Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (3):283-311 (2010)
The Literary Format of Descartes's Meditations on First Philosophy is undoubtedly one of its more distinguishing features. During the seventeenth century, the standard convention for a work in metaphysics was a treatise or disputation. Descartes's conversational tone, writing in the first person present tense, and unique organization of chapters into "meditations," was clearly a departure from the norm. At first glance, given the sentiments expressed in the work's dedicatory letter and preface, the unconventional writing style appears to be a rhetorical device. As architect for the new science, Descartes was certainly eager to gain approval for his philosophical agenda from the proper authorities, such as the ..
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