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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Descartes' Revolution
Gripped by the overwhelming forces of destructive scepticism, Descartes (in a bid to discover what it actually is that we can know) builds a foundationalist epistemology that revolutionised epistemological thought. Plato's epistemology, for example, was (right or wrongly) based on the assumption that knowledge and perception is possible and it's just the differentiation...
Published on 26 Mar 2011 by somcbean

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent book
Not the clearest book ever and although it is a good translation it is not laid out in the best possible way.
Published 22 months ago by Christopher Waugh


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Descartes' Revolution, 26 Mar 2011
This review is from: Meditations on First Philosophy: with Selections from the Objections and Replies (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
Gripped by the overwhelming forces of destructive scepticism, Descartes (in a bid to discover what it actually is that we can know) builds a foundationalist epistemology that revolutionised epistemological thought. Plato's epistemology, for example, was (right or wrongly) based on the assumption that knowledge and perception is possible and it's just the differentiation of these two realms of enquiry that is important. Descartes, however, rejects this by realising that what he thought he could know (via rationale and especially via perception) could just be the product of an Evil Daemon; feeding us thoughts, experiences and memories. What then could he know, if anything at all?

From this point, Descartes utilises his pristine rationale to formulate his Cogito argument. The Cogito (through revolutionary, yet, flawed logic) suggests that the 'I' we so liberally refer to must exist, in some form, and we can be absolutely certain of this. Hence the famous Latin phrase 'Cogito Ergo Sum', in French 'Je pense donc Je suis' and in English 'I think therefore I am'. From this underlying philosophical brick, he builds a grand house of statements and principles that we can know: including geometrical and mathematical truths.

Descartes' Meditations is a brilliant introduction to epistemological philosophy and is even more important for experienced philosophers. It's a book worth reading if solipsism and scepticism are destroying your soul and a generally incredible book to get ones philosophical stone rolling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of modern philosophy, 26 Nov 2011
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Meditations on First Philosophy: with Selections from the Objections and Replies (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
In his Meditations Descartes tries to discard everything that he thinks he knows about what he is, and builds from the foundations up using his famous methodical doubt. Taking in what it is to be human, the Cogito principle, Cartesian duality, the existence of god, and the nature of error, he finally reaches a point where he can be secure about what it is possible to know in a clear and defined way.

Written in 1641, Descartes didn't have the full support of the theological colleges, and this edition helpfully attaches the Objections made to his Meditations, and Descartes' own replies.

For us, the kind of circular reasoning that Descartes demonstrates might not stand up, and certainly we have a very different view of the connection between mind and body following neuroscientific knowledge and ongoing research. But Descartes is important for the scientific methodolgy he tries to instil, and the fundamental nature of the questions he asks, even if some of our answers might be different.

His style isn't always the easiest to understand, as he tends to ramble and be quite repetitive - but for anyone wanting to get a handle on either modern philosophy or the Enlightenment and the ideas which followed, Descartes is fundamental.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect condition, 21 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Meditations on First Philosophy: with Selections from the Objections and Replies (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
Great, just as described. Introduction also gives information on Descartes, advice on how his works should be read and an outline of the key issues he brings about.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It serves my purpose, 8 Nov 2013
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Gorg Sciberras (Santa Venera, Malta) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Meditations on First Philosophy: with Selections from the Objections and Replies (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
I bought this book as I have had other books by Rene Descartes to add to my collection of Philosophy books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 22 May 2013
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This review is from: Meditations on First Philosophy: with Selections from the Objections and Replies (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
This is a great copy of the text. Translation is accurate and adequate. Quality of the print is also adequate, as all in the series are.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent book, 18 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Meditations on First Philosophy: with Selections from the Objections and Replies (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
Not the clearest book ever and although it is a good translation it is not laid out in the best possible way.
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