Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Scepticism and Perceptual Justification$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Dylan Dodd and Elia Zardini

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199658343

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658343.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 April 2021

Descartes’s Epistemology*

Descartes’s Epistemology*

(p.13) 2 Descartes’s Epistemology*
Scepticism and Perceptual Justification

Ernest Sosa

Oxford University Press

Descartes is a virtue epistemologist. Not only does he distinguish centrally between animal and reflective knowledge - in his terms, between cognitio and scientia - but in additionhe conceives of cognitio as apt grasp of the truth: i.e. as grasp whose correctness manifests sufficient epistemic competence. First-order knowledge is such cognitio or apt belief, which can then be upgraded to the level of scientia through competent reflective endorsement. So Descartes both (a) advocates aptness as an account of simple knowledge, and (b) highlights a higher knowledge that requires endorsement from a second-order perspective. This includes both main components of a sort of ‘virtue epistemology’ found in contemporary philosophy. This chapter argues that we can make sense of Descartes’s epistemological project only as a second-order project that fits with the view of his epistemology just sketched. Along the way supportive detail will reveal his commitment more fully.

Keywords:   animal knowledge, aptness, Cartesian error, Descartes, free judgment, method of doubt, reflective knowledge, virtue epistemology

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .