Meditations on First Philosophy in Focus

Meditations on First Philosophy in Focus

Meditations on First Philosophy in Focus

Meditations on First Philosophy in Focus

Synopsis

This volume presents the excellent and popular translation by Haldane and Ross of Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy , an introduction by Stanley Tweyman which explores the relevance of Descartes' Regulae and his method of analysis in the Meditations , and six articles which indicate the diversity of scholarly opinion on the topic of method in Descartes' philosopy.

Excerpt

The Meditations was written by Descartes while he was living in Holland. the first edition, which appeared in Latin, was published in Paris, as Meditationes de Prima Philosophia, in 1641. Descartes had circulated the manuscript among his friends, in particular Friar Marin Mersenne, requesting comments and criticisms, and six “Objections and Replies” appeared in this first edition along with the six Meditations and introductory material. a seventh set of Objections and Replies, and a “Letter to P. Dinet” were added to the second Latin edition (1642), published in Amsterdam. Gassendi, the author of the Fifth Set of Objections, published his own Objections and Descartes’ Replies, with the original Meditations as an appendix, in 1644 as Disquisitio Metaphysica. the first French edition, which included the Meditations translated by Duc de Luynes and the first six Objections and Replies translated by Clerselier, and a “Letter to Clerselier” (written in answer to Gassendi and originally intended by Descartes as a substitute for the Fifth Set of Objections) appeared in 1647. Descartes read and revised this edition, except the Fifth Set of Objections which was later added by Clerselier. Further Latin editions appeared in the next three years; the fourth Latin edition (1650) included the Clerselier letter, a “Letter to Voetius,” “Notae in Programma” and the “Letter to P. Dinet,” but omitted the Fifth Set of Objections. a second French edition was published by Clerselier in 1661, in which he corrected the earlier Duc de Luynes translation (Descartes may have also seen this new version); it included the preface to the reader, all seven sets of Objections and Replies, and the letters to Clerselier and Dinet. a third French edition (by René Fède) appeared in 1673. the comprehensive Adam and Tannery edition (Paris: Léopold Cerf, 1897) was based upon the second

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