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Publication Details

Enigmatic Descartes

(Original title: Enigmatický Descartes)
Filozofia, 22 (1967), 1, 41-59.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Slovak
The author defines the essence of enigma created analytically by Descartes unexpounded basic gnoseologic categories in their methodological genetics, logical transparency and verified universality. Enigma is not a hypothesis of some Cartesiological trend but an objective fact of texts. In an authentic Cartesiology only that theis of nonenigmatic quality is therefore permissible which is equivalent to the statement that the problem of enigma has been solved. The author consistenly introduces a typical selection of Descartes texts of the sixth part of his Dissertation on Method, where mention is made of non-publication of Philosophical Principles and the urgency of discovery by re-invention: in the light of the contexts these are neither laws of nature expounded in Principia, nor are they identical with the whole of “eternal truths“, they are not published in Principia nor totally indentifiable with axiomatic geometrical “exposé“, for the latter is not an analytical theorem. If not by accident, then it happened through carelessness or by alteration of Descartes dispositions that a substantial literary legacy became lost: enigma thus became solvable only through a combination of historical and philosophical methods. The author points out that Cartesiology, particularly after World War II, made substantial progress on the way of contents determination of enigma by means of text criticism as exercised by Henri Gouhier, combined with structure analysis as requested by M. Guéroult, oriented to the substance of methodology as followed by L. Beck. The author agrees with Alquié’s request which be had long anticipated, namely, a search for the basic intuition and its determination in the sense of dependence of finite and infinite for it is the essence of the strength, as seen by Descartes, of his arguments of God, i. e. of nature according to the expression in his sixth Meditation. The author points to his own manuscript work “Descartes philosophe inconnu“ left in 1949 in the hands of H. Gouhier and in which he made a' point of this view. He underlines that since then the development of Cartesiology has confirmed his opinion when he determines as basic Descartes’ category of “ordo ас mensura“, indentified with the term of structure: the author, however, points not only to the formal and dynamic aspect, but to the ontoqualitative as well, of this category as specifically Cartesian. An appreciation of Descartes’ letters to Princess Elisabeth of the Palatinate or of Bohemia in the work by Henri Gouhier and others and the recognition that unity besides soul and body is “res“, changes this unity to an ontoqualitative intercontinuum and thereby to a category of totality1 confirming and going beyond Kuno Fischer's hypothesis in terms of panentheism. The author considers the designation itself of Cartesianism as pantheism to be inaccurate. He likewise presents a brief analysis of the methods of Cartesiology and, streeeing the basic methodological significance of the category of totality, he refutes the Kantian apriorism of the Marbur school by characterising Cartesianism' as reflective empirism, which by an analysis of cogito as of a unique ontoqualitative structure attains — by this inductive method — noetic universalisation of the categorie of totality and of the causal principle. The root proper of enigma which the author himself has endeavoured to resolve in his earlier work, i. e. radical methodologic genetics and logical trasparency of structure category in its ontoqualitative aspect, remains unsolved in accessible literature. Not even the highly significant work by L. Beck analysing the Regulae has succeeded in analysing the non-Euclidian meaning of Rule XIV. The logic of object as a structure which is here presented and the relation between the abstract (e. g. the notion of point) and its object determines this object with a logical inevitability as ontoqualitatively continuous under a relative discretion of elements and possessing infinite dimensions, the continuum itself being an infinite dimension. Idea clara et distincta is thus an idea of object as a structure which is a qualification of our cognition of the object. The author presumes that the logic of structure, as it emerges in connection with cybernetics, in its progress to logic of ontoqualitative structure, will finally enable Descartes to be presented in his true form, and substance, in his full significance and inadequacies.
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