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'The Meditations' leave us with much to contemplate,
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This review is from: Discourse on Method and the Meditations (Classics) (Mass Market Paperback)
With such works as 'The Republic' (Plato), the 'Metaphysics' (Aristotle), 'A Treatise of Human Nature' (David Hume) and the 'Critique of Pure Reason' (Immanuel Kant), Descartes' 'Meditations' is one of the seminal achievements in Western philosophical thought. Composed over six days in 1641, they consider, among other things, the existence of the self, the existence of God and the basis of human belief. Rene Descartes (1596-1650) has been dubbed the 'Father of Modern Philosophy', and the 'Discourse On Method' and the 'Meditations'- among his most studied texts- clearly demonstrate why. Descartes, writing in the first person, offers us a telling insight into his composition of the 'Meditations', and gives us clues as to what feelings and emotions he experienced in writing them. John Locke (1632-1704), the father of the British Empiricist movement (the belief that all knowledge is based on experience) spoke in 'An Essay Concerning Human Understanding' (1690) of how new concepts are often ignored for that very reason- that they are new, and often defy convention. Yet Descartes' 'Meditations'- riddled not with new ideas but with new ways of looking at familiar ideas- have stood the test of time. They are six thoughtful, beautifully-written essays which leave us with much to contemplate through their remarkable originality. F.E. Sutcliffe offers a lucid translation that amplifies Descartes' genius, through his clear presentation of the Frenchman's ideas and concerns.