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The Cartesian Destiny Of Form And Matter And Its Critics

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Chapter Summary

There are some strident anti-scholastic voices to be heard, some of these propose corpuscularian themes. This chapter first looks at the status of form and matter in the immediately pre-Cartesian literature. Second, it examines in Descartes' own writings such passages as shed light on his solution to the form-matter problem. Finally, the chapter considers the use of the concepts form and matter in the works of some adherents and critics of Cartesianism. It presents a few examples of both pre- and post-Cartesian discussion of form and matter. Descartes endorsed that independence by assigning extension to it as its principal, indeed, its only essential, attribute. At the same time he intensified the transformation of form into mere shape or size, and of course separated off mind as the only immaterial finite substance from any but a temporary task of informing body.

Keywords: Cartesian Destiny; Cartesianism; corpuscularian themes; Descartes; form and matter



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