Colloquium: Sept 17th 2018

Speaker: Davd Scott, University of Victoria

Title: Chécartes: Descartes as Twentieth-Century Metaphysical Freedom Fighter.

Friday, September 17th at 2:30pm CLE A303


There is an argument in Descartes’ Meditations that, I contend, is consciously pressed into service—and indeed pressed as Descartes’ argument—in defense of metaphysics, by members of a group of twentieth century philosophers dubbed “recalcitrant metaphysicians” by John Passmore, or “honorary Continental philosophers” by Simon Glendinning. These labels refer largely to idealist-inspired British metaphysicians engaged in an insurgency against the various anti-metaphysical movements—termed the logical positivist (or logical empiricist) and linguistic analytic “revolutions” by their respective adherents—that came by quick turns to define philosophical orthodoxy in Britain in the first sixty years or so of the twentieth century. This paper recounts the appropriation of Descartes’ argument by one of these insurgents, the Scot, C. A. Campbell.