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Descartes & Poinsot

The Crossroad of Signs and Ideas

René Descartes (1596–1650) and John Poinsot (1589–1644) were contemporaries who stood, unbeknownst to them, at a crossroads in the history of philosophy. While Poinsot’s work on semiotics became unfashionable after his death, Descartes’ theory of ideas carried modern philosophy down a different path that proved to be a dead end. In Descartes & Poinsot, John Deely contends that semiotics can lead us beyond the rationalist trap of modernity. This innovative volume reveals that Poinsot’s forgotten philosophies provide the missing link between the ancients and the postmodern.

224 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2008

Philosophy: General Philosophy

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Table of Contents

Aviso          Concerning the Late Latin vis-à-vis the Early Modern Centuries
Chapter 1   Cenoscopy and Ideoscopy
Chapter 2   The Turn to Ideoscopy
Chapter 3   "Nothing Is Certain"
Chapter 4   The Way of Ideas
Chapter 5   Nominalism versus Realism
Chapter 6   The Interplay of Objects in Thought and Things in the World
Chapter 7   Sensation Cenoscopically Considered
Chapter 8   The Semiotics of Sensation
                   Figure: The Semiosic Structure of the ’Sensory Manifold’
Chapter 9   Semiosis beyond Perception
Chapter 10  Descartes and Poinsot: Retrospect and Prospect
   Two Possibilities
   The First Possibility
   The Second Possibility
   Toward Semiotics Itself in the Fulness of Time
   The Question of Human Knowledge, Its Nature and Extent
   Two Stars Alternating in Morning and Evening Light
   The Singular and Not-To-Be-Repeated Reversal
   The Place and Role of "Method" in Philosophy
   The Modern Rebellion against Latin Scholasticism
   The Aftermath
References, Historically Layered & Annotated
        Gloss on the Principle of Historical Layering

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