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Descartes And Renaissance Skepticism: The Sanches Case

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter the author focuses on what one can find both in Francisco Sanches and in René Descartes, so as to determine any influence of the former on the latter. Descartes aims at the "syllogistica scientia," mainly because of its "subtlety," which distracts the mind from the intellectual exercise in favour of an entirely abstract and formal method. Most of Sanches's short work is written in the first person singular, and even when he debates fiercely with a second person it is more an internal discourse, a dramatic monologue, than a true dialogue with another character. One should remember that, in Eudoxe's search, Descartes's methodical and constructive skepticism eventually frees itself from the negative and acataleptic skepticism that had been part of a certain Renaissance tradition.

Keywords: constructive skepticism; Francisco Sanches; René Descartes; Renaissance tradition



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