Key Philosophical Writings

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Wordsworth Editions, 1997 - Fiction - 407 pages

Translated by Elizabeth S. Haldane and G.R.T. Ross. Edited with an Introduction by Enrique Chavez-Arvizo.

Rene Descartes (1569-1650), the 'father' of modern philosophy, is without doubt one of the greatest thinkers in history: his genius lies at the core of our contemporary intellectual identity. Breaking with the conventions of his own time and suffering persecution by the Church as a consequence, Descartes in his writings - most of which are philosophical classics - attempted to answer the central questions surrounding the self, God, free-will and knowledge, using the science of thought as opposed to received wisdom based on the tenets of faith.

This edition, the most comprehensive one-volume selection of Descartes' works available in English, includes his great essay, Discourse on Method.

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The first half of this book contains "Rules for the Direction of the Mind", "Discourse on the Method", and "Meditations on First Philosophy"; and honestly the first half is all I've read (and reread ... Read full review

Contents

DISCOURSE ON THE METHOD
71
MEDITATIONS ON FIRST PHILOSOPHY
123
OBJECTIONS AND REPLIES Extracts
191
PRINCIPLES OF PHILOSOPHY Extracts
261
NOTES DIRECTED AGAINST A CERTAIN
338
THE PASSIONS OF THE SOUL Extracts
358
THE SEARCH AFTER TRUTH
384
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

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.

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