Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy: With Selections from the Objections and Replies
Prices for book: Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy: With Selections from the Objections and Replies
Book ISBN: 9780521558181
Author(s): Rene Descartes
Document type: Trade Paper
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The book I received was in exellent shape and it came in a very short time.
Fouad B. Michael (Amazon.com)
Be Careful! This is NOT the translation described in the Amazon reviews. It is a the unreadable one by Heffernan. This edition is useful only for its Latin text. The facing English can be used as an aid to the reader, but is often so stiff and convoluted as to be unreadable as English. The fifty-page introduction is full of trivia and misinterpretations. The volume is quite justifiably out of print!
Philosophy Prof. (Amazon.com)
The roots of the Scientific Method
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.
M. J Lane (Amazon.com)
Magesterial work which profoundly changed history
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.
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?
Ryan J. Mccarthy (Amazon.com)
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