Descartes is widely regarded to be the father of modern philosophy and his Meditations is among the most important philosophical texts ever written. The Routledge Guidebook to Descartes’ Meditations introduces the major themes in Descartes’ great book and acts as a companion for reading this key work, examining:
- The context of Descartes’ work and the background to his writing
- Each separate part of the text in relation to its goals, meanings and impact
- The reception the book received when first seen by the world
- The relevance of Descartes’ work to modern philosophy, it’s legacy and influence
With further reading included throughout, this text follows Descartes’ original work closely, making it essential reading for all students of philosophy, and all those wishing to get to grips with this classic work.
Table of Contents
Preface Part I: Overview and Synopsis 1. Descartes’ Project 2. Reading the Meditations Part II: The Arguments of the Six Meditations 3. Withdrawing the mind from the senses 4. Discovering the nature of mind 5. Truth, God and the circle 6. Judgement, error, and freedom 7. Matter, God, and the circle again 8. The natural world and the mind-body relation Part III: Beyond the Meditations 9. The new science: physics, physiology, and the passions 10. Legacy and contribution Appendix: Arguments, demonstrations, and logical form
Gary Hatfield is Adam Seybert Professor in Moral and Intellectual Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania.