Abstract/Details

The creation of the eternal truths and the nature of God in Descartes


2000 2000

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Abstract (summary)

Descartes held the seemingly bizarre doctrine that the eternal truths are freely created by God. This ‘Creation Doctrine’ has been the subject of great misunderstandings and ridicule from philosophers and theologians from the seventeenth century to the present.

This dissertation is a sympathetic interpretation of Descartes' Creation Doctrine. After first briefly examining some alternative views concerning the relationship between the eternal truths and God, I argue that Descartes is committed to the Creation Doctrine because of his acceptance of traditional theological views concerning the nature of God, in particular, God's simplicity and freedom. I then argue that Descartes' Creation Doctrine, contrary to the claims of some recent commentators, does not entail any bizarre modal theses. For instance, the fact that God could have willed that the eternal truths are false does not entail that there are no necessary truths. I conclude by offering an interpretation of Descartes' explanation of the necessity of the eternal truths.

We will see that the Creation Doctrine (i) is theologically well-grounded, (ii) does not affect ordinary modal claims, and (iii) in fact, guarantees the necessity of the eternal truths.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Philosophy
Classification
0422: Philosophy
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology; Descartes, Rene; Eternal truths; God; Rene Descartes
Title
The creation of the eternal truths and the nature of God in Descartes
Author
Kaufman, Daniel Patrick
Number of pages
212
Publication year
2000
Degree date
2000
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 61/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780599957428, 0599957425
Advisor
Sleigh, Robert C., Jr.
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
9988805
ProQuest document ID
304606880
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304606880
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