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Discourse on Method / Meditations on First Philosophy (1637)

by René Descartes, Rene Descartes, Rene Descartes, Rene Descartes, Rene Descartes1 more, Rene Descartes

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2,43492,539 (3.57)21
  1. 20
    A Spinoza Reader: The Ethics and Other Works by Benedictus de Spinoza (Voracious_Reader)
    Voracious_Reader: Spinoza is another from the rationalist school of philiosophy, i.e., truth is not reached through sensory (Hume etc.) experience, but is reached through intellect/reason and deduction.
  2. 10
    New Essays on Human Understanding by G. W. Leibniz (Voracious_Reader)
    Voracious_Reader: Another rationalist.
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» See also 21 mentions

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Cogito ergo sum, ფილოსოფიაში ერთ-ერთი ყველაზე ცნობილი ფრაზა. რომელსაც ძნელია რაიმე დაუპირისპირო. დეკარტი საინტერესო პერსპექტივას ირჩევს, დაეჭვდეს ყველაფერში რასაც აღიქვამს და იცის, საწყის წერტილად აირჩიოს "ვაზროვნებ მაშასადამე ვარსებობ" მაგრამ რაც შეეხება დანარჩენს, მაგალითად ღმერთის არსებობის დამტკიცებას ანსელმ კენტერბერისეული ონტოლოგიური არგუმენტით, ჩემი აზრით ძალიან სუსტია და უაზრო.
დეკარტი ასევე საფუძველს უდებს გონების და სხეულის დუალიზმს, რომელსაც დღეს ასე ებღაუჭებიან თანამედროვე რელიგიები და რომელსაც აგრეთვე პრაქტიკულად არ აქვს მხარდაჭერა თანამედროვე მეცნიერებაში. საინტერესოა თავად დეკარტი რას იტყოდა, ამ ახალი პერსპექტივიდან რაც თანამედროვე ნეირომეცნიერებამ მოიტანა. ( )
  Misha.Kaulashvili | Aug 22, 2016 |
Pretty repetitive after a while. Doubt. God exists. I got it, I got it. ( )
  reganrule | Feb 22, 2016 |
Since Descartes is one of the most famous modern philosophers, it was interesting to see how blatantly illogical most of his argument is. When I say most, I'm talking about everything that comes after, "I think, therefore I am." Quite accessible though, as far as philosophy goes. ( )
  blake.rosser | Jul 28, 2013 |
These two works by Descartes (1596–1650) are historically taken as the foundation of modern philosophy. Why? Mostly because the bumbling autobiographical self doubt expressed in the famous "cogito" inspired such thinkers as Spinoza, Locke and Leibniz to refute him.

René Descartes was born in La Haye en Touraine, France in 1596. While some call him the father of modern philosophy, he considered himself a mathematician. We owe a debt to him for clearly showing that abstract numbers reflect actual reality: The algebra, not the entrails of chickens or the relics of saints, can be relied upon.

As Descartes got older, his interests turned from science to religion. He was disturbed that the church persecuted Galileo for his scientific theories, and he knew some of his own theories were akin to heresy.

Discourse on Method (1637) was Descartes' attempt to avoid persecution. He tries to show that doubt is part of the method, the ignition of the process of scientific inquiry. He urges men to study themselves and shows how to do it. In this work, Descartes admits using doubt to develop conclusions. He begins to doubt everything about his life, even the fact of his own existence. As he becomes aware of his own process of thinking, he realizes it is proof of his existence: "I think, therefore I am."

In this surprisingly autobiographical work, Descartes vows to shun fame and fortune to seek truth and knowledge. ( )
  keylawk | Jan 1, 2013 |
These are undeniably important works. The introduction calls Descartes the "originator of modern philosophy." This is also very lucidly written--I think the arguments are perfectly accessible to the layman, it's just I don't think much of them. The full title of the first treatise of only 54 pages is "Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences" but would more correctly be titled, "A Rehash of Just about the Lamest Philosophical Proof of God Ever." The first three sections of the six section treatise sound pretty commonsensical for the most part, the core of the "method" seems to be detailed in Part II:

The first was never to accept anything for true which I did not clearly know to be such; that is to say, carefully to avoid precipitancy and prejudice, and to comprise nothing more in my judgment than what was presented to my mind so clearly and distinctly as to exclude all ground of doubt. The second, to divide each of the difficulties under examination into as many parts as possible, and as might be necessary for its adequate solution. The third, to conduct my thoughts in such order that, by commencing with objects the simplest and easiest to know, I might ascend by little and little, and, as it were, step by step, to the knowledge of the more complex; assigning in thought a certain order even to those objects which in their own nature do not stand in a relation of antecedence and sequence. And the last, in every case to make enumerations so complete, and reviews so general, that I might be assured that nothing was omitted.

It would be nice if Descartes then gave an example of how by such principles he solved a scientific problem, but no. He then proceeds in Part IV to decide that the first principle from which all else is to be deduced is the famous dictum, "I think, therefore I am." Except I'd stop right there and challenge that as a first principle. We think based on our experiences of the world as meditated by the senses. Read Helen Keller's autobiography some time for some appreciation of how impossible it is to think without language, and to get language without association between a discrete experience and means of communication. But that's not all, from that first principle Descartes proceeds to leap to the the conclusion that there must be a God. Why? Because since he has doubts in this thinking he's not perfect, but something must be, and nothing is perfect but God. That is the ontological argument for God, which is not original to Descartes but is attributed to the 11th Century Anselm of Canterbury. Descartes even claims this "proof" is more solid than the experience of our own bodies, and from this deduces the idea of the mind/body dichotomy. The six Meditations are basically an elaboration on this theme.

So why am I even rating it as high as three stars? This isn't a philosophy I can and wish to ascribe to, but yes, given its importance I do recommend reading it--it's not long either, the book containing both treatises is only 143 pages. Descartes treatises were tremendously influential in provoking disparate philosophers from Spinoza to Berkeley to Hobbes to form their own views as they sought to refine or refute Descartes arguments. ( )
1 vote LisaMaria_C | Mar 21, 2012 |
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Descartes, Renemain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Descartes, Renemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Descartes, Renemain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Good sense is the most evenly shared thing in the world, for each of us thinks he is so well endowed with it that even those who are the hardest to please in all other respects are not in the habit of wanting more than they have.
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Need a postulate.
"I think, therefore I am." Good.
But where to from here?

(Carnophile)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0872204200, Paperback)

This new edition contains Donald Cress's completely revised translation of the Meditations (from the corrected Latin edition) and recent corrections to Discourse on Method, bringing this version even closer to Descartes's original, while maintaining the clear and accessible style of a classic teaching edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:52 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

René Descartes was a central figure in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. In his Discourse on Method he outlined the contrast between mathematics and experimental sciences, and the extent to which each one can achieve certainty. Drawing on his own work in geometry, optics, astronomy and physiology, Descartes developed the hypothetical method that characterizes modern science, and this soon came to replace the traditional techniques derived from Aristotle. Many of Descartes' most radical ideas -- such as the disparity between our perceptions and the realities that cause them -- have been highly influential in the development of modern philosophy.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Yale University Press

2 editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.

Editions: 0300067739, 0300067720

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