Cottingham (Ed.) (1992)

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Cottingham, John. (Ed.). (1992) The Cambridge Companion to Descartes. Cambridge University Press.

Title The Cambridge Companion to Descartes
Resource Type collection
Author(s) John Cottingham
Year 1992
Publisher Cambridge University Press
ISBN 9780521366236


This is a further volume in a series of companions to major philosophers. Each volume contains specially commissioned essays by an international team of scholars together with a substantial bibliography and will serve as a reference work for students and nonspecialists. One aim of the series is to dispel the intimidation such readers often feel when faced with the work of a difficult and challenging thinker.

Descartes occupies a position of pivotal importance as one of the founding fathers of modern philosophy; he is, perhaps, the most widely studied of all philosophers. In this authoritative collection an international team of leading scholars in Cartesian studies present the full range of Descartes' extraordinary philosophical achievement. His life and the development of his thought, as well as the intellectual background to and reception of his work, are treated at length. At the core of the volume are a group of chapters on his metaphysics: the celebrated "Cogito" argument, the proofs of God's existence, the "Cartesian circle" and the dualistic theory of the mind and its relation to his theological and scientific views. Other chapters cover the philosophical implications of his work in algebra, his place in the seventeenth-century scientific revolution, the structure of his physics, and his work on physiology, psychology, and ethics.

New readers and nonspecialists will find this the most comprehensive and accessible guide to Descartes currently available. Advanced students and specialists will find a conspectus of recent developments in the interpretation of Descartes.

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