Synopses & Reviews
The six Meditations and accompanying selections from the Objections and Replies provide a definitive statement of what Descartes intended as the foundations of his whole philosophy. His project was to resolve the epistemological questions brought about by the prevailing skepticism of his age; to build, from the basis of self-awareness (Cogito, ergo sum), through the notion of a benevolent God, to a systematic and novel approach to metaphysics; and to construct a secure starting-point for science.
The first part of a new two-volume edition of Descartes in Penguin Classics, this volume consists not only of a new translation of the original Latin text and extensive selections from the Objections and Replies, but also relevant correspondence from the period 1643-49, Part One of The Principles of Philosophy, and Comments on a Certain Manifesto, as examples of Descartes' other metaphysical writings from the period 1641-49.
One of the foundation-stones of modern philosophy
Descartes was prepared to go to any lengths in his search for certainty even to deny those things that seemed most self-evident. In his Meditations of 1641, and in the Objections and Replies that were included with the original publication, he set out to dismantle and then reconstruct the idea of the individual self and its existence. In doing so, Descartes developed a language of subjectivity that has lasted to this day, and he also took his first steps towards the view that would eventually be expressed in the epigram Cogito, ergo sum ("I think, therefore I am"), one of modern philosophy's most famous and most fiercely contested claims. The first part of a two-volume edition of Descartes' works in Penguin Classics, the second of which is Discourse on Method & Related Writings.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust theseries to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-datetranslations by award-winning translators."
This text concentrates on Descartes' work on the nature and limits of human knowledge and the methods by which we can hope to acquire knowledge. It also contains selected correspondence and other metaphysical writings from the period 1641-1649.
A new translation of the six Meditations and accompanying selections from the Objections and Replies, which constitute a definitive statement of the foundations of Descartes' philosophy. Also includes relevant correspondence form the period and extracts from his other metaphysical treatises.
Includes bibliographical references (p. xli-xlii) and index.
Table of Contents
The Penguin Descartes
Further Reading Meditations on First Philosophy Letter of Dedication to the Sorbonne
Preface to the Reader
Summary of the Following Six Meditations
Objections and Replies (Selections) The Principles of Philosophy Letter to Princess Elizabeth
Part One: The Principles of Human Knowledge Descartes' Correspondence: Selections, 1643-9 Comments on a Certain Manifesto Notes