Keywords: proto-philosophical experience, ego cogitans, self-evidence, the genesis of object- eld of philosophy, critique of idealism, Descartes, Vladimir Fours


[In Russian]

In my paper, I analyze and give an assessment of the article by Vladimir Fours published in 2006 in Topos. Journal for Philosophy and Cultural Studies entitled Descartes as a Teacher of Philosophy. I reconstruct both Fours’ main theses, his arguments and the basic lines of the discussion caused by this article. The reason why I started to recall these materials is in the fact that, in my view, the problems touched by Fours and his opponents remain still unresolved. I am sure they are still of current interest.

I outline that Fours believes the consciousness is not self-evident and self-sufficient substance as Descartes thought. Descartes himself faked the knowledge of ego cogitans proceeding from his primordial experience which is signed as so-called proto-philosophical one by Fours. Fours tries to show how it is possible to generate an object-led of authentic philosophy from the experience of such a kind. And he shows how Descartes realized that. According to him, any object-field of philosophy is shaped only by procedures, or tehnoi — in his own term-usage — which are applied to the proto-philosophical experience to harmonize it and dismiss its primal dramatical disruption. In the case of Descartes, that was experience of indifference of will. As result, the usage of mentioned procedures causes the genesis of the new concepts and terms, which become the substitute of the object-fields of the philosophical investigations. An object-field of philosophy is, therefore, an illusion. The acceptance of objectivity of these object- fields is “the idealism of philosophical self-understanding”, in Fours’ words.

His opponents emphasize that Fours has a wrong notion of idealism. Moreover, his construction of the genesis of object-fields of philosophy is itself a kind of idealism. As conclusion, I state that the main methodological problem of Fours’ reflections and critiques is in his substitution of the things which are more knowable and obvious to us (proto-philosophical experience) for the things which are more clearer and more knowable by nature (intelligible object-led of philosophy).


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Author Biography

Andrei Patkul, Saint Petersburg State University

Saint Petersburg State University
Associate professor of the department of philosophy of science and technologies
199 034 Saint Petersburg, Russia

How to Cite
Patkul, A. (2020). VLADIMIR FOURS AS A READER OF DESCARTES. Topos, (2), 51-63. https://doi.org/10.24412/1815-0047-2020-2-51-63