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
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Church Fathers: Introduction to the Greek Apologists 7 hours ago
Ad Imaginem Dei: a gem of a blog on Christian art February 28
The Complexities of Persecution February 27
Ukraine: A great lesson in thinking like a Catholic. February 27
Notre Dame has lost two contrasting giants February 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis to address Congress in joint session in September CWN - February 5