Ingenium and deductive method of Descartes

Abstract

The main point for criticizing the Cartesians for Vico is the notion of method, interpreted as exceptionally discursive procedure, devoid of spontaneity and creative force which are necessary for discovering new truths. These qualities are embodied for Vico in the Latin term ingenium, loan translation of which is found in Italian (ingegno) and is absent in French. The criticism of Cartesianisn suggested by Vico does not consider the fundamental bilingualism of this philosophy and wide use of the term ingenium in the corps of Descartes’ Latin works. The analysis of the latter proves that the early Descartes’ notion intuitus mentis, as well as the concept of natural light of mind are, in the end, based exactly on ingenium, but not on the discursive methodical procedures. Human soul, following Descartes, reveals its content in several hypostastes and each method of revelation corresponds to specific terminology. Soul as mens is not the same as soul as ingenium. But even the early Descartes’ study of soul is marked by peculiar nominalism, proclamation of the real existence of individual soul as a separate entity. Therefore later, stating his ego cogito, Descartes states exactly the individual substance, not thinking in general. The terminological couple ingenium/mens is not translatable already in the French texts of Descartes himself (both merge in the French esprit), however their Ukrainian translations do not consider neither this untranslatability nor obvious references of Descartes’ esprit to other Latin compliances which differ each time. The article also analyses frequency in usage of the terms ingenium and mens in early and late Descartes’ Latin works; it has been proved that the augmentation of the meaning of metaphysical problems gradually turned mens into the main subject of Descartes’ research and deactualised the problem of ingenium.

Author Biography

Oleg Khoma, Vinnytsia National Technical University
Doctor of sciences in philosophy, Professor, Head of the Department of Philosophy

References

Alquié, F. (2000). La Découverte métaphysique de l'homme chez Descartes. Paris: PUF.

Armogathe, J.-R., & Marion, J.-L. (1976). Index des “Regulae ad directionem ingenii” de René Descartes. Roma: dell'Ateneo.

Arnault, A., & Nicole, P. (1981). La logique ou l'Art de penser. Paris: Vrin.

Chaix-Ruy, J. (1979). La formation de la pensée philosophique de G.-B. Vico. New York: Arno Press.

Descartes, R. (1989). Rules for the Direction of the Mind. [In Russian]. In R. Descartes, Works in 2 vol. (Vol. 2, pp. 77-153). Moscow: Mysl.

Descartes, R. (1996). Œuvres in 11 vol. (Ch. Adam, & P. Tannery, Eds.). Paris: Vrin.

Descartes, R. (2000). Discurso del metodo. Retrieved October 27, 2009, from Presencias de Música website: http://presencias.net/indpdm.html?http://presencias.net/invest/ht3017a.html

Descartes, R. (2007). Specimina philosophiae. Introduction and critical edition (C. Vermeulen, Ed.). Utrecht: Zeno Institute for Philosophy.

Descartes, R. (2007, May 28). Discorso sul metodo. Retrieved October 23, 2009, from IntraText website: http://www.intratext.com/ixt/ITA2247/

Girard, P. (2002). Vico. In J.-P. Zarader, D. Kambouchner (Eds.), Vocabulaire des philosophes. II. Philosophie classique et moderne (XVIIe–XVIIIe siècle). (pp. 437-486). Paris: Ellipses.

Huet, P.-D. (1723). Huetiana, ou pensées diverses de M. Huet, évêque d’Avranches. Amsterdam: Hermant Uytwerf.

Khoma, O. (2006). About necessity of new approach to the Descartes work’s translation. [In Ukrainian]. Sententiae, 14-15(1-2), 172-209.

Laporte, J. (2000). Le Rationalisme de Descartes. Paris: PUF.

Marion, J.-L. (1977). Traduction d’intuitus et utilisation de regard. In R. Descartes, Règles utiles et claires pour la direction de l'esprit en la recherche de la vérité (pp. 295-301). La Haye : Nijhoff.

Leibniz, G. W. (1978). Schreiben Leibnizens in Betreff der Schrift Joh. Eberh. Schweling's zur Verteidigung des Cartesianismus. In G. W. F. Leibniz, Die philosophischen Schriften (Bd. IV, S. 325-332). Hildesheim, & New York: Olms.

Marion, J.-L. (1991). Questions cartésiennes. Méthode et métaphysique. Paris: PUF.

Marion, J.-L. (2000). Sur l'ontologie grise de Descartes : science cartésienne et savoir aristotélicien dans les “Regulae”. Paris: Vrin.

Pascal, B. (1991). De l’esprit géométrique. In B. Pascal, Œeuvres completes (T. III). Paris: Desclée de Brouwer.

Pinchard, B. (1988). De la physique des formes à la métaphysique de l'informe. G. Vico lecteur de Descartes et du Discours de la Méthode. In H. Méchoulan (Ed.), Problématique et réception du Discours de la Méthode et des Essais (pp. 319-333). Paris: Vrin.

Pons, A. (2005). Introduction. In G. Vico, La méthode des études de notre temps. Retrieved October 19, 2009, from Réseau Intelligence de la Complexité website: www.mcxapc.org/docs/conseilscient/0511vico_pons.pdf

Rodis-Lewis, G. (1950). L'individualité selon Descartes. Paris: Vrin.

Rodis-Lewis, G. (1971). L'Oeuvre de Descartes (Vol. II). Paris: Vrin.

Vico, G. (1709). De nostri temporis studiorum ratione. Napoli: Mosca.

Vico, G. (1710). De antiquissima italorum sapientia, ex Linguae Latinae Originibus eruenda. Napoli: Mosca.

Vico, G. (1730). De' Principj d'una scienza nuova d' intorno al comune natura delle nazioni. Napoli: Mosca.

Vico, G. (1744). Principi di Scienza nuova di Giambattista Vico d'intorno alla comune natura delle Nazioni. In questa Terza Impressione dal medesimo autore in gran numero di luoghi Corretta, Schiarita e notabilmente Accresciuta. Napoli: Stamperia Muziana.

Vico, G. (1992). Epistole, con aggiunte le epistole dei suoi corrispondenti. Napoli: Morano.
Published
2010-06-16
How to Cite
Khoma, O. (2010). Ingenium and deductive method of Descartes. Sententiae, 22(1), 192-207. https://doi.org/10.22240/sent22.01.192
Section
ARTICLES