Meditations on First Philosophy

1st Edition

Andreas Vrahimis

Macat Library
Published July 4, 2017
Reference - 102 Pages
ISBN 9781912127320 - CAT# Y381128
Series: The Macat Library

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Summary

René Descartes’s 1641 Meditations on First Philosophy is a cornerstone of the history of western thought. One of the most important philosophical texts ever written, it is also a masterclass in the art of critical thinking – specifically when it comes to reasoning and interpretation.

Descartes sought to do nothing less than create a new foundation for the pursuit of knowledge – whether philosophical, scientific, or theological. To that end, he laid out a systematic programme that reinterpreted prior definitions of knowledge, and reasoned out a systematic means of obtaining, verifying, and building on existing human knowledge. To this end, Descartes created a definition of true knowledge as that which is based on things which cannot be called into doubt by radical scepticism. If, he suggests, we can find a belief that cannot be called into doubt, this will provide a solid foundation upon which we can build systematic reasoning. This ‘cartesian’ method, as it has come to be known, is a blueprint for reasoning that continues to shape the study of philosophy today: a careful weighing of possibilities, searching out solid ground and building on it step by step.

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