Meditationes de Prima Philosophia

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Cambridge University Press, 1984 - Philosophy - 444 pages
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These two volumes provide a translation of the philosophical works of Descartes, based on the best available Latin and French texts. They are intended to replace the only reasonably comprehensive selection of his works in English, by Haldane and Ross, first published in 1911. All the works included in that edition are translated here, together with a number of additional texts crucial for an understanding of Cartesian philosophy, including important material from Descartes' scientific writings. The result should meet the widespread demand for an accurate and authoritative edition of Descartes' philosophical writings in clear and readable modern English.

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The classic work with commentary by one of the foremost Cartesian scholars, John Cottingham; is a must for any one studying the history of philosophy because it includes some of the most important works which have impressed the 21st century world. These works include Descartes' "Meditations" and "The Search for Truth by the Light of Nature."
In attempting to understand the transition from Aristotelian thought to Sartre and Hegel among others, it's necessary to study the 'Cogito.' And though some say Descartes has been rendered unimportant by virtue of post-modern philosophical thought, this couldn't be further from the truth. We understand ourselves in the world as being graduates of the those who paved our way into a new era.
“Never confuse the force of reason and the power of the spoken word.” - Edward Hussey on the Presocratics.

Selected pages


Meditations on First Philosophy
Dedicatory letter to the Sorbonne
Preface to the reader
Synopsis of the following six Meditations
What can be called into doubt
The nature of the human mind and how it is better known than the body
The existence of God
Truth and falsity
Third Set of Objections with the Authors Replies
Fourth Set of Objections
Authors Replies to the Fourth Set of Objections
Fifth Set of Objections
Authors Replies to the Fifth Set of Objections
Appendix to the Fifth Set of Objections and Replies
Sixth Set of Objections
Authors Replies to THE Sixth Set of Objections

The essence of material things and the existence of God considered a second time
The existence of material things and the real distinction between mind and body
Objections and Replies
First Set of Objections
Authors Replies to First Set of Objections
Second Set of Objections
Authors Replies to the Second Set of Objections
Seventh Set of Objections with the Authors Replies
Letter to Father Dinet
The Search for Truth
The Search for Truth by means of the Natural Light

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About the author (1984)

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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