Download e-book for iPad: Descartes: The Project of Pure Enquiry (Reissue Edition) by Bernard Williams

By Bernard Williams

ISBN-10: 0415356261

ISBN-13: 9780415356268

John Cottingham (Foreword)

Descartes has usually been known as the 'father of recent philosophy'.His makes an attempt to discover foundations for wisdom, and to reconcile the lifestyles of the soul with the rising technological know-how of his time, are one of the such a lot influential and greatly studied within the historical past of philosophy.

This is a vintage and not easy advent to Descartes via some of the most amazing glossy philosophers. Bernard Williams not just analyzes Descartes' venture of founding wisdom on walk in the park, yet uncovers the philosophical causes for his seek. With acute perception, he demonstrates how Descartes' Meditations should not simply an outline however the very enactment of philosophical proposal and discovery. Williams covers the entire key components of Descartes' suggestion, together with God, the desire, the opportunity of wisdom, and the brain and its position in nature. He additionally makes profound contributions to the speculation of information, metaphysics and philosophy more often than not. this is often crucial examining for any scholar of philosophy.

This reissue contains a new foreword via John Cottingham.

Reviews:

'His biographical digest is as succinct as his philosophical research is thorough.' - The Sunday Times

'Bernard Williams is arguably the best thinker of his era.' - The Guardian

'Descartes - The undertaking of natural Enquiry, first released in 1978 and repackaged the following with a foreword by way of the Cartesian student John Cottingham, is an efficient deal greater than only a survey of 1 of the landmarks within the background of philosophy. it really is itself a piece of considerable philosophical research and a reminder of simply what British philosophy misplaced whilst Williams died in 2003.' - New Humanist

'[Bernard Williams] introduced philosophical mirrored image to a plush array of matters, with extra mind's eye and with better cultural and ancient realizing than an individual else of his time' Thomas Nagel, London evaluation of Books

'Bernard Williams has a better strength of idea, deployed over a much broader horizon, than someone else i've got ever listened to.' John Dunn - the days better schooling complement

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Extra info for Descartes: The Project of Pure Enquiry (Reissue Edition)

Sample text

But he certainly wants to have some beliefs; and he wants to have them on matters of concern to him. A typical situation is that the truth-ratio could be somewhat improved without giving up any classes of beliefs altogether, but that the cost of doing so would be too high, relative to other activities (including other activities of enquiry). A might be able fruitfully to enquire further into the reliability of a given method, or 31 32 the project whether its application on a given occasion was appropriate, but such activities take time and effort, which it may not be sensible to spend in any given case; while it is impossible to spend them in every case.

If it is, then anything peculiar in Descartes’s strategy will lie in a second step, from the search for knowledge to the search for certainty. Let us take a person, call him ‘A’, who is in the most primitive situation of wanting the truth. He has no elaborate or reflective demands – it is not, for instance, that he wants to acquire or found a science (as Descartes does, or at least will want to do). He merely wants the truth on certain questions. Such questions can of course take many forms, ‘when .

How exactly is ‘certainty’ to be taken? One line of approach here is to assume that in looking for beliefs that will be certain, one is looking for a kind of proposition – a kind which, when believed, must constitute true beliefs. The simplest definition of such a kind of proposition would be this: a proposition which is such that if someone believes it, then it logically follows that his belief is true. 4 Acquiring beliefs which are incorrigible in this sense must be a sufficient condition of the Pure Enquirer’s getting what he basically wants, truth, since anything incorrigible which he believes will be true.

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