Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture

Reforming the Art of Living

Nature, Virtue, and Religion in Descartes's Epistemology

Authors: Vitz, Rico

  • Analyses Descartes’s systematic account of virtuous belief formation
  • Explains Descartes’s account from the perspective of his own eclectic, cosmopolitan account of virtue
  • Demonstrates the account of belief formation's lasting social significance
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About this book

Descartes’s concern with the proper method of belief formation is evident in the titles of his works—e.g., The Search after Truth, The Rules for the Direction of the Mind and The Discourse on Method of rightly conducting one’s reason and seeking the truth in the sciences. It is most apparent, however, in his famous discussions, both in the Meditations and in the Principles, of one particularly noteworthy source of our doxastic errors—namely, the misuse of one’s will. What is not widely recognized, let alone appreciated and understood, is the relationship between his concern with belief formation and his concern with virtue. In fact, few seem to realize that Descartes regards doxastic errors as moral errors and as sins both because such errors are intrinsically vicious and because they entail notably deleterious social consequences.

Reforming the Art of Living seeks to rectify this rather common oversight in two ways. First, it aims to elucidate the nature of Descartes’s account of virtuous belief formation. Second, it aims both (i) to illuminate the social significance of Descartes’s philosophical program as it relates to the understanding and practice not of science, but of religion and (ii) to develop a kind of Leibnizian critique of this aspect of his program. More specifically, it aims to show that Descartes’s project is “dangerous,” insofar as it is subversive not only of traditional Christianity but also of other traditional forms of religion, both in theory and in practice.

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-05281-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-05280-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-37559-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Reforming the Art of Living
Book Subtitle
Nature, Virtue, and Religion in Descartes's Epistemology
Authors
Series Title
Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture
Series Volume
24
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-05281-6
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-05281-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-05280-9
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-37559-5
Series ISSN
0928-9518
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 154
Topics