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Philosophy Renaissance

Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy

by (author) René Descartes

edited by Andrew Bailey

translated by Ian Johnston

Broadview Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2020
Renaissance, Mind & Body, Methodology, Metaphysics, Philosophy & Social Aspects, Rationalism, Individual Philosophers, History, Epistemology
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2020
    List Price

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This volume provides new translations of René Descartes’s two most important philosophical works. The Discourse offers a concise presentation and defense of Descartes’s method of intellectual inquiry—a method that greatly influenced both philosophical and scientific reasoning in the early modern world. Considered a foundational text in modern philosophy, the Meditations presents numerous powerful arguments that to this day influence debates in epistemology, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of religion. Descartes’s timeless writing strikes an uncommon balance of novelty and familiarity, offering arguments concerning knowledge, science, and metaphysics (including the famous “I think, therefore I am”) that are as compelling in the twenty-first century as they were in the seventeenth. Ian Johnston’s translations are modern, clear, and thoroughly annotated, ideal for readers unfamiliar with Descartes’s intellectual context. An approachable introduction engages both the historical and the philosophical aspects of the text, helping the reader to understand the concepts and arguments contained therein.

About the authors

René Descartes' profile page

Andrew Bailey is an award winning comedian, writer and monologist. His shows include The Adversary, Scrupulosity, Limbo and Putz. He is also one of the primary writers and actors of the Atomic Vaudeville cabaret, having appeared in more than fifty episodes since 2004. He lives in Vancouver

Andrew Bailey's profile page

IAN JOHNSTON is the author of Changes in the Island Landscape, a study of his native Prince Edward Island.

Ian Johnston's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Bailey and Johnston’s Descartes editions:

“Ian Johnston’s new translation of Descartes’s famous Discourse on Method will stand with the best and most readable translations now available in English. For readers coming to Descartes’s work for the first time, Andrew Bailey’s introduction nicely situates the text both philosophically and historically.” — Kurt Smith, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

“Descartes was living and writing at a tumultuous time, and Bailey does a nice job of sketching the intellectual environment into which the Meditations was launched, while pre-emptively warding off a number of common misunderstandings of Descartes’s aims.” — Seth Bordner, University of Alabama

“Ian Johnston’s translations of the Discourse on Method and Meditations are clear and accessible to students while remaining true to the original texts.” — Lisa Shapiro, Simon Fraser University

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