Re-reading Descartes’ Meditations: A Case for Judgment

If you remember the Meditations, you might recall Descartes going on and on about a piece of liquid metal without any definite properties over a period of time or mentioning the possibility of T-800s masquerading as men wearing trench coats and top hats in Times Square (maybe I’m misremembering a little; see for yourself by consulting Meditation II).  In this meditation, Descartes, addressing the question, “How do we have knowledge of bodies?,” is sometimes taken to argue that the senses and the imagination are not reliable sources of knowledge; only the mind alone can secure for us knowledge by grasping the essence of things.

This is a somewhat mistaken reading of Descartes though,

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The Riddle of the Real, Pt. I

One of the pivotal questions that has dominated philosophical thinking has been, “What is real?”  Leo Strauss traces the genesis of this question (at least in Western thought) to Homer

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What is Conceptualism?

Conceptualism is a theory that attempts to explain the nature of experience.  While some understand it in terms of traditional philosophical problems, such as the possibility of the applicability of so-called universals to reality, the term itself has (rightfully) undergone a shift in meaning.  The person responsible for raising the central issue surrounding contemporary conceptualism is often considered to be Kant.  

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