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Condemnations Of Cartesianism: The Extension And Unity Of The Universe

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Chapter Summary

One can also find Cartesian propositions included in some disputations, but the discussion is mostly negative. There were precedents for Descartes' doctrine of the indefinite extension of the universe. For Descartes, God is the only being in whose perfections one notices no limits, and one can see that he is greater than the world, so that the world cannot be called infinite. A general assessment of the doctrinal difficulties of Cartesianism can be found in a summary of a disputation by the Jesuits of Clermont College during 1665. This chapter discusses the issue of Descartes' definition of substanceand his rejection of substantial forms or real accidents in relation to seventeenth century scholastic doctrines. It examines a more properly cosmological question, that is, whether the condemnation of Principles II, art. 21-22 would be warranted in the light of late scholastic doctrines about the extension and plurality of worlds. .

Keywords: Aristotle; Cartesianism; Descartes; Jesuits; unity of universe

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