By Margaret Dauler Wilson, Ted Honderich
The most major reports of Descartes lately. It concentrates at the Meditations to teach Descartes' philosophy within the context of his total medical pursuits, now not them all absolutely specific within the texts.
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Extra info for Descartes (Arguments of the Philosophers)
But, first, if this means that we must be able to say things like ‘my current judgment that my current experience coheres with the past course of my life, GENERAL DOUBT 19 coheres with the past course of my life,’ it is not clear we will be attributing to Descartes a position that is readily intelligible. More important, perhaps, we seem to be embarked on a rather uncomfortable regress. But let us look again at Descartes’s reply to Hobbes. The striking thing, surely, is that he does not maintain, in response to Hobbes’s objection, that he has solved the problem of distinguishing dreaming from waking in such a way that one no longer need be deceived by dreams.
That is, he would be committed to the view that we can determine that we are not dreaming if we clearly and distinctly perceive that our present experience coheres with our past, etc. Since dreams are not—by (dubious) hypothesis—ever connected in this way, it will never be the case that we can clearly and distinctly perceive that such a connection obtains while we are dreaming! My efforts to save him from this commitment would be in vain. However, I want to suggest that Descartes’s reply to Hobbes indicates he gave up the idea of the Discourse, that one can avoid being ‘deceived in dreams’ by a policy of adhering to the criterion of clear and distinct perception.
If we try to advance a negative answer, we are still faced with the question: how do you know the Deceiver isn’t causing you falsely to believe that the answer is ‘no’?