Discourse on Method and Related Writings

( 3 )

Overview

"It is not enough to have a good mind; it is more important to use it well" René Descartes was a central figure in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. In his Discourse on Method he outlined the contrast between mathematics and experimental sciences, and the extent to which each one can achieve certainty. Drawing on his own work in geometry, optics, astronomy and physiology, Descartes developed the hypothetical method that characterizes modern science, and this soon came to replace the ...

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Overview

"It is not enough to have a good mind; it is more important to use it well" René Descartes was a central figure in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. In his Discourse on Method he outlined the contrast between mathematics and experimental sciences, and the extent to which each one can achieve certainty. Drawing on his own work in geometry, optics, astronomy and physiology, Descartes developed the hypothetical method that characterizes modern science, and this soon came to replace the traditional techniques derived from Aristotle. Many of Descartes’ most radical ideas—such as the disparity between our perceptions and the realities that cause them—have been highly influential in the development of modern philosophy. This edition sets the Discourse on Method in the wider context of Descartes’ work, with the Rules for Guiding One’s Intelligence in Searching for the Truth (1628), extracts from The World (1633) and selected letters from 1636-9. A companion volume, Meditations and Other Metaphysical Writings, is also published in Penguin Classics.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140446999
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/28/2000
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 400,553
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 7.86 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Desmond M. Clarke
Acknowledgments
Note on References to Descartes
Introduction
Further Reading
Discourse on the Method for Guiding One's Reason and Searching for Truth in the Sciences
Selected Correspondence, 1636-9
The World, or a Treatise on Light (Chapter 1-7)
Rules for Guiding One's Intelligence in Searching for the Truth

Text Notes
Index

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2004

    Inspiring

    Discourse on Method is an inspiring read. 'I think therefore, I am' and 'Doubt everything' are essential statements that every human being should spend time comprehending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2000

    Program for Modern Philosophy

    Along with Bacon's 'Novum Organum,' Descartes's 'Discourse' marks philosophy's transition from the pursuit of virtue to the mastery of nature--a transition which led to the birth of modern science, and to philosophy's futile entanglement with the self/world dichotomy. The nearly immediate decline this spelled for philosophy can be seen by the transition from the grand tones of the 'Discourse' to the epistemological dead end of the 'Meditations.' Since later philosophy follows the path of the latter work, it's important to read the 'Discourse' to grasp what Descartes wanted to achieve.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 3 Customer Reviews

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