Synopses & Reviews
Renè Descartes is commonly portrayed as a strict rationalist, a philosopher who theorized a radical, unresolvable split between mind and body. In this long-overdue examination of the role of imagination in Descartes's thought, Dennis Sepper reveals a Descartes quite different from the usual dualistic portrayals and offers a critical reconception of the genesis and nature of the philosopher's thought.
In a vigorous analysis of the less-known early works, Sepper finds that initially Descartes assigned the imagination a central role in the mind's activity. Although Descartes eventually lost confidence in the philosophy of imagination, an early understanding of its central role in cognition came to shape the most fundamental notions of his mature philosophy. Sepper's radical reassessment of Descartes ultimately raises new questions about the development of modern philosophy.
"A work of major importance for the interpretation of Descartes's development and for the understanding of the function of the imagination in Descartes's early works. Descartes's Imagination
will be a must in Descartes and imagination studies. It is long overdue."Eva T. H. Brann, author of The World of Imagination: Sum and Substance
"A significant contribution to our understanding of the development of Descartes's philosophy."William R. Shea, author of The Magic of Numbers and Motion: The Scientific Career of Renè Descartes
Includes bibliographical references (p. 297-305) and index.
About the Author
Dennis L. Sepper, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dallas, is author most recently of Newton's Optical Writings: A Guided Study (1994).