Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement

Papers

‘The only sure sign …’: Thought and Language in Descartes

John Cottingham

Some people like to think that the modern discipline of philosophy has little if anything to learn from the history of the subject, but in reality the philosophical inquiries of each generation always take shape against the background of an implicit dialogue with the actual or imagined ideas of past thinkers. Many of our current debates on the relationship between thought and language bear the imprint of what the ‘father of modern philosophy’ said, or is supposed to have said.

John Cottingham is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading