- Series: Hackett Classics
- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company; 4th edition (June 15, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0872204200
- ISBN-13: 978-0872204201
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 109 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy, 4th Ed. 4th Edition
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The new version of Cress's translation of Descartes's Meditations has attained an unusually high degree of readability . . . and, at the same time, of fidelity to the original. This combination . . . makes the work especially suitable for classroom use. --Roger Ariew, University of South Florida, and Marjorie Grene (1910-2009), Virginia Polytechnic Institute
An excellent edition and the price is fair. --Alan Soble, University of New Orleans
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Discourse is pretty interesting, Descartes decides to throw way everything he's learned and approach everything as geometric proofs where he builds on top of what he can completely infer. At first he rejects all senses and perceptions because they could be an illusion, the only thing he knows is, "I think therefore I am" (or if you read the Cottingham version, 'I am thinking therefore I exist'). From this he bases everything. He later goes to present his own modified version of the ontological argument, basically he thinks of something more perfect than himself, since he knows there is something more perfect then this, then eventually the most perfect thing is God. I'm sure many theists will agree with him that perhaps God is the only other thing they know is true, but I'm not sure how the thought of a most perfect being is more apparent than everything he experiences around him. I realize that his could be in illusion, but the thought of a most perfect being is more concrete? If someone doesn't perceive of this most perfect being instead assumes that everything is partially flawed does god cease to exist?
Meditations further explains his ideas. He rejects everything he was taught and arrives at the fact that he exists, god exists, finally that other things exist and that the body is separate from the soul. It seems his god argument in this one slightly expands to a slightly different argument, namely that something can not come out of nothing and since imperfect things can only come from something more perfect than themselves, if you go up the line of perfection the most perfect thing or God. I guess to me all of these years later, I don't see how this proves god. Secondly I'm curious if the idea of god is natural, meaning if someone was born and never hear the idea of god mentioned would he arrive at the same conclusions of a perfect being or was Descartes influenced by his opinions found from a lifetime of learning from "the great book of the world". For the material things he realizes that for god to be perfect he wouldn't deceive him by making everything around him an illusion, therefore since God is not a deceiver, matter is real. My initial thought is that if an insane person perceives things as existing which do not, then they're not real and therefore would god then become a deceiver using this reasoning? Anyways regardless of one agrees with Descartes, these works are pretty interesting and for their importance to philosophy alone they are essential reads.
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It is great being able to read the original text the way it was intended to be...Read more