Fable, Method, and Imagination in Descartes
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What role do fables play in Cartesian method and psychology? By looking at Descartes’ use of fables, James Griffith suggests there is a fabular logic that runs to the heart of Descartes’ philosophy. First focusing on The World and the Discourse on Method, this volume shows that by writing in fable form, Descartes allowed his readers to break from Scholastic methods of philosophizing. With this fable-structure or -logic in mind, the book reexamines the relationship between analysis, synthesis, and inexact sciences; between metaphysics and ethico-political life; and between the imagination, the will, and the passions.
“It is hard to compose something genuinely novel, crucial and comprehensive about a historical figure as well-studied as Descartes, but this book accomplishes exactly that. The insights into Descartes’ method presents a compelling new argument about the generative role of the use of fable. The book thus challenges long-held views about Descartes’ strategies and intentions, and furthermore, its engagement with contemporary Continental philosophy places Descartes at the center of the most significant current conversations.” (Molly O'Donnell, Saint Xavier University, USA)