Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, Volume 33, number 99, diciembre 2001
Duration and Motion in a (Cartesian) World which Is Created Anew ''at Each Moment" by an Immutable and Free God
[Duración y movimiento en un mundo (cartesiano) creado de nuevo "a cada momento" por un Dios inmutable y libre]
Abel B. Franco
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
University of Pittsburgh

abfst6@pitt.edu

Abstract: I argue in this paper that Descartes's goal with his doctrine of the continuous recreation of the world is to offer a unified and ultimate causal explanation for (1) the possibility of motion and duration in the world, (2) the permanence (of the existence) of created things, and (3) the continuation of their motion and duration. This unified explanation seems to be the only one which, according to Descartes, satisfies the two basic requirements any ultimate cause should meet: the cause (1) must be active and (2) not being in motion itself. God's recreations of the world is Descartes's solution to this search. I also show in this article, on the one hand, that this doctrine successfully overcomes, in particular, the four major conflicts which threaten its consistency, and, on the other, the new meaning which the laws of nature acquire under the doctrine of the continuous recreation of the world.
Keywords: Descartes, duration, motion, recreation

Abstract in Spanish | PDF in English (92 Kb)