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By Marjorie Glicksman Grene
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Extra resources for Descartes Among the Scholastics (Aquinas Lecture)
I thought of the soul, says the meditator, as "something extremely rare and subtle, as a wind, a flame or a very thin air, which crept into and spread through my grosser parts" (AT VII, 26). What concerns us here, however, is not so much the materialization of mind as the mentalization of body, if I may so call it. Real qualities and substantial forms are supposed to have been invented through the extrapolation of the intellectual to the merely extended. Instead of starting out from life, from the manifold styles of organization that we find in the world around us: sprouting, ripening and withering of plants, birth, growth and death of animals: instead of being impressed by the regularity and richness of nature, which every human being sees around him, we are supposed, according to Descartes, to have started from a confusing Page 30 mixture of the purely intellectual with the purely extended, and thus from two rather recherché abstractions, which we have learned to distinguish clearly and distinctly only through our Cartesian liberation from the senses.
224-233). Yet all this innovation is to be effected by the graduate Page 8 of a Jesuit college, who, if he had abandoned books to read the book of the world, nevertheless approached his enterprise in physics, and then in metaphysics, with a mind-set formed by his teachers and attuned to the criticisms, as well as the praise, of contemporaries who had been schooled, if not in the same, then in other variants of the scholastic tradition. He welcomed responses to the Discourse and its accompanying essays, and of course took pains to look for, and reply to, objections to the Meditations before their publication.
However, there it all is; for Descartes's natural philosophy Garber (1991) is perhaps the most Page 45 massive example so far of this historiographic style. The following bibliography includes items referred to in my text, as well as titles illustrative of the recent scholarship I have been discussing. It makes no claim to completeness, but is meant to guide the reader who wishes to explore the field a little further. Page 46 Bibliography All references to Descartes are by volume and page of the Adam and Tannery edition (C.