In this new introduction to the life, thought and works of one of the greatest seventeenth-century philosophers, John Cottingham aims to place Descartes' ideas in their historical context while at the same time showing how they relate to a network of philosophical problems that are still vigorously debated today.
Separate chapters are devoted to Descartes' life and the intellectual climate of his times; the Cartesian method; the reconstruction of knowledge from self to God and to the external world; Descartes' theory of the material universe; his account of mind and body; and his psychology and theory of the will and passions.
While doing justice to the complexities of Descartes' thought, the book presupposes no philosophical training, and all technical philosophical notions are explained in such a way as to be intelligible to the first-year student or general reader.
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