be of major importance to all historians of medieval, neo-Platonic, or early modern philosophy. Stephen Menn demonstrates that Descartes uses Augustine's central ideas as a point of departure for a critique of medieval Aristotelian physics, which he replaces with a new, mechanistic anti-Aristotelian physics. Special features of the book include a reading of the Meditations, a comprehensive historical and philosophical introduction to Augustine's thought, a detailed account of Plotinus, and a contextualization of Descartes' mature philosophical project which explores both the framework within which it evolved and the early writings, to show how the collapse of the early project drove Descartes to the writings of Augustine.


Table of Contents

Introduction
1 Descartes and the history of philosophy
2 Descartesa project for a new philosophy
Part I Augustinian Wisdom
3 Plotinus
4 Augustine
Part II Descartesa Metaphysics
5 The design of the Meditations
6 Isolating the soul and God
7 Theodicy and Method
8 From God to bodies
9 Conclusion