Friday, December 3, 2010

Descartes Is Dead

Simon Rowney "think[s] that perhaps an era in philosophy is coming to an end," to be replaced by a "method of systematisation" and "a theory of ontological commitment" that "places metaphysics at the centre of the philosophical enterprise" — Philosophy's gift of an ordered world.

"It sounds even more like scholasticism now, and to be honest there is a great deal of common ground between this new conception and scholasticism," Mr. Rowney writes. "They have far more in common with each other than either has with Cartesianism."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just a rehash of the Anglophone Catholic wet dream of a marriage of analytical philosophy and Thomism, and no one takes it seriously other than those who can't read a language other than English. That is because analytical philosophy isn't philosophy, it's a series of word games. In reality, Descartes wasn't as revolutionary as most people think he was: even the use of the term "meditations" had quite a bit of continuity with ancient philosophy.

Let us not forget that scholaticism failed for a reason, and an attempt at a revival in the late 19th century was problematic in terms of the simplifications and ideological posturings that accompanied it (best exemplified in Chenu's phrase, "to absolutize Thomas is to give him a first class burial"). You can't turn back the clock on scholastic philosophy by ignoring the dialogues of Catholic philosophy with Kant, Patristic thought, Neoplatonic studies, and so forth.

11:18 AM  

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