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The Philosophical Writings of Descartes: Volume 1 Hardcover – August 30, 1985


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The translators deserve our appreciation, and everyone who studies or teaches Descartes--to any degree or at any level--should adopt their lucid rendition. We have a new industry standard." William Edward Morris, Teaching Philosophy.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Latin, French
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (August 30, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052124594X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521245944
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,992,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ryan on January 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
This "new" (1985) translation by Cottingham, Stoothoff, and Murdoch is a valuable addition to the library of anyone interested in the history of philosophy, early modern thought, or the history of the subject. I've never been the biggest fan of Descartes' philosophies, but CSM do a wonderful job of compiling his philosophical works into 2 volumes. It is hard to overestimate the importance of Descartes' thought, and this has some of his key works, including the famous "Discourse on the Method." It also has some really interesting texts with which I was not familiar: the "Rules for the Direction of the Mind" and "Principles of Philosophy." My personal favorite of Descartes, "Meditations on First Philosophy," appears in Volume 2, which I have recently ordered.

CSM's translations are quite readable, and while I wish they had more critical work (very few explanatory footnotes, and the prefaces are concerned solely with textual history), I can understand why they left it out -- they are tackling a big enough subject without going to the effort to try to compile footnotes. Buyers should take the title very seriously -- this is only the PHILOSOPHICAL writings of Descartes, with only a smattering of his scientific and mathematical texts. I believe that there is still no complete translation of all of Descartes works into English, but from what you can get out this and the 2 other volumes by CSM (vol. 3 has correspondence), you can become extremely well versed in Rene's work. Only those people who devote their entire academic careers to Descartes and French philosophy need look at the 13-volume complete works in French, which is the way such people should read it anyway. This is suitable for, I think, even the serious philosopher.
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The most extensive compilation by far (at least that I've personally come across) of the great philosopher, mathematician, lawyer, scientist, and most importantly for posterity, teacher--this absolutely fantastic book is a must for every serious student of the scientific method in its purest form, as well as nearly everyone else for that matter. The determination and isolation of first principles, the methodical and systematic ordering of issues to be addressed, and the all-important system of analysis and synthesis in general, are only the beginning. Descartes remains justifiably regarded to this very day as one of the primary architects of modern philosophy upon which our present world is based. Beyond discussions relating in some way to the reasoning process as a whole, seeing the world through the mind of such a master, with so many of the numerous and diverse works included in this fabulous book, is a great gift to be sure regardless of whether or not you have a background in philosophy.
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By Lucila Peattie on August 25, 2014
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This is a Great Book
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John James on October 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Shipped quickly, arrived safely, product as described.
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3 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. Luther on March 2, 2010
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This books was required for one of my daughter's college courses. It met her needs so I was delighted.
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