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Descartes’ Ethics

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[Revised entry by Donald Rutherford on December 14, 2021. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Descartes is not well known for his contributions to ethics. Some have charged that it is a weakness of his philosophy that it focuses exclusively on metaphysics and epistemology to the exclusion of moral and political philosophy. Such criticisms rest on a misunderstanding of the broader framework of Descartes' philosophy. Evidence of Descartes' concern for the practical import of philosophy can be traced to his earliest writings. In agreement with the ancients, he identifies the goal of philosophy with the attainment of a wisdom that...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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