Download e-book for kindle: The Good Life in the Scientific Revolution: Descartes, by Matthew L. Jones

By Matthew L. Jones

ISBN-10: 0226409554

ISBN-13: 9780226409559

Amid the unrest, dislocation, and uncertainty of seventeenth-century Europe, readers looking comfort and insurance grew to become to philosophical and medical books that provided methods of conquering fears and coaching the mind—guidance for residing an exceptional life.
The reliable lifestyles within the clinical Revolution offers a triptych exhibiting how 3 key early sleek scientists, René Descartes, Blaise Pascal, and Gottfried Leibniz, anticipated their new paintings as precious for cultivating advantage and for pursuing an outstanding lifestyles. Their clinical and philosophical strategies stemmed partly from their figuring out of arithmetic and technology as cognitive and non secular workouts that can create a more true psychological and non secular the Aristocracy. In portraying the wealthy contexts surrounding Descartes’ geometry, Pascal’s arithmetical triangle, and Leibniz’s calculus, Matthew L. Jones argues that this force for ethical therapeutics guided very important advancements of early glossy philosophy and the clinical Revolution.

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Extra info for The Good Life in the Scientific Revolution: Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz, and the Cultivation of Virtue

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20 Ancient mathematics was far from perfect. Descartes’ evidence? “[T]heir extravagant transports of joy and the sacrifices they offered to celebrate discoveries of little weight demonstrate clearly how rude they were” (AT X:376; cf. CSM I:18). The ancients’ lack of self-control proved that some mathematical discoveries came as surprises—discovered not through methodic comprehension but with miraculous genius or just plain luck. Even if the lucky ancients had the right informal social structures, they lacked the complementary exercises necessary for eliminating imitation and surprise.

These fundamental characteristics reveal much about his concerns about what prevents and produces the right sort of subjectivity. More than simply providing a philosophical account of the modern, Cartesian subject in his Meditations, Descartes offered techniques for becoming a new kind of thinking, knowing, and acting subject. To pursue his philosophy was nothing less than to cultivate and to organize one’s self. He offered his revolutionary but peculiar mathematics as a fundamental practice in this philosophy pursued as a way of life.

If someone performs a just act, it is impossible to judge whether she has the virtue of justice or performed that act from that virtue. Such an act might be a mistake or mere imitation. 52 In comparing different forms of mathematics, we might say that Descartes distinguished, to draw on Aristotle’s terminology, between acting geometrically and performing a geometrical act. Acting geometrically requires that one perform a geometrical act from knowledge of the underlying interconnections and that one choose to do so given the end of creating more intuitive knowledge.

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The Good Life in the Scientific Revolution: Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz, and the Cultivation of Virtue by Matthew L. Jones


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