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Meditations on First Philosophy [Paperback]

By Rene Descartes & Deena Weinberg (Contributor)
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Item description for Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes & Deena Weinberg...

Of all Descartes' works students are most often referred to his Meditations, as a key text in Western philosophy. This textbook extracts from the recently published two volume Philosophical Writings of Descartes (translated by Cottingham, Stoothoff and Murdoch) the authoritative, new translation of the Meditations and complements it with a thematic abridgement of the Objections and Replies. The selection of extracts from the Objections and Replies has been done specially for the present volume, with the aim of assisting the student to come to terms with the subtle reasoning of the Meditations by focusing on some of the principal philosophical difficulties raised by the work. Material is arranged thematically so as to indicate the main points of criticism which occured to Descartes' contemporaries as they read the Meditations, and how Descartes clarified his arguments in response to those criticisms. The new translation of these fundamental writings is based on the best available Latin or French texts, and rendered into clear, readable English.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   93
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.75"
Weight:   0.32 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 25, 2008
ISBN  9562916170  
ISBN13  9789562916172  

Availability  99 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 22, 2016 11:19.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Rene Descartes & Deena Weinberg

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Rene Descartes(1596-1650), French philosopher and mathematician, is generally regarded as the founder of modern philosophy.
Desmond Clarkeis professor of philosophy at Unviersity College, Cork."

Rene Descartes was born in 1596 and died in 1650.

Rene Descartes has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy
  2. Oxford World's Classics (Paperback)
  3. Penguin Classics

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Modern

Reviews - What do customers think about Meditations on First Philosophy?

The roots of the Scientific Method  Jan 23, 2008
I really am pleased that I read this book because within its pages you can see the birth of our modern world.

Despite the fact that Rene contorted himself to try to prove that God exists; he still managed to create a great work. He began the inquiry into reality wherein we try to understand the world through experimentation. I think he failed in many ways to develop a coherent philosophical structure due to his attempts to please the Church but given the social conditions of the day this was the best that he could do. Even in this flawed analysis Rene paved the way for what would later become the Scientific Method.

I only wish that he could live today and write without fears of reprisal from religious entities.
Magesterial work which profoundly changed history  Mar 14, 2007
In the 17th century, the world underwent dramatic and incredible changes. The Scientific Revolution was gathering pace, Europeans had experienced the Reformation and the Renaissance, and boundaries and horizons in all areas were being expanded and changed at a breakneck pace.

Into this time of upheaval comes Descartes, one of the greatest Philosophers to ever live anywhere in the world. While 'modern' philosophy, which broke off its roots from Scholasticism, does not necessarily begin only with Descartes, it is true in Descartes the agenda of post-Scholastic philosophy is most clearly and beautifully expressed in logical terms.

Descartes's project is to take into account the implications of the scientific revolution for philosophy; for Descartes, it is no longer religious authority or pure philosophical speculation which tells us the most accurate truths about the cosmos, but science based on observation and the use of mathematical and logical methods employed by the aid of natural human reason.

Descartes sets into motion an astonishing project into motion; to basically remove Scholasticism and its corrupt and inept attempts to understand the universe and replace it with a complete and unified system of knowledge, based on certain truths clear and knowable to anyone, whatever their class or background.

Descartes, following a plan of 'meditation', withdraws from the senses and attempts to consider the universe as it is to the intellect. Descartes carefully invokes several skeptical doubts about our knowledge, the existence of the external world, and our own existence and attempts to set out what he felt was true and what is not. The famous phrase 'Cogito ergo sum' is one result, though Descartes's overall system and arguments are more complex.

Descartes argues that the cogito, along with the goodness of God who does not make a creature merely in order to decieve it, ensures there are certain and indutible truths about ourselves and the world which will ensure his project will be a successful one. But Descartes encourages the reader not merely to accept his arguments but to put them into practice themselves, hoping in doing so they will discover new truths about the universe which will be plain to anyone using the light of reason.

Descartes in his other works uses this method as a justification for his approach to science and mathematics. Descartes was in every sense a polymath; a trained lawyer, an excellent writer, a student of human anatomy (in which Descartes made many pioneering experiments and observations), a brilliant philosopher and (for his time) physicist, and a mathematician of genius. However, while much of his science is now plainly wrong and was superseded by better scientists such as Galileo and Newton, the agenda Descartes set for philosophy remains much the same even today, especially in the Analytic tradition. Philosophy owes to Descartes two great achievements, one, in applying more rigorous logical methods to philosophical problems while paying attention to the results of science, and second, the re-introduction of skepticism into philosophy which provides a valuable check against dogmatism, but which would only truely be extended to its fullest possible means by David Hume.

Whether or not one ultimately agrees with Descartes's arguments, it must be acknowledged he is a great geius who stands shoulder to shoulder with people like David Hume, Liebniz, Spinoza and Kant, who all radically changed the way philosophers look at the world and the problems it poses.
oh descartes  Jan 19, 2007
well..descartes is kind of long winded.
he's trying to prove we can KNOW things about the natural world, which he does. fantastic.
the problem now is by decartes standard can there be agnostic or atheist scientists?
Descartes Meditations on the First Philosophiies  Jun 26, 2006
I needed this book for my doctoral studies. I needed it for research and needed it quickly. I am very pleased with the delivery service and the book
Translation is good.  Sep 26, 2005
I leave it to the reader to determine the merits of Descartes' thinking; that this work is seminal is obvious and needs no exegesis (nor does explanation of the text do any good for those who have yet to read it). The Cambridge edition is in my opinion the best out there for the English speaking world. It is a clean, literal rendering that does a great job of capturing the Latinate sense of Descartes' terminology in English with minimal obfuscation.

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