Format: Trade Paperback
Dimensions: 256 pages, 7.75 × 5.06 × 0.6 in
Published: March 1, 2000
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0140446990
ISBN - 13: 9780140446999
Table of Contents
Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Desmond M. Clarke
Note on References to Descartes
Discourse on the Method for Guiding One''s Reason and Searching for Truth in the Sciences
Selected Correspondence, 1636-9
The World, or a Treatise on Light (Chapter 1-7)
Rules for Guiding One''s Intelligence in Searching for the Truth
From the Publisher
"It is not enough to have a good mind; it is more important to use it well"René Descartes was a central figure in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. In his Discourse on Method he outlined the contrast between mathematics and experimental sciences, and the extent to which each one can achieve certainty. Drawing on his own work in geometry, optics, astronomy and physiology, Descartes developed the hypothetical method that characterizes modern science, and this soon came to replace the traditional techniques derived from Aristotle. Many of Descartes’ most radical ideas—such as the disparity between our perceptions and the realities that cause them—have been highly influential in the development of modern philosophy.This edition sets the Discourse on Method in the wider context of Descartes’ work, with the Rules for Guiding One’s Intelligence in Searching for the Truth (1628), extracts from The World (1633) and selected letters from 1636-9. A companion volume, Meditations and Other Metaphysical Writings, is also published in Penguin Classics.
About the Author
Best known for the quote from his Meditations de prima philosophia, or Meditations on First Philosophy (1641), "I think therefore I am," philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes also devoted much of his time to the studies of medicine, anatomy and meteorology. Part of his Discourse on the Method for Rightly Conducting One's Reason and Searching for the Truth in the Sciences (1637) became the foundation for analytic geometry. Descartes is also credited with designing a machine to grind hyperbolic lenses, as part of his interest in optics. Rene Descartes was born in 1596 in La Haye, France. He began his schooling at a Jesuit college before going to Paris to study mathematics and to Poitiers in 1616 to study law. He served in both the Dutch and Bavarian military and settled in Holland in 1629. In 1649, he moved to Stockholm to be a philosophy tutor to Queen Christina of Sweden. He died there in 1650. Because of his general fame and philosophic study of the existence of God, some devout Catholics, thinking he would be canonized a saint, collected relics from his body as it was being transported to France for burial.
From Our Editors
All of our modern thinking and scientific notions owe greatly to the work of an exceptional man from France. Rene Descartes published his first work after he reached the age of 40. His late start did not prevent him changing the face of science by replacing Aristotelian techniques with his own scientific method of hypothesis and deduction. Discourse on Method and Related Writings is the first of a two-volume series from Penguin Classics that presents Descartes’ most influential and relevant writings.