The primary purpose of this paper is to remove the main philsophical obstacle to Bréhier’s elegante solution of the problem of the Cartesian Circle. Despite his voluntarism, Descartes can legitimately exclude presente clear and distinct perceptions from the wiles of the malicious demon. His project of rational sceptism affords him certain rights and duties. His primary right is to have the minimal resources needed to argue at all. On his account of reasoning, these must include presente clear and distinct perceptions. His primary duty is to press reasoned sceptism to its limit. Given his voluntarism, Descartes should, as Bréhier claims he does, doubt whether what is clearly and distinctly perceived will remain true. The paper ends with a cursory look at some of the serious textual problems Bréhier’s view faces.
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