"A most welcome addition to the critical literature on Descartes. There is perhaps no commentator still alive who commands both as synoptic a view of Descartes' philosophy in general and as precise an understanding of Cartesian natural science in particular as does Gaukroger. Illuminating.... fascinating analysis..." Philosophy in Review
Towards the end of his life, Descartes published the first four parts of a projected six-part work, The Principles of Philosophy. This was intended to be the definitive statement of his complete system of philosophy, dealing with everything from cosmology to the nature of human happiness. Stephen Gaukroger examines the whole system, and reconstructs the last two parts, 'On Living Things' and 'On Man', from Descartes' other writings. He relates the work to the tradition of late Scholastic textbooks which it follows, and also to Descartes' other philosophical writings.