New PDF release: Dummett's Anti-Realism

By Michael Devitt

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Example text

A second problem is the “ontological problem,” which is raised by Descartes’s claim that the Creation Doctrine provides the metaphysical foundation for physics. Descartes Desgabets’s indefectibility thesis 33 never provides any explanation as to how this was to be the case. Desgabets’s account of the Creation Doctrine provides such an explanation. According to Desgabets, matter (and mind) was created from all eternity. That is, strictly speaking, substances are atemporal since God created them in an immutable, indivisible act of the will.

First of all, it was Cartesianism which provided her with a starting point in philosophy—thanks to her introduction to philosophy by Henry More. Second, it was Cartesianism that set the philosophical agenda on questions relating soul, substance, and motion. Even though she proposed her own answers to these questions, her treatise was in many ways a response to issues arising from Descartes’s philosophy. In this respect it can be seen as a contribution to the wider philosophical debates provoked by Cartesianism.

E. its total quantity; thus the change of the unleavened bread into the body of Christ is a modal change for matter, not the annihilation of one thing/substance and the creation of another. The turn of events in the Eucharist Affair leading to Desgabets’s retraction and premature retirement may be partly responsible for Desgabets’s main philosophical writings not being published in his lifetime. 4 Fortunately, the controversy attracted the attention of Cardinal de Retz, who was known for his radical spirit of reform among conservative ecclesiastics in France.

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Dummett's Anti-Realism by Michael Devitt


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