Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

CARTESIANISM

The principles embodied in the teaching of René Descartes (1596-1650). Its outstanding feature is the notion of universal methodical doubt. Cartesianism begins by calling into doubt whatever knowledge a person has acquired, and then seeking to find a truth so evident that it cannot be doubted. This truth it claims to find in each person's intuition of his own thought and existence. Within the Cartesian system are several principles, all at variance with the Catholic faith, which Descartes professed to believe, namely: occasionalism, which disowns free will for man; ontologism, which denies that a person can perceive ideas within his mind or objects directly in themselves; and angelism, which regards man as if he were a pure spirit within a body, as if thought must be intuitive and not deductive, and independent of things but evolved from one's own consciousness.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Liberal visions of Catholicism: Kickstarter and the world's largest NGO 22 hours ago
The Blessed Book of Beasts August 30
Weekend reading August 29
Frustrating the Moral Law August 29
Weep for slaughtered Christians, not for dialogue with Islam August 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8