McCauley, Harry (2004) Circling Descartes. Maynooth Philosophical Papers, 2 . pp. 70-83.
From its initial, pre-publication circulation amongst a group of his contemporaries right up to the present day, Descartesâs Meditations has remained a highly controversial philosophical text. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the text is whether a circular argument lies at its very heart â a circular argument which would, quite literally, destroy the very edifice of knowledge which Descartes had tried so hard to rebuild upon secure and solid foundations. In this paper I want to have another look at the Cartesian Circle and to argue that, for all the undoubted ingenuity of Descartesâs various responses to the issue, a damaging circle remains in place and, moreover, I shall argue, it is a circle which outruns Descartesâs standard resources for responding to the charge of circularity.
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