Cartesianism


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.

Cartesianism

 

a school in philosophy and natural science during the 17th and 18th centuries whose theoretical source was the ideas of the French philosopher R. Descartes (whose Latin name is Cartesius—hence the term).

Cartesianism is characterized by a consistent dualism—an extremely sharp division of the world into two independent substances—extended substance (res extensa) and the thinking substance (res cogitans). However, the problem of their mutual interaction within a thinking being remained fundamentally unresolved. Also characteristic of Cartesianism was the development of a rationalistic mathematical (geometrical) method. The self-evidence of consciousness (Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am”), as well as the theory of innate ideas, forms the starting point for Cartesian epistemology. Cartesian physics, in contrast to that of Newton, considered everything extended to be corporeal, thus rejecting the idea of empty space; it described motion with the aid of the concept “vortex.” Cartesian physics subsequently found its expression in the theory of short-range action. The development of Cartesianism was marked by two opposing trends, one toward materialistic monism, as in H. de Roi (Regius) and B. Spinoza, and the other toward occasionalism, as in A. Geulincx and N. de Malebranche.

REFERENCES

Bykhovskii, B. Filosofiia Dekarta. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940. Chapter 10.
Istoriia filosofii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1957. Pages 382–408.
Liozzi, M. Istoriia fiziki. Moscow, 1970. (Translated from Italian.)
Brockdorff, C. Descartes und die Fortbildung der kartesianischen Lehre. Munich, 1923.
Mouy, P. Le Développement de la physique cartésienne (1646–1712). Paris, 1934.
Dibon, P. Sur VHistoire de la philosophie cartésienne. Groningue, 1955.

L. A. LIAKHOVETSKII

References in periodicals archive ?
27) Condemned by the papacy, the work by Mesenguy, Exposition de la doctrine chretienne (Paris, 1761) is an example of an extreme Cartesian defense of Christianity in favor of a Jansenist position as late as the middle eighteenth century (that is, long after the Jesuits had integrated Cartesianism and Lockean sensationalism for apologetical and scientific purposes).
Other postmodern authors have made reference to the failure of Cartesianism due to its emphasis on "fact" at the expense of value.
Edward Fullbrook traces the legacy of Cartesianism in economics, focusing on the contrast between the individual self as formed through self-contained intrasubjective actions and the self as formed through interactions with others.
As dubious perhaps as Miles's pronouncements on contemporary theory, is the novel's representation of, and structural dependence upon, Cartesianism as one of postmodernism's "others.
Ironically, Louis XIV sensed the subversive nature of Cartesianism and attempted (unsuccessfully) to prohibit its teaching in the universities under his authority.
Maritain goes on to develop the connection between Cartesianism and romanticism--both the products of angelic sensibility--at some length.
22) This process is traced by Wilbur Samuel Howell to the decline of rhetoric in the early modern period when, under the influence of Cartesianism, "logic shifted her allegiance from communication to inquiry.
It had failed because neither Malebranche nor Pascal had been able to answer the most radical problem posed by Cartesianism.
With the advent of Ramism and Cartesianism, epistemology triumphs over metaphysics, and a growing spatialization and immanentism redefines reality: "the systemic exaltation of writing over speech has ensured within Western history the spatial obliteration of time, which in seeking to secure an absolutely immune subjectivity, has instead denied any life to the human subject whatsoever" (118).
The Newtonian Samuel Clarke countered the Cartesianism of his edited text of Rohault's Physica with Newtonian annotations (M.
I have spoken of the ways in which reading practices frame meaning and identified Cartesianism as one of the principal mechanisms of this containment.
Although its reception by idealist neo-Cartesians such as Malbranche led to the historical association of Cartesianism with divine intuitionalism, Descartes's modernization of philosophical discourse and scientific procedures centered upon the notion of a man-made "method," an ordered, essentially comparative mode.