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The Cambridge Companion to Descartes

Descartes occupies a position of pivotal importance as one of the founding fathers of modern philosophy; he is, perhaps the most widely studied of all philosophers. In this authoritative collection an international team of leading scholars in Cartesian studies present the full range of Descartesa -- extraordinary philosophical achievement. His life and the development of his thought, as well as the intellectual background to and reception of his work, are treated at length. At the core of the volume are a group of chapters on his metaphysics: the celebrated a --E Cogitoa -- argument, the proofs of Goda -- s existence, the a --E Cartesian circlea -- and the dualistic theory of the mind and its relation to his theological and scientific views. Other chapters cover the philosophical implications of his work in algebra, his place in the seventeenth-century scientific revolution, the structure of his physics, and his work on physiology and psychology.
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Table of Contents

List of contributors; Chronology; Abbreviations; Introduction; 1. Descartes' life and the development of his philosophy Genevieve Rodis-Lewis; 2. Descartes and scholasticism: the intellectual background to Descartes' thought Roger Ariew; 3. The nature of abstract reasoning: philosophical aspects of Descartes' work in algebra Stephen Gaukroger; 4. Cartesian metaphysics and the role of the simple natures Jean-Luc Marion; 5. The Cogito and its importance Peter Markie; 6. The idea of God and the proofs of his existence Jean-Marie Beyssade; 7. The Cartesian circle Louis E. Loeb; 8. Cartesian dualism: theology, metaphysics, and science John Cottingham; 9. Descartes' philosophy of science and the scientific revolution Desmond Clarke; 10. Descartes' physics Daniel Garber; 11. Descartes' physiology and its relation to his psychology Gary Hatfield; 12. Descartes on thinking with the body Amelie Oksenberg Rorty; 13. The reception of Descartes' philosophy Nicholas Jolley; Bibliography; Index.


"...a collection of unusually fine papers...a valuable guide to contemporary interpretations of Descartes." Canadian Philosophical Reviews "The Cambridge Companion to Descartes is designed to provide an overview of the scholarly conversation about Descartes's writings and make them accessible without trivialization. This book admirably fills its purpose." Emily R. Grosholz, Isis

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