Discourse on the Method

ISBN-10: 0199540071

ISBN-13: 9780199540075

Edition: 2008

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Description: Descartes' Discourse marks a watershed in European thought; in it, the author sets out in brief his radical new philosophy, which begins with a proof of the existence of the self (the famous "cogito ergo sum"). Next he deduces from it the existence and nature of God, and ends by offering a radical new account of the physical world and of human and animal nature. Written in everyday language and meant to be read by common people of the day, it swept away all previous philosophical traditions. This new translation is an ideal introduction to Descartes for the general reader. It is accompanied by a substantial introductory essay from Renaissance scholar Ian Maclean that is designed to provide in-depth historical and philosophical context. The essay draws on Descartes' correspondence to examine what brought him to write his great work, and the impact it had on his contemporaries. A detailed section of notes explain Descartes' philosophical terminology and ideas, as well as historical references and allusions. Any reader can feel comfortable diving in to this classic work of Renaissance philosophical thought.

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Book details

List price: $8.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 6/15/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 160
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.484
Language: English

Best known for the quote from his Meditations de prima philosophia, or Meditations on First Philosophy (1641), "I think therefore I am," philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes also devoted much of his time to the studies of medicine, anatomy and meteorology. Part of his Discourse on the Method for Rightly Conducting One's Reason and Searching for the Truth in the Sciences (1637) became the foundation for analytic geometry. Descartes is also credited with designing a machine to grind hyperbolic lenses, as part of his interest in optics. Rene Descartes was born in 1596 in La Haye, France. He began his schooling at a Jesuit college before going to Paris to study mathematics and to Poitiers in 1616 to study law. He served in both the Dutch and Bavarian military and settled in Holland in 1629. In 1649, he moved to Stockholm to be a philosophy tutor to Queen Christina of Sweden. He died there in 1650. Because of his general fame and philosophic study of the existence of God, some devout Catholics, thinking he would be canonized a saint, collected relics from his body as it was being transported to France for burial.

Introduction:A Philosopher's Life
The Genesis of the Discourse and its Development
Galileo, Mersenne, and the Church: Authority and Truth
The Publication of the Discourse
The Discourse
the Presentation of the Discourse
Intellectual Autobiography
Precepts in Philosophy
Metaphysics and Epistemology
Physics and Physiology
The Essays published with the Discourse
Descartes as a WriterEnvoi: the Cartesian Philosophical Edifice
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