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Descartes's Method of Doubt
Janet Broughton

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Preface ix
Abbreviations xv
Introduction 1
The Method of Doubt and Other Cartesian Methods 2
The Method of Doubt and Descartes 's Conception of Knowledge 7
Descartes 's Reasons for Deploying the Method of Doubt 10
PART ONE: Raising Doubt
CHAPTER 1: Who Is Doubting? 21
The Meditator as Anyone 22
The Meditator as Scholastic Philosopher or Person of Common Sense 26
The Meditator's Problematic Persona 28
CHAPTER 2: Ancient Skepticism 33
Academic Skepticism as a Criticism of Stoic Epistemology 34
Pyrrhonian Reflection 37
CHAPTER 3: Reasons for Suspending Judgment 42
The Maxim for Assent 43
High Strategy 49
Withholding Assent and Bracketing Beliefs 54
CHAPTER 4: Reasons for Doubt 62
Skeptical Scenarios as Explanations for False Beliefs 64
Radical Grounds and the Method of Doubt 67
CHAPTER 5: Common Sense and Skeptical Reflection 72
Michael Williams's Reading 74
Contrasts between Ancient Skeptics and Descartes's Meditator 78
Contrasts between Contemporary Philosophers and Descartes 82
PART TWO: Using Doubt
CHAPTER 6: Using Doubt 97
Conditions of Using Doubt 98
Suggestive Texts 101
Three Types of Dependence Argument 104
CHAPTER 7: Inner Conditions 108
The Cogito First Reading 109
My Existence as a Condition of My Doubt 114
"I think" 120
Careful Self-Attributions as Conditions of Doubt 131
CHAPTER 8: Outer Conditions 144
The Idea of God 146
Causal Principles 153
The Physical World 170
CHAPTER 9: Reflections 175
The Cartesian Circle 175
Transcendental Arguments 186
The Fate of Common Sense 196
References 203
Index 211

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File created: 7/11/2014

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