A Version of Cartesian Method

  • Roderick M. Chrisholm
Part of the Nijhoff International Philosophy Series book series (NIPS, volume 28)


In one of his many profound discussions of the method of philosophy, Körner makes the following observations about Descartes:

The most remarkable claims made by Descartes are, on the one hand, that there are absolutely certain propositions which do not belong to logic or mathematics and are not based on linguistic conventions; and, on the other hand, that his method enables one to discover these absolutely certain ‘truths of fact.’1


Primary Object Secondary Object Observation Statement Intentional Object Psychological Phenomenon 
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  1. 1.
    Stephen Körner, Fundamental Questions of Philosophy (Sussex, Harvester Press, 1979), p.23. Körner recently made a similar point in a lecture, “Uber philosophische Methoden and Argumente,” presented to a colloquium on “Fundamentalismus in der Erkenntnistheorie,” at the University of Graz, June 4, 1983.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Uber Annahmen, 2nd edition, p. 138; Band IV of Meinong Gesamtausgabe, (ed.) Rudolf Haller (Graz, Akademische Druck — u. Verlagsanstalt, 1977).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Meinong Gesamtausgabe Band V, p.432.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint (London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973), p.129 (the published translation has “object and content” in place of “object”); Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt Band I (Hamburg, Felix Meiner Verlag, 1973), p. 182. Meinong noted that he could accept Brentano’s account only with reservations. He uses the term “self-presentation” in the first chapter of Uber emotionale Präsentation (1917) and there sets forth his reservations about Brentano’s view. See Band III of the Meinong Gesamtausgabe, (ed.) Rudolf Kindinger; translated into English as On Emotional Presentation, by Marie-Luise Schubert-Kalsi (Evanston 111., Northwestern University Press, 1972).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
  6. 6.
    Fundamental Questions of Philosophy, pp. 92–93.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    op.cit., p. 93.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Moritz Schlick, “The Foundations of Knowledge,” in Logical Positivism (ed.) A.J.Ayer (Glencoe, The Free Press, 1959) pp. 209–227; the quotation appears on p. 225. The original version of the paper, “Uber das Fundament der Erkenntnis,” may be found in Schlick’s Gesammelte Aufsätze (Vienna, Gerold and Company., 1938) pp. 289–310; the German version of the quotation appears on pp. 308–309.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Psychology, p. 128, my italics. The German reads: “Dem Tone erscheint das Hören im eigentlichsten Sinne zugewandt, und indem es dieses ist, scheint es sich selbst nebenbei und als Zugabe mit zu erfassen” (Psychologie Band I, p. 180).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Psychology, p. 132.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Metaphysics, 1074b, pp. 35–36 (quoted in the Psychology, p. 132). Compare De Anima, III, 2: “It is through sense that we are aware that we are seeing or hearing.”Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Psychology, p. 127; Psychologie Band I, pp. 179–180. Another succinct statement may be found in Religion und Philosophie, p. 226, but evidently it was written by Kastil and not by Brentano (see p.265).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Psychology, p. 130.Google Scholar

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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht 1987

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  • Roderick M. Chrisholm

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