Download A Discourse on the Method (Oxford World's Classics) by René Descartes PDF

By René Descartes

"I concluded that i used to be a substance whose complete essence or nature is living simply in pondering, and which, so one can exist, has no use of position and isn't depending on any fabric thing.'

Descartes's A Discourse at the approach to properly accomplishing One's cause and looking fact within the Sciences marks a watershed in eu proposal; in it, the writer presents an off-the-cuff highbrow autobiography within the vernacular for a non-specialist readership, sweeps away all prior philosophical traditions, and units out in short his radical new philosophy, which starts off with an evidence of the life of the self (the recognized 'cogito ergo sum'), subsequent deduces from it the lifestyles and nature of God, and ends by means of providing a thorough new account of the actual global and of human and animal nature.

Readership: scholars of philosophy, glossy Western philosophy, the Englightenment, seventeenth-century background, the historical past of notion, sleek languages

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Additional info for A Discourse on the Method (Oxford World's Classics)

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These were enshrined (as was then the practice) in the preamble to the document, which was signed in the king’s name on  May : Given that discovery in the sciences and the arts, accompanied by demonstrations and applications, is a product of superior minds, this has caused princes and states to receive inventors with every sort of gratification, so that their states might become more flourishing as a result of their discoveries. So it is that our well-beloved Descartes made it known to us that by long study he has come across and demonstrated many useful and beautiful things previously unknown in the human sciences, which touch on various arts and the ways of applying them .

The famous opening remark of the Discourse about ‘good sense’ and its equal distribution strongly suggests that what he is going to say will be accessible to all; but the introduction to the essay entitled Geometry makes the dual nature of his readership explicit: ‘Up to this point I have tried to make myself understood to everyone; but, with regard to this treatise, I am afraid that it cannot be read except by those who already know what is to be found in the books of geometry; for, given that they contain so many well-proven truths, and thinking that it would be superfluous to repeat them, I have not failed to make use of them’ (AT .

According to one source, Le Maire’s edition was not even sold out at the time of Descartes’s death; but the Latin version, which appeared with Descartes’s blessing in , was eagerly purchased by the scholarly community throughout Europe, and was a commercial success. Le Maire himself was to publish the Geometry in Latin in , which may well have given him a better return on his investment than did the Discourse. 31 The Discourse As has already been intimated, and will become even clearer below, Descartes did not envisage a single readership for his book; it was explicitly aimed at both his ‘scientific’ and philosophical colleagues, and a broader constituency of more or less well-educated men and women with an interest in the intellectual life of their day.

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