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Discourse on Method and the Meditations,
This review is from: Discourse on Method and the Meditations (Classics) (Mass Market Paperback)
This may not have been made clear before but this book actually contains two seperate books as mentioned in the title.
'Discourse on method' is the book in which Descartes first utters the maxim which is generally acknowledged to be the foundation of all modern philosophy: "I think therefore I am". This first book is mainly about his realisation that all perceived truths are to be taken with a grain of salt and provides a step by step method on how to live your intellectual life so as to avoid mistruths which the subjective view of things can provide. It is fairly interesting in some parts but largely boring in others. It is worth a read but nothing compared to 'The meditations'.
'The Meditations' is Descartes' masterpiece, it is also his most famous. It is in this book that he gives his account of the infamous, all powerful deceptive demon which tricks us to the point that we cannot trust any information presented to us. Descartes also provides his version of the ontological argument for God which is easily understandable compared to other more confusing versions. However, you would be mistaken in thinking that this book is limited in the ideas it has to offer. The arguments that Descartes puts forward is numerous but they are all extremely interesting and anyone would benefit from reading them. I highly recommend this book.
As for any further reading I would suggest Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding", something by Hume or if you are up to the challenge then "Ethics" by Spinoza which builds on what Descartes says and confronts the problem of the interaction between mind and body if they are to be thought of as separate entities.