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Descartes, Malebranche, and the Crisis of Perception

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2018.01.15 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Walter Ott, Descartes, Malebranche, and the Crisis of Perception, Oxford University Press, 2017, 240 pp., $70.00 (hbk) ISBN 9780198791713. Reviewed by Margaret Atherton, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Walter Ott's book concerns the innovative theory of perception introduced in the seventeenth century by Descartes and Malebranche. As he himself says, this is ground that recent historians have already substantially plowed. There are at least two good reasons for all the attention paid to this theory. The first is that, fitting in as it does with advances made in the physical sciences, there is a great deal that seems right about it. Dispensing, as Descartes says in the Dioptrics, with little images flitting through the air, it seems to provide an inherently plausible account (for its day) of how perception works. The second reason, however, is the extreme difficulty scholars have found in working out. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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