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Descartes on God and the products of his will

David Cunning

pp. 175-193

Descartes begins the Meditations with a number of remarkable claims about what is possible – it is possible that God is a deceiver; it is possible that God does not exist and that we arrived at our present state by chance; it is possible that an evil demon is constantly manipulating our minds to regard what is false as utterly evident and true. Descartes' epistemological project is of course in serious trouble if he establishes in the First Meditation that it is possible that we are mistaken about what is most evident to us. Here I argue that Descartes holds that a non-deceiving God exists necessarily; the possibility claims of the First Meditation are the deliverances of the mind of Descartes' amateur and not yet sufficiently reflective meditator and not Descartes himself. Other possibility claims in Descartes' corpus are to be understood in terms of Descartes' Spinozistic view of divine freedom.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-5219-1_16

Full citation:

Cunning, D. (2013)., Descartes on God and the products of his will, in J. Diller & A. Kasher (eds.), Models of God and alternative ultimate realities, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 175-193.

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