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Menn, Stephen

Descartes and Augustine

Intended for historians of medieval, neo-Platonic, and early modern philosophy, this book is a systematic study of Descartes´ relation to Augustine, which offers a complete reevaluation of Descartes´ thought. 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. Contents: Descartes and the history of philosophy; Descartes project for a new philosophy. Part 1 Augustinian Wisdom: Plotinus; Augustine. Part 2 Descartes Metaphysics: The design of the Meditations; Isolating the soul and God; Theodicy and Method; From God to bodies.

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