Download Descartes: The Project of Pure Enquiry (Reissue Edition) by Bernard Williams PDF

By Bernard Williams

John Cottingham (Foreword)

Descartes has usually been referred to as the 'father of contemporary philosophy'.His makes an attempt to discover foundations for wisdom, and to reconcile the lifestyles of the soul with the rising technological know-how of his time, are one of the so much influential and broadly studied within the background of philosophy.

This is a vintage and hard advent to Descartes via some of the most unusual glossy philosophers. Bernard Williams not just analyzes Descartes' undertaking of founding wisdom on sure bet, yet uncovers the philosophical factors for his seek. With acute perception, he demonstrates how Descartes' Meditations will not be basically an outline however the very enactment of philosophical suggestion and discovery. Williams covers the entire key components of Descartes' concept, together with God, the desire, the opportunity of wisdom, and the brain and its position in nature. He additionally makes profound contributions to the idea of data, metaphysics and philosophy normally. this is often crucial interpreting for any pupil of philosophy.

This reissue contains a new foreword by way of John Cottingham.


'His biographical digest is as succinct as his philosophical research is thorough.' - The Sunday Times

'Bernard Williams is arguably the best thinker of his era.' - The Guardian

'Descartes - The venture of natural Enquiry, first released in 1978 and repackaged the following with a foreword via the Cartesian student John Cottingham, is an efficient deal greater than only a survey of 1 of the landmarks within the heritage of philosophy. it truly is itself a piece of noticeable philosophical research and a reminder of simply what British philosophy misplaced whilst Williams died in 2003.' - New Humanist

'[Bernard Williams] introduced philosophical mirrored image to a plush array of matters, with extra mind's eye and with larger cultural and old knowing than an individual else of his time' Thomas Nagel, London overview of Books

'Bernard Williams has a better strength of concept, deployed over a much broader horizon, than an individual else i've got ever listened to.' John Dunn - the days larger schooling complement

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Additional resources for Descartes: The Project of Pure Enquiry (Reissue Edition)

Example text

Descartes X 573), and he died without having heard of Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, which were first announced in Paris, without attracting much attention, in 1639. It is important that there existed no clear sense either of the size of the scientific task, or, on the other hand, of its possibility. On the one hand, sane and informed people could believe that once the right path had been found, basic understanding of nature and hence control of it would be very rapidly available. Francis Bacon admittedly had a rather distant, organizational, view of the subject – ‘he writes philosophy like a Lord Chancellor’ William Harvey said of him – but he was able to say: ‘the particular phenomena of the arts and sciences are in reality but a handful; the invention of all causes and sciences would be the labour of but a few years’.

But there is of course a different question, addressed to Descartes or any other actual man, of the worthwhileness of adopting for a while the perspective of the Pure Enquirer, and this question requires an answer from outside that perspective, in terms of a wider worthwhileness to human life. Deeper reasons for adopting this project or, alternatively, for rejecting it, we shall come back to at the end of this chapter. For the present, however, it can be said that it is not obviously an unreasonable undertaking.

The other believes that some, but not all, of the fungi are poisonous, but he cannot tell which are and 39 40 the project which are not. He reasonably adopts the policy of not eating any fungus which is possibly poisonous. He will refrain from eating any, which is also the course of action adopted by the first man. So the courses of action coincide, though the beliefs from which they stem are different. In fact Descartes does hold the strong, collective, proposition about perceptual judgements, but the fungus analogy suggests that he does not have to do so, in order consistently to pursue the Method of Doubt with similarly radical effect.

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