Principles of Philosophy is a book by Rene Descartes. It is basically a synthesis of the Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy. It set forth the principles of nature—the Laws of Physics--as Descartes viewed them. Most notably, it set forth the principle that in the absence of external forces, an object's motion will be uniform and in a straight line. Newton borrowed this principle from Descartes and included it in his own Principia; to this day, it is still generally referred to as Newton's First Law of Motion. The book was primarily intended to replace the Aristotelian curriculum then used in French and British Universities. Descartes's use of the word "philosophy" in the title refers to "natural philosophy", which is what science was called at that time.
Selections from the Principles of Philosophy of Rene Descartes. Principles of Philosophy is a book by René Descartes. In essence it is a synthesis of the Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy. It was written in Latin, published in 1644 and dedicated to Elisabeth of Bohemia, with whom Descartes had a long-standing friendship. A French version (Les Principes de la Philosophie) followed in 1647. It set forth the principles of nature-the Laws of Physics-as Descartes viewed them. Most notably, it set forth the principle that in the absence of external forces, an object's motion will be uniform and in a straight line. The version of my principles which you have been at pains to make, is so elegant and finished as to lead me to expect that the work will be more generally read in French than in Latin, and better understood. The only apprehension I entertain is lest the title should deter some who have not been brought up to letters, or with whom philosophy is in bad repute, because the kind they were taught has proved unsatisfactory; and this makes me think that it will be useful to add a preface to it for the purpose of showing what the MATTER of the work is, what END I had in view in writing it, and what UTILITY may be derived from it. But although it might be my part to write a preface of this nature, seeing I ought to know those particulars better than any other person, I cannot nevertheless prevail upon myself to do anything more than merely to give a summary of the chief points that fall, as I think, to be discussed in it: and I leave it to your discretion to present to the public such part of them as you shall judge proper. I should have desired, in the first place, to explain in it what philosophy is, by commencing with the most common matters, as, for example, that the word PHILOSOPHY signifies the study of wisdom, and that by wisdom is to be understood not merely prudence in the management of affairs, but a perfect knowledge of all that man can know, as well for the conduct of his life as for the preservation of his health and the discovery of all the arts, and that knowledge to subserve these ends must necessarily be deduced from first causes; so that in order to study the acquisition of it (which is properly called philosophizing), we must commence with the investigation of those first causes which are called PRINCIPLES.
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2012-12-06
Descartes's Principles 0. / Philosophy is his longest and most ambitious work; it is the only work in which he attempted to actually deduce scientific knowledge from Cartesian metaphysics, as he repeatedly claimed was possible. Whatever the success of this attempt, there can be no doubt that it was enormously influential. Cartesian celestial mechanics held sway for well over a century, and some of the best minds of that period, including Leibniz, Malebranche, Euler, and the Bernoullis, attempted to modify and quantify the Cartesian theory of vortices into an acceptable alternative to Newton's theory of universal gravitation. Thus, the Principles is not only of inherent and historical interest philosophically but is also a seminal document in the history of science and of 17th Century thought. Principles of Philosophy was first published in Latin, in 1644. In 1647, a French translation, done by the Abbe Claude Picot and containing a great deal of additional material and a number of alterations in the original text, was published with Descartes's enthusiastic approval. Unlike some English translations of portions of the Principles, this translation uses the Latin text as its primary source; however, a good deal of additional material from Picot's translation has been included. There are several reasons for this. First, there is good evidence that Descartes himself was responsible for some of the additional material, including, of course, the Preface to the French translation.
When we further reflect on the various ideas that are in us, it is easy to perceive that there is not much difference among them, when we consider them simply as certain modes of thinking, but that they are widely different, considered in reference to the objects they represent; and that their causes must be so much the more perfect according to the degree of objective perfection contained in them.
Excerpt from The Meditations and Selections From the Principles of Rene Descartes, 1596 1650: Translated by John Veitch, LL. D About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
Author: René Descartes
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 1985-06-20
These two 1985 volumes provide a translation of the philosophical works of Descartes, based on the best available Latin and French texts. They are intended to replace the only reasonably comprehensive selection of his works in English, by Haldane and Ross, first published in 1911. All the works included in that edition are translated here, together with a number of additional texts crucial for an understanding of Cartesian philosophy, including important material from Descartes' scientific writings. The result should meet the widespread demand for an accurate and authoritative edition of Descartes' philosophical writings in clear and readable modern English.
Author: René Descartes
Publisher: BoD – Books on Demand
Release Date: 2016-01-07
René Descartes: Prinzipien der Philosophie Erstdruck unter dem Titel »Principia philosophiae«, Amsterdam 1644. Text nach der Übersetzung durch Julius Heinrich von Kirchmann von 1870. Vollständige Neuausgabe mit einer Biographie des Autors. Herausgegeben von Karl-Maria Guth. Berlin 2016. Textgrundlage ist die Ausgabe: René Descartes' philosophische Werke. Übersetzt, erläutert und mit einer Lebensbeschreibung des Descartes versehen von J. H. von Kirchmann, Abteilung I-III, Berlin: L. Heimann, 1870 (Philosophische Bibliothek, Bd. 25/26). Die Paginierung obiger Ausgabe wird in dieser Neuausgabe als Marginalie zeilengenau mitgeführt. Umschlaggestaltung von Thomas Schultz-Overhage unter Verwendung des Bildes: René Descartes (Porträt von Frans Hals, 1648). Gesetzt aus Minion Pro, 11 pt.
With the celebrated words 'I think therefore I am', Descartes' compelling argument swept aside ancient and medieval traditions. He deduced that human beings consist of minds and bodies; that these are totally distinct 'substances'; that God exists and that He ensures we can trust the evidence of our senses. Ushering in the 'scientific revolution' of Galileo and Newton, Descartes' ideas have also set the agenda for debate ever since. By calling everything into doubt, Descartes laid the foundations of modern philosophy.