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.
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.
"Principles of Philosophy is an attempt, by a self-taught genius, to persuade the Yiddish speaking public that philosophy has not lost its central importance vis a vis both religion and science. He does this, first, by identifying religion with philosophy - and he is the first Orthodox rabbi since Maimonides to do so. Next, he argues that philosophical principles, which are broader than those of science, are at the basis of all existence, and that the same principles that account for the organization of matter can account for the varieties of human organization (and disorganization). He argues, finally, that the study of philosophy itself can lead to the weakening of egotism and the strengthening of altruism."--BOOK JACKET.
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.
'It is some years now since I realized how many false opinions I had accepted as true from childhood onwards...I saw that at some stage in my life the whole structure would have to be utterly demolished' In Descartes's Meditations, one of the key texts of Western philosophy, the thinker rejects all his former beliefs in the quest for new certainties. Discovering his own existence as a thinking entity in the very exercise of doubt, he goes on to prove the existence of God, who guarantees his clear and distinct ideas as a means of access to the truth. He develops new conceptions of body and mind, capable of serving as foundations for the new science of nature. Subsequent philosophy has grappled with Descartes's legacy, questioning many of its conclusions and even his basic approach, but his arguments set the agenda for many of the greatest philosophical thinkers, and their fascination endures. This new translation includes the Third and Fourth Objections and Replies in full, and a selection from the rest of these exchanges with Descartes's contemporaries that helped to expound his philosophy. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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.
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.
Author: René Descartes
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 1988-02-26
Based on the new and much acclaimed two-volume Cambridge edition of The Philosophical Writings of Descartes by Cottingham, Stoothoff and Murdoch, this anthology of essential texts contains the most important and widely studied of those writings, including the Discourse and Meditations and substantial extracts from the Regulae, Optics, Principles, Objectives and Replies, Comments on a Broadsheet, and Passions of the Soul. In clear, readable, modern English, with a full text and running references to the standard Franco-Latin edition of Descartes, this book is planned as the definitive one-volume reader for all English-speaking students of Descartes.
Of all the works of the man claimed by many as the father of modern philosophy, the MEDITATIONS, first published in 1641, must surely be Rene Descartes' masterpiece. This volume consists of not only a new translation of the original Latin text and the expanded objections and replies, but also includes selected correspondence and other metaphysical writings from the period 1641-49.
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.