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Descartes and the Primacy of Practice: The Role of the Passions in the Search for Truth
Amy M. Schmitter
Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition
Vol. 108, No. 1/2, Selected Papers Presented in 2001 at the 75th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association (Mar., 2002), pp. 99-108
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4321238
Page Count: 10
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This paper argues that Descartes conceives of theoretical reason in terms derived from practical reason, particularly in the role he gives to the passions. That the passions serve - under "normal" circumstances - to preserve the union of mind and body is a well-known feature of Descartes's defense of our native make-up. But they are equally important in our more purely theoretical endeavors. Some passions, most notably "wonder," provide a crucial source of motivation in the search after truth, and also serve to reinforce memory. Our cognitive successes and failures can also be tracked by passions and trains of passions.
Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition © 2002 Springer