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N.1/2018 Studi cartesiani tra Europa e Brasile

L’ordine delle ragioni in Descartes

César Augusto Battisti
Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná –UNIOESTE

Published in June, 2018

The order of reasons in Descartes

Studi Cartesiani tra Europa e


With the intention of exploring the notion of the order of reason in the context of Meditations, this paper, after ascertaining its very rare occurrence in Descartes’ work, concludes that it is not only opposed to the order of matters, but also to the order of reasons in a strict sense. Having established this picture, the paper shows that the order leaves open the kinds of “things” to which it is related, without the need to be the same for both demonstrative paths. One exploration of the Elements (standard model of the synthetic path) shows that this Euclid’s work follows a propositional order, contrary to the Meditations (analytic path), which are articulated according to an order of difficulties, while at the same time different orders of reasons in the strict sense (related to the different propositions or themes) can be set up in each work. The final conclusion of the study is that, however essential it may be and although its two conditions are strictly obeyed, it is not the order (contrary to what Gueroult thinks) which allows understanding the style and dynamics of Meditations.


Meditations, Order of reason, Analysis and synthesis, Euclid’s Elements, Descartes

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