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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter is devoted to the distinctive form of Cartesianism in the work of the French Benedictine Robert Desgabets (1610–78). After a consideration of Desgabets’s defense of Descartes in controversies over the Eucharist that led to the first French condemnations of Cartesianism, there is a discussion of three “radical” doctrines in Desgabets. The first, the “creation doctrine”, involves an original development of Descartes’s doctrine of the creation of eternal truths; the second, “intentionality doctrine”, is taken by Desgabets to reveal the deficiencies of Descartes’s methodical doubt; and the third, the “union doctrine”, is directed against the claim in Descartes that we have purely intellectual thought. Finally, there is a brief evaluation of the claim in the literature that Desgabets’s system constitutes a kind of “Cartesian empiricism”.

Keywords: Descartes, Robert Desgabets, empiricism, eternal truths, methodical doubt, pure intellect

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