Descartes has often been called the 'father of modern philosophy'. His attempts to find foundations for knowledge, and to reconcile the existence of the soul with the emerging science of his time, are among the most influential and widely studied in the history of philosophy. This is a classic and challenging introduction to Descartes by one of the most distinguished modern philosophers. Bernard Williams not only analyzes Descartes' project of founding knowledge on certainty, but uncovers the philosophical motives for his search. With acute insight, he demonstrates how Descartes' Meditations are not merely a description but the very enactment of philosophical thought and discovery. Williams covers all of the key areas of Descartes' thought, including God, the will, the possibility of knowledge, and the mind and its place in nature. He also makes profound contributions to the theory of knowledge, metaphysics and philosophy generally.
With a new foreword by John Cottingham.
'His biographical digest is as succinct as his philosophical analysis is thorough.' - The Sunday Times
'Bernard Williams is arguably the greatest philosopher of his era.' - The Guardian
'[Bernard Williams] brought philosophical reflection to an opulent array of subjects, with more imagination and with greater cultural and historical understanding than anyone else of his time' T- homas Nagel, London Review of Books
'Bernard Williams has a greater force of thought, deployed over a wider horizon, than anyone else I have ever listened to.' John Dunn - The Times Higher Education Supplement
Foreword. Preface. 1.Descartes 2. The Project 3. Cogito and Sum 4. The Real Distinction 5.God 6. Error and the Will 7. Knowledge is Possible 8. Physical Objects 9. Science and Experiment 10. Mind and Its Place in Nature Appendix 1. Epistemological Concepts Appendix 2. What the Pure Enquirer Knows Appendix 3. Dreaming. Index