The Desecularization of Descartes

John Cottingham’s discussion of Descartes has resonance to the way Locke has been treated in the academy. I was astounded going back some 30 years that Locke could be so blithely discussed on a political philosophy course (UCL) with no mention of the vital role God has in his system of ideas — The Reasonableness of Christianity. Is the dispensing of God what is meant by rational reconstruction?

Most philosophers would agree that attempting to teach Aquinas’s philosophy without attending to the centrality of God in his thought would create impossible distortions. I want in this paper to explore some of the ways in which this is also true of Descartes.