Descartes, Rene - Meditations and Other Writings - ( Item 126900 )
Published in London by Folio Society. 2011. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Very Good slipcase. Some marks to panels of slipcase. Introduced by Nicholas Humphrey. Translated by Desmond M. Clarke. Illustrated by Shout. Quarter-bound in buckram with Modigliani paper sides. Printed with a design by Shout. Set in Adobe Garamond. Frontispiece and 10 colour illustrations. 304 pages. Book size: 9½" × 6¼". How do we know that what we think is true is actually true? Can we prove the existence of God? Descartes' questions endure. The Folio edition of Meditations is wittily illustrated by Shout, with an introduction by psychologist Nicholas Humphrey. At the beginning of the 17th century, the Church’s authority in intellectual life was absolute. Scientific experiments were viewed with suspicion and knowledge was derived primarily from written authorities, notably the Bible and certain classical and medieval authors. By the end of the century, this status quo had been largely overthrown, and the new scientific age had arrived. Central to this revolution was a lawyer and soldier turned philosopher, René Descartes, who, with his remarkable gift for independent thought, restored human reason to the primacy it had enjoyed in antiquity. This edition unites Descartes’s landmark texts with a selection of other writings. Part autobiography, part science, part philosophy, the Discourse on Method (1637) and Meditations (1641) contain his most famous ideas, including the ‘dreaming argument’, his assertion ‘I think therefore I am’ and his proof of the existence of God. Descartes feared for his life after Galileo had been condemned by the Roman Inquisition, so both these works were published anonymously. After living in the Netherlands for over 20 years, Descartes finally ended his days as the tutor of Christina, Queen of Sweden. Written in a clear and engaging style, his works remain among the most important contributions to the history of thought. In his introduction, psychologist Nicholas Humphrey explains how 'Descartes makes us think – new thoughts, uncomfortable thoughts.' Shout’s illustrations provide a witty interpretation of Descartes's ideas.
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