Descartes: "The Principles of Philosophy"

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Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 04:50 am
Here is a great online version of Descartes' "The Principles of Philosophy" for us to peruse and to learn from.

Part 1: The Principles of Human Knowledge


Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

Descartes' Principles of Philosophy (Principia philosophiae) was the last of his three main expositions of his metaphysics and epistemology (or 'first philosophy', as he preferred to call it), and it was published in 1644. Unlike the Discourse on the Method, it was directed at a university audience, and was written in Latin. Unlike the Meditations on First Philosophy, it was directed towards the Faculty of Arts, rather than the Faculty of Theology. Students followed a general Arts course before proceeding to one of the 'higher' faculties, such as Theology or Law, and the syllabus included metaphysics and physics, based mainly on the works of Aristotle. Descartes' ambition was that his book should replace Aristotle as the main text. It is therefore written in a rather more systematic and didactic style than his earlier works.



And here is the complete index with hypertexted links to the contents.

[CENTER]DESCARTES
THE PRINCIPLES OF PHILOSOPHY
INDEX[/CENTER]
Introduction
The Principles of Philosophy (from the beginning)
PART I: THE PRINCIPLES OF HUMAN KNOWLEDGE
Articles 1-13 (doubt)
Articles 14-23 (God)
Articles 24-30 (knowledge and error)
Articles 31-42 (will and error)
Articles 43-50 (clear and distinct perception)
Articles 51-57 (substance)
Articles 58-62 (universals, and kinds of distinction)
Articles 63-69 (thought and extension)
Articles 70-76 (causes of error)
PART II: THE PRINCIPLES OF MATERIAL THINGS
Articles 1-4 (existence of matter)
PART III: THE VISIBLE UNIVERSE
Article 47 (Nature takes on all possible forms)
PART IV: THE EARTH
Articles 188-195 (sensation)
Articles 196-197 (soul and body)
Articles 198-207 (knowledge of Nature)
Footnotes
 
Arjen
 
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 05:25 am
@Pythagorean,
Wow, those are nice links. I was wondering about what Descartes work was about, thanks. If you are familiar with the rest of his works, can you recommend any work of his in particular?
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 11:19 am
@Arjen,
Arjen wrote:
Wow, those are nice links. I was wondering about what Descartes work was about, thanks. If you are familiar with the rest of his works, can you recommend any work of his in particular?


Descartes wrote three important texts: "Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences", "Meditations on First Philosophy", and Principles of Philosophy which is linked above in the first post.

I have found online texts of "Discourse on Method" and the "Meditations" which maybe worthwhile to link here so I will post them now:

Link: Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences

Link: Meditations on First Philosophy, skip the preface and start here: Link: SYNOPSIS OF THE SIX FOLLOWING MEDITATIONS

Alternative link to Descartes' texts here:
Great Books Index - Descartes

E-Books on Descartes: Internet Archive Search: Descartes
 
 

 
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