•  83
    Descartes on the Errors of the Senses
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 78 73-108. 2016.
    Descartes first invokes the errors of the senses in the Meditations to generate doubt; he suggests that because the senses sometimes deceive, we have reason not to trust them. This use of sensory error to fuel a sceptical argument fits a traditional interpretation of the Meditations as a work concerned with finding a form of certainty that is proof against any sceptical doubt. If we focus instead on Descartes's aim of using the Meditations to lay foundations for his new science, his appeals to s…Read more
  •  13
    Mind and Language 11 (1): 68-69. 1996.
  •  53
    Doubt and Human Nature in Descartes's Meditations
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 70 189-217. 2012.
    Descartes is well known for his employment of the method of doubt. His most famous work, the Meditations, begins by exhorting us to doubt all our opinions, including our belief in the existence of the external world. But critics have charged that this universal doubt is impossible for us to achieve because it runs counter to human nature. If this is so, Descartes must be either misguided or hypocritical in proposing it. Hume writes:There is a species of scepticism, antecedent to all study and ph…Read more