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2nd Unit : 1st Study Group Session

2nd Unit : 1st Study Group Session

"On 'Meditatio' as a Method of Metaphysics of Descartes"

2nd Unit : 1st Study Group Sessiont

Murakami Katsuzo, director of the IRCP, gave a talk titled "On 'Meditatio' as a Method of Metaphysics of Descartes," on April 23, 2012, at the Meeting room of School of Literature of the Hakusan Campus, Toyo University. What approach is to be taken in constructing metaphysics? If metaphysics is understood as the first philosophy and if academic knowledge is to be founded on metaphysics as such, a method such as "demonstration" or "proof" should not form the basis of an approach for its construction. This is due to the fact that both "demonstration" and "proof" are validated by antecedent rules. This talk elucidated the "methodus (method)" of Cartesian metaphysics by focusing on the concept of "meditatio (meditation)."

What follows is the outline of the talk: I) Leibniz's criticism of Descartes's "Methodus"; II) "Modus scribendi geometricus (geometric mode of description)"; III) "Mathesis universalis" and "une methode generale (a general method)"; IV) Metaphysics of cogito; I. Hierarchization of metaphysics, mathematics, and physics, and; II. Method of Cartesian metaphysics.

2nd Unit : 1st Study Group Session

The following points were clarified upon examination. First, Descartes still entertained a plan for unifying various disciplines by the method expounded in the Rules for the Direction of our Native Intelligence in 1636 and 1637, which corresponds to the fact that his metaphysics in Part IV of the Discourse on the Method was still under development. Second, in the Meditations on First Philosophy, the "order" of applying "thought" to spatialized spheres (mathematics) was called "(pure) abstract mathesis," and the "order" of applying thought to individual spheres in space (physics) was called "(pure) mathesis." This "order" is the method for applying thought to spheres of thought (metaphysics). The "order" runs through the method of metaphysics and "mathesis."