Volumes I and II provided a completely new translation of the philosophical works of Descartes, based on the best available Latin and French texts. Volume III contains 207 of Descartes' letters, over half of which have previously not been translated into English. It incorporates, in its entirety, Anthony Kenny's celebrated translation of selected philosophical letters, first published in 1970. In conjunction with Volumes I and II it is designed to meet the widespread demand for a comprehensive, authoritative and accurate edition (...) of Descartes' philosophical writings in clear and readable modern English. (shrink)
First published in 1923 as part of the Cambridge Plain Texts series, this volume contains Descartes' Discours de la méthode in the original French. A short editorial introduction in English is also included. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in the works of Descartes and the development of rationalism.
The Meditations, one of the key texts of Western philosophy, is the most widely studied of all Descartes' writings. This authoritative translation by John Cottingham, taken from the much acclaimed three-volume Cambridge edition of the Philosophical Writings of Descartes, is based upon the best available texts and presents Descartes' central metaphysical writings in clear, readable modern English. As well as the complete text of the Meditations, the reader will find a thematic abridgement of the Objections and Replies (which were originally (...) published with the Meditations) containing Descartes' replies to his critics. These extracts, specially selected for the present volume, indicate the main philosophical difficulties which occurred to Descartes' contemporaries and show how Descartes developed and clarified his arguments in response. This edition contains a new comprehensive introduction to Descartes' philosophy by John Cottingham and the classic introductory essay on the Meditations by Bernard Williams. (shrink)
In _Battling to the End _René Girard engages Carl von Clausewitz, the Prussian military theoretician who wrote _On War_. Clausewitz, who has been critiqued by military strategists, political scientists, and philosophers, famously postulated that "War is the continuation of politics by other means." He also seemed to believe that governments could constrain war. Clausewitz, a firsthand witness to the Napoleonic Wars, understood the nature of modern warfare. Far from controlling violence, politics follows in war's wake: the means of war have (...) become its ends. René Girard shows us a Clausewitz who is a fascinated witness of history's acceleration. Haunted by the French-German conflict, Clausewitz clarifies more than anyone else the development that would ravage Europe. _Battling to the End _pushes aside the taboo that prevents us from seeing that the apocalypse has begun. Human violence is escaping our control; today it threatens the entire planet. (shrink)
Degree-sentences, i.e. sentences that seem to refer to things that allow of degrees, are widely used both inside and outside of philosophy, even though the metaphysics of degrees is much of an untrodden field. This paper aims to fill this lacuna by addressing the following four questions: [A] Is there some one thing, such that it is degree sensitive? [B] Are there things x, y, and z that stand in a certain relation to each other, viz. the relation that x (...) has more y than z? [C] In those cases in which degree sentences do not refer to phenomena that are degree sensitive, what is responsible for their prima facie seeming to do so? [D] If there are degree sensitive things, to which ontological categories do they belong? We answer each of these questions by arguing that there are, metaphysically speaking, different phenomena that degree sentences refer to: some refer to determinates that emanate from a certain determinable, others to tokens that are instantiations of a certain type, and yet others to what we call ‘complex, resultant properties that are constituted by stereotypical properties’. Finally, we show the relevance of our answers by applying them to the notions of freedom and belief. (shrink)
The major goal of René Descartes’s rich and penetrating recent book, Meditations on First Philosophy, is to develop a methodology for the discovery of the truth, more specifically, a methodology that accommodates the dictates of a mathematical physics for our view of physical reality. Such a methodology must accordingly deal with and seek to defuse the apparent conflict between a mathematical physics and our commonsense picture of things, a conflict that continues to pose difficult challenges. Though much in the (...) book is devoted to an account of the mind, that focus results from the broader goal of finding a methodology for discovery that will deliver an overall picture of reality consonant with a mathematical physics. Much that Descartes says in this book may strike many readers as extravagant and implausible, and perhaps hardly worth serious consideration. But there is a line of argument one can extract that is challenging and often compelling, even if not in the end wholly convincin .. (shrink)
By far the most widely used translation in North American college classrooms, Donald A. Cress's translation from the French of the Adam and Tannery critical edition is prized for its accuracy, elegance, and economy. The translation featured in the Third Edition has been thoroughly revised from the 1979 First Edition and includes page references to the critical edition for ease of comparison.