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René Descartes 1569 1650 the 'father' of modern philosophy is without doubt one of the greatest thinkers in history his genius lies at the core of our contemporary intellectual identity Breaking with the conventions of his own time and suffering persecution by the Church as a conseuence Descartes in his writings most of which are philosophical classics attempted to answer the central uestions surrounding the self God free will and knowledge using the science of thought as opposed to received wisdom based on the tenets of faith This edition the most comprehensive one volume selection of Descartes' works available in English includes his great essay Discourse on Method

10 thoughts on “Key Philosophical Writing Wordsworth Classics

  1. says:

    Rene Descartes is an elegant prose writer but so excessive in considering this and that that prince this honorable person and what not After reading Key Philosophical Writings I know that I can champion Descartes for modernizing philosophy from the decay of religious superstitions and Aristotleian drive of the sciences as he clearly dismissed He believed that thought is integral to truth even before the sense can have a grasp of the reality in which this truth resides He errs though for narrowing his philosophy in the uestion of measurement which for him is closely related to all things whether natural or corporeal especially for using it to prove that humans exist with the thought of a god and therefore this god exists For I believe the mind is a versatile medium and what thoughts conjured here and there can only be a memory or mere imagination from past recollection such as tradition His main maxim though cogito ergo sum is well acknowledged for such duality of the human figure represents the internal and external yet with his rhetoric which is serpentine and repetitive he does not well put in a clear understanding how the division and relation of both mind and body works in one explanation except for his primary context of thought and thinking—of rationality before the sense—and god here god there yet he considers the existence of god benevolent enough it is not rational to keep it be scrutinized by the other side of the atheist intellegentsia invoking only emotional resentment that a godless intellectual has no right Hence Descartes is nothing but a philosopher of his time blinded by the passions of travelling and solitude—with the relentless theism intact He was never been communal to see a bigger picture of a rational mind and too isolated to accept that his god his rationality can only live to few people now the same with the time he lived to write it all down

  2. says:

    The first 'proper' philosophy book I ever read I found his Discourse on Method absolutely unputdownable I felt at the time that all my bearings had gone and was going through a major crisis delayed adolescence possibly although I was in my early twenties Or perhaps it was premature mid life crisis Whatever I'd been reading some CS Lewis on Christianity but there just seemed too much wishful thinking and rationalisation in it so I read Russell's History of Western Philosophy and liked the intellectual honesty there the sticking to known facts rather than being swept away on a sea of unfounded dogma Then I picked this book up and it was something of a revelation begin reconstituting yourself by doubting everything except the fact that you exist It felt to me that I was sweeping aside a rotten old worm infested building and laying the foundations for something solid and stable His writing style is exuisite by the way

  3. says:

    The first half of this book contains Rules for the Direction of the Mind Discourse on the Method and Meditations on First Philosophy; and honestly the first half is all I've read and reread and reread etc This is some of the most logically thought out and clearly expressed philosophy you will find anywhere Not only that it covers all manner of significant topics such as the existence of things our own existence our own perception of our existence God's existence the extent to which it is possible to doubt and so on Reading this you will find that I think therefore I am misses many of Descartes' most important and skillfully executed arguments I highly recommend it

  4. says:

    This book was pretty interesting Most people that are into philosophy have heard of Rene Descartes and his Cogito Ergo Sum solution to the Evil Deceptive Genius It has some selections from a lot of different Descartes pieces It contains Rules For The Direction of the Mind Discourse On the Method Meditations on First Philosophy Objections and Replies Principles of Philosophy Notes Directed Against a Certain Programme The Passions of the Soul and The Search After TruthA few of the pieces are simply excerpts while others are complete Along with the philosophical works are an Introduction to Descartes and a Biography on his life

  5. says:

    σκέφτομαι άρα υπάρχω'i almost decided to burn all my papers or at least let no one see them όταν πληροφορήθηκε την καταδίκη του γαλιλαίου από την ιερά εξέταση'we ought to submit to the divine authority rather than to our own judgement even thought the light of reason may seem to us to suggest with the utmost clearness and evidence something opposite''at the same time recalling my insignificance i affirm nothing but submit all these opinions to the authority of the catholic church and to the judgement of the sage'σκέφτομαι άρα υπάρχω άρα ας τα έχω καλά με την εξουσία

  6. says:

    One of the easier and accessible philosophical treatises This compendium includes both 'Discourse on the method' and 'Meditations on first philosophy' which are essential to get an insight into Cartesian Duality

  7. says:

    The book gives you an insight into the mind of a 16th century deeply devout Catholic man His approach to discovering the truth was reasonable with an exception of course when it comes to the uestion of God Basically he gives God an exception from the rules of logic by saying that God exists because we believe or want to believe that he exists Circular logic As a result the book is boring because he goes back to God on almost every single page It almost feels like he was trying to convince the Catholic censors reading this book that he is not an atheist

  8. says:

    Philosophy at its best

  9. says:

    Too out dated to be of interest Lots of the things once deemed as with definite certainty have changed and the arguments based on them read weak and ridiculous now Read the first 300 pages with great patience in the hope of finding something worth reading at last decided it's a waste of time uickly went over the remaining 100 pages

  10. says:

    The father of Duel ism Interesting