Sunday, May 01, 2005


History Carnival #7 is up at Studi Galileiani. Hugo brought together some great sources under difficult circumstances (the languidness of the history bloggers -- see the bottom of the page). I expected to be passed over (haven't blogged much recently), but Hugo found that I wrote something interesting enought to include -- thank you!

My favorite entry so far is this post on how seriously we should consider Descartes' metaphysics from Philosophical Fortnights.
His theology, on the other hand, is not “contentless”, if by that is meant a pure form of words, a mere gesture. There is indeed almost nothing in it concerning Christ, or salvation, or sin—for Descartes these were matters known by faith through revelation. But the idea of God as the perfect being is, for Descartes as for most theists of the period, rich in consequences. Not the least of those is our dependence on the goodness of God for our knowledge of the “simplest things”—the truths of arithmetic, the existence of bodies. To which may be added God’s other perfections, each of which has a counterpart in us, on the basis of which (by way of générosité) we may rightly attach worth to the self and its powers. God the perfect being is an object of contemplation rather than of worship, of imitation rather than prayer.
Of course, the same problem is encountered in the theology of those inspired by Neo-Platonism: how does one jump from a philosophical G-d to a Christian G-d?

[Let me use this opportunity to ask for submissions to Carnivalesque, the Early Modern Carnival, coming up on Friday. Send them to rhineriver *** at *** earthlink *** dot *** net.]


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