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Rene Descartes: Principles of Philosophy: Translation with Explanatory Notes (Synthese Historical Library) [Paperback]

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Item description for Rene Descartes: Principles of Philosophy: Translation with Explanatory Notes (Synthese Historical Library) by R.P. Miller...

When we further reflect on the various ideas that are in us, it is easy to perceive that there is not much difference among them, when we consider them simply as certain modes of thinking, but that they are widely different, considered in reference to the objects they represent; and that their causes must be so much the more perfect according to the degree of objective perfection contained in them.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Springer
Pages   353
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.66" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.79"
Weight:   1.19 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 30, 1984
Publisher   Springer
ISBN  9027717540  
ISBN13  9789027717542  

Availability  92 units.
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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Modern
3Books > Subjects > Science > History & Philosophy > Science
4Books > Subjects > Science > History & Philosophy

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Reviews - What do customers think about Rene Descartes: Principles of Philosophy: Translation with Explanatory Notes (Synthese Historical Library)?

"Cogito Ergo Sum"  Jan 15, 2009
This book is the synthesis of all Descartes physics and philosophy theories divided into four parts. The first part focuses on philosophy, the second part general science, while the third and forth parts are a collection of Descartes' specific principles of physics he used to develop his theory of the structure of the universe, the solar system, and the origins of the earth.

Descartes' valuable researches in science and physics have long been appreciated and this book is certainly proof of that value. This book is especially significant because it was written after the Church had condemned Galileo and his theories of cosmology and tried to slowdown or halt the progress of science. Descartes presents very strongly his revolutionary scientific conclusions, but my attention had to be focused on Descartes the philosopher not the scientist.
As a scientist, Descartes elucidated basic laws in physics and science, and he brought that logical, straightforward, scientific approach to philosophy and the question of God's existence.

In Descartes earlier work "Meditations on First Philosophy", he called all of our knowledge into doubt as he stated: "If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things". Similarly, in The first section of "Principles of Philosophy", Descartes restates some of his earlier conclusions, not to argue what we certainly don't know, but rather to try and determine what we know for certain
Descartes' famous declaration "Cogito Ergo Sum" which is translated as "I think, therefore I am.", is the first certain truth that Descartes proclaims in Part I of the Principles. This conclusion, "Cogito Ergo Sum", is for Descartes a truth that cannot be called into doubt: the fact that we exist. Using only this fact, a few principles of logic, and some innate ideas, Descartes believes he can prove the existence of God
Descartes presents two intriguing arguments for God's existence that can by summarized as follows:
1. An ontological argument for God's existence that goes this way: Our idea of God is a perfect being, to exist is definitely more perfect than not to exist, and therefore, God must exist.
2. We are all born with the innate idea of God as an infinite being, so this idea must have infinite objective reality. Knowing that there must be as much reality in a cause as in an effect, then there must be as much formal reality in a cause of an idea as there is objective reality in an idea. Based on this kind of reasoning, we have an idea with infinite objective reality, which is the idea of God, then there must be a being with infinite formal reality that caused this idea. That being is God. .With all due respect to Descartes, I can't help but asking here if Descartes or anyone else can prove that belief in God as an infinite being is innate? It seems to me that it is more a learned idea

To spend time exploring the breadth and depth of Descartes' scientific principles and the unyielding logic and order of his philosophy is so fulfilling and enlightening that until we have taken the journey we are, as thinking, questioning human beings, incomplete


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