9780521558181

Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy: With Selections from the Objections and Replies

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780521558181

  • ISBN10:

    0521558182

  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 4/26/1996
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

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Summary

The Meditations, one of the key texts of Western philosophy, is the most widely studied of all Descartes' writings. This authoritative translation by John Cottingham, taken from the much acclaimed three-volume Cambridge edition of the Philosophical Writings of Descartes, is based upon the best available texts and presents Descartes' central metaphysical writings in clear, readable modern English. As well as the complete text of the Meditations, the reader will find a thematic abridgement of the Objections and Replies (which were originally published with the Meditations) containing Descartes' replies to his critics. These extracts, specially selected for the present volume, indicate the main philosophical difficulties which occurred to Descartes' contemporaries and show how Descartes developed and clarified his arguments in response. This edition contains a new comprehensive introduction to Descartes' philosophy by John Cottingham and the classic introductory essay on the Meditations by Bernard Williams.

Table of Contents

Introductory essay vii
Bernard Williams
General introduction xviii
Chronology xxxix
Further reading xli
Note on the text and the translation xliii
Meditations on First Philosophy
1(116)
Dedicatory letter to the Sorbonne
3(3)
Preface to the reader
6(3)
Synopsis of the following six Meditations
9(54)
First Meditation: What can be called into doubt
12(4)
Second Meditation: The nature of the human mind, and how it is better known than the body
16(8)
Third Meditation: The existence of God
24(13)
Fourth Meditation: Truth and falsity
37(7)
Fifth Meditation: The essence of material things, and the existence of God considered a second time
44(6)
Sixth Meditation: The existence of material things, and the real distinction between mind and body
50(13)
Selections from the Objections and Replies
On Meditation One
The rejection of previous beliefs
63(1)
The reliability of the senses
63(2)
The dreaming argument
65(1)
Certainty in dreams
66(2)
On Meditation Two
Cogito ergo sum (`I am thinking, therefore I exist')
68(1)
Sum res cogitans (`I am a thinking thing')
69(5)
The nature of thought
74(2)
The piece of wax
76(2)
On Meditation Three
Innate ideas
78(2)
The idea of God
80(4)
Objective reality
84(2)
God, author of my existence
86(4)
On Meditation Four
The cause of error
90(2)
The indifference of the will
92(3)
On Meditation Five
Whether God's essence implies his existence
95(7)
Clear and distinct perception and the `Cartesian Circle'
102(5)
On Meditation Six
The real distinction between mind and body
107(10)
Index 117

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