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Descartes’s Method of Doubt by Janet Broughton

Harry Bracken frets about Janet Broughton’s non-historical book on Descartes’ ideas.

This is a very careful and detailed examination of what Broughton takes to be René Descartes’ arguments on behalf of the Method of Doubt in his Meditations. The author says at the outset that “we cannot understand our philosophical history without understanding something about where our predecessors come from...” [her emphasis] It quickly becomes obvious this something of our ‘philosophical history’ is to be construed in an extremely narrow way, so narrow that Descartes appears lost in the mists of time.