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The Light of the SoulTheories of Ideas in Leibniz, Malebranche, and Descartes$
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Nicholas Jolley

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198238195

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198238193.001.0001

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The Theory of Ideas

(p.12) 2 Descartes
The Light of the Soul

Nicholas Jolley (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Taking our cue from Descartes, we can see that his break with scholasticism can be aptly characterized by saying that in his philosophy the mind has become godlike. We shall use this hint that Descartes provides us to define some of the main features of his opposition to scholasticism in the philosophy of mind. But, first, we must explore the more familiar features of the Cartesian revolution to which Kenny draws our attention. For, to say that ideas, for Descartes, are not divine archetypes but mental or psychological entities leaves a number of questions unanswered. We shall see that in his mature writings Descartes advances theories of ideas as events, as objects, and (less explicitly) as dispositions.

Keywords:   Chappell, Descartes, disposition, divine archetypes, event, ideas, Kenny, McRae, mental entity, representation, scholasticism, sensations, sense‐perceptions

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