Free download Descartes The Project of Pure Enuiry Penguin Philosophy 107

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Descartes has often been called the 'father of modern philosophy'His attempts to find foundations for knowledge and to reconcile the existence of the soul with the emerging science of his time are among the most influential and widely studied in the history of philosophyThis is a classic and challenging introduction to Descart. Bernard Williams is my kind of analytic philosopher alert to history cares about reality but this is not my kind of history of philosophy book He's up front about this this is a book about what Descartes means today ie in the 'seventies not what he meant in the seventeenth century; and what he 'means today' means really what he means when put in the context of Nagel Frankfurt and Kenny Well I don't really care about those gentlemen and there's no reason to think that this is the best way of doing history of philosophy But as I said Williams is open about what he's doing and knows there are other ways of doing it So this is a good analytic look at Descartes who is assumed to have the same problems analytic philosophers of the seventies had which perhaps makes better points about the later philosophy than it does the earlier

review Descartes The Project of Pure Enuiry Penguin Philosophy

Descartes The Project of Pure Enuiry Penguin PhilosophyEs by one of the most distinguished modern philosophers Bernard Williams not only analyzes Descartes' project of founding knowledge on certainty but uncovers the philosophical motives for his search With acute insight he demonstrates how Descartes' Meditations are not merely a description but the very enactment of philosophica. The Project of Pure Enuiry is an excellent introduction to philosophy at least I am going to try and argue that it is It is an excellent introduction because it does three challenging things very well Firstly it does what title suggests and introduces the reader to the work of Descartes and his attempt at creating a foundation for human knowledge Williams focuses on the Meditations and Replies but also draws on other texts when doing so is helpful – such as The Passions of the Soul Williams does this by carefully setting out for the reader his interpretation of Descartes’ arguments and how they fit together as one system His aim in doing this is not really to show the reader what Descartes said but to get the reader to engage with these problems on a philosophical level Hopefully the reader will finish the text having a vague idea of what they think Descartes got wrong and what he got rightBecause Williams approaches Descartes in this way his books is full of rigorous argumentation and in some cases novel contributions to the field of philosophy An example of the later is Williams’ argument to the effect that we cannot choose what we believe So the second reason why this book functions as a good introduction to philosophy is that it just is excellent philosophy on the part of the writer which is not the same as saying that he gets everything rightThe third reasons is closely related to one of its limitations Though Bernard Williams is known for drawing on a lot of traditions for the most part he remains within a particular philosophical tradition himself – that of English analytic philosophy There are positives to this The tradition is greatly indebted to Descartes and as it clear from William’s book that many of the problems being addressed in this field of philosophy find early expression in the work of Descartes William’s book is a testament to this overlap Because of this this book also offers a way into this type of philosophy that is sensitive to the historical underpinnings of much of the problems that are addressed and demonstrates the analytic style that is often found in this tradition Don’t be put off by the publication date either 1978 much of these problems and their descendants are still being addressed todayBut this embeddedness within a particular tradition leads to two problems Firstly how on earth can this be an introduction to philosophy in general as I have claimed if it is already an instance of one type of philosophy Secondly can we really trust this work as an accurate exegesis of Descartes and his thought if Descartes is being read through the eyes of 20th C Analytic Philosophy I don’t think we should worry about the first objection if this limitation is recognized and accounted for An introduction can never be fully representative especially of a field like philosophy where one has to engage with actual philosophy to understand what it is all about The solution here is to read other texts as well as this one try to understand them as best as possible and make up one’s own mind about the value of the different approaches Perhaps I should say that this book helps in introducing philosophy without offering a full introduction I’m not even sure what the later thing could be To the second objection I don’t really have an answer since it is up to the reader to decide whether they think William’s interpretation reflects the real Descartes or no

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Free download Descartes The Project of Pure Enuiry Penguin Philosophy 107 Ú Descartes has often been called the 'father of modern philosophy'His attempts to find foundations for knowledge and to reconcile the existence of the soul with the emerging science of his time are among the most influential and widely studied L thought and discovery Williams covers all of the key areas of Descartes' thought including God the will the possibility of knowledge and the mind and its place in nature He also makes profound contributions to the theory of knowledge metaphysics and philosophy generally This is essential reading for any student of philosophy. Blimey The whole this is what this guy said and it's wrong so I'm going to make it right but claim eh thought it too thing just doesn't happen here Williams takes an idea says why he thinks Descartes thought it challenges other interpretations then offers his own view of it not attributing it to Descartes Surely the best way to do a history of philosophy criticismimprovement As engaging as you'd expect The Project is a brilliant chapter it's stuff on knowledge is fantastic