Descartes frequently sets his views apart from those of his predecessors. In
the opening section of thePassions
of the Soul, a treatise on theEarly
Modernversion of what are now
commonly called emotions, Descartes goes so far as to assert that he will
write on this topic "as if no one had written on these matters before". Many
elements of his philosophy have precedents in lateAristotelianism,
the 16th century, or in earlier philosophers likeSt.
Augustine. In his natural philosophy, he differs from theSchoolson
two major points: First, he rejects the analysis ofcorporeal
substanceinto matter and form;
second, he rejects any appeal toends—divine
or natural—in explaining natural phenomena.In
he insists on the absolute freedom of God’s act of creation.
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