Le Discours De La Methode (World Classics (Paperback))
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Le Discours De La Methode (World Classics (Paperback))

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  9,108 ratings  ·  153 reviews
Descartes' Discourse marks a watershed in European thought; in it, the author sets out in brief his radical new philosophy, which begins with a proof of the existence of the self (the famous "cogito ergo sum"). Next he deduces from it the existence and nature of God, and ends by offering a radical new account of the physical world and of human and animal nature. Written in...more
Paperback, 251 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Distribooks (first published January 1st 1637)
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3.0 to 3.5 stars (though as mentioned below, the first four sections get 4 to 5 stars).

One of the most influential works in history of modern science/philosophy, the full name of the work is "Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences." It is a work that deals with the ascertaining of knowledge from "first principals" and creates a method from which all research into scientific principals could be based.

He begins by saying that because so ma...more
Rowland Bismark
The Discourse on the Method is a fascinating book, both as a work of philosophy and as a historical document. Descartes lived and worked in a period that Thomas Kuhn would call a "paradigm shift": one way of thinking, one worldview, was slowly being replaced by another. Descartes's work, while part of the new paradigm, still has one leg in the old mode of thought.

The old, waning worldview was scholastic Aristotelianism. The Aristotelian paradigm had a conception of the mind, of knowledge, and of...more
The Discourse on Method marks the decisive break between the old Aristotelian scientific method and the modern kind. Descartes sets out four steps for truth in the sciences: 1. Doubt methodically. 2. Break matters up into as many pieces as possible. 3. Proceed from the easiest to the most difficult. 4. Review for mathematical precision. This is the exact opposite of the Aristotelian method that ruled minds for millennia, where one first relies on intuition (where one cannot doubt), second breaks...more
Summary of my notes on the Discourse, by part:

I. The premise is introduced that reason is naturally equal in all, and truth is to be found by conducting it correctly. Descartes attempts to show how he himself has attempted this, not to dictate how everyone should.

II. The method. Descartes wished to rebuild the very foundations upon which his opinions and views were formed. He decided to do this by systematic doubt. The key point is to never accept as true anything that is not known to be evident...more
Ahmed Azimov
لابد لنا من الوقوف هنا لننظر متأملين الى احدى مكتسبات الانسانيه

هنا مرحلة انعطاف هامه في تاريخ الهوموسابيانز والعلوم الانسانيه المكتسبه تماما حالها كحال منازعة كوبرينيكوس لافكار بطليموس القائله بمركزية الارض والتي روّج لها جاليلو لاحقا، وماديّة نيوتن، وتطوّر داروين، ونسبية اينشتين، وووو - رضي الله عنهم أجمعين -

يوم أن صُودر الكثير من العظمة المزعومة للانسان البدائي الذي كان يرى نفسه وكوكبه مركزا للأجرام السماويه حيث يدورون خضوعا له بينما هو يبقى ثابتا !! حتى بدى لنا أننا مجرد أجرام صغيره حقيره لا...more
Mel Vincent
Rene Descartes is not only a pure optimist and a wide thinker but he too is very eloquent, charismatic, simple and very brilliant in how he fuses his ideas and arguments to that of different sciences such as anatomy and to an extent, psychology itself.

While reading this it is as if you are not reading a highly charged philosophy book but instead it makes you think that it is in fact a travel novel, which is amazing. Rene Descartes articulately draws his own opinions on the environs, perceptions,...more
Hard for me to take seriously someone who talks about perfection like it's a trait--when really it's more of a relationship between traits, or an aesthetic response to them. A master of taking 500 words to say something obvious (like Proust); and the relentless latinate style grew tiresome quickly. Also full of ridiculous insincerities: on the one hand he's leaving notes to posterity, then saying nobody cares about a schmucky little goober like himself. And with the last sentence he seems to be...more
Daniella Insalaco
Even though I am not a fan of Descartes, I did enjoy the edition that I read (courtesy of The Focus Philosophical Library) because it contained a thorough introduction, great footnotes as well as an interpretive essay at the end. This is one of the reasons why I am giving it two stars rather than one.

I really disagree with Descartes on a number of levels and frankly I don't want to get into all of that on here because then I would have to divulge my personal beliefs and I don't feel comfortable...more
Διόνυσος Ψευδάνωρ
One of the very finest products of the history of philosophy, René Descartes' Discourse on the Method is, in this Focus Philosophical Library edition, translated by the late Richard Kennington. Of special importance in this edition is Kennington's very good interpretive essay, "Descartes' Discourse on Method," which is only elsewhere found in a posthumous collection of his essays, On Modern Origins: Essays in Early Modern Philosophy . My understanding is that this was originally a lecture delive...more
C'est agréable de se replonger dans ce classique des étudiants de terminale. Les trois premiers chapitres sont exemplaires. Descartes sert ici plus une autobiographie et une justification de son parcours intellectuel, qui consiste principalement en une remise à plat de ses connaissances suite à l'insatisfaction qu'il a ressentie des fruits qu'il a tiré de ses études, principalement Aristote. Il est clair que pour l'étude de la nature, on peut facilement trouver à reprendre les anciens. La méthod...more
sahar salman
فكرة هذا الكتاب هي منهج العقل. ودراسات تشملها سنوات من حياة الفيلسوف رينيه ديكارت عن البحث عن الحقيقة والطريقة المثلى في التفكير وإنشاء كل الحقائق الإنسانية وكشف اللثام عنها بالطريقة التي ينتقيها كل إنسان في أصولية تفكيره. ما أعجبني في ديكارت هو توازنه الفكري، وإختلافه عن بقية الفلاسفة في الفكر وطريقة عرضه لأفكاره التي يحب أن يتأكد من صحتها كما أن إختلاف النسق الفكري عنده لدى الناس لا يمثل بالضرورة صحة أو عدم صواب أرائهم بل هو يعده "إختلاف" في النسق. فالمعرفة اليقينيه هي أكثر أفضلية من اتباع نسق...more
Disco Biscuit
I find Descartes to be very narrow-minded. If you can sift through the run-on sentences, this book helps one understand the evolution of philosophy, but overall, this supposed "method" is nothing but a series of contradictions. For example, Descartes talks about God, saying that "it is highly probable that he in some way fashioned me after his own image and likeness." But he also speaks of God as a perfect being who is incapable of creating something imperfect. Obviously this is a contradiction,...more
Ben Loory

the first part's great, where he's talking about re-educating himself from the ground up and throwing away all the nonsensical crap that got poured into him by other people as he was growing up. but then once he gets started again from first principles or whatever, he immediately wanders off into some pretty shaky god stuff and then it just turns into a description of how the innards of the body work which hey, might be right, but ain't so interesting...more
Katie Ozorkiewicz
I found it a rather interesting thought experiment, to try and wipe away everything we know and re-build the foundation of our existence is a rather large undertaking, especially when most people of our time must also focus on the daily grind required to pay for mortgages/rent, food, clothes, etc. I had read this a couple of times before, but it makes more sense now that I'm a few years older. I'd recommend it to anyone, it's a quick read and it provokes different thoughts at different periods i...more
Nick Anderson
Very simple, 54 pages or so. I'm surprised I didn't read it sooner. I guess there's a bias that old writings are hard to read.

Discourse on Method is written to be read in one sitting, but is divided into six parts for those who like me have to put it down to think about what he wrote. He writes in a first person candid manner, giving a sort of autobiography relating to how he developed his thoughts.

The basis of Descartes thought is that we cannot deduce from sense experience the true nature of...more
Ali Reda
أولاً إنما مطلوبي العلم بحقائق الأمور ، فلا بُد من طلب حقيقة العلم ما هي؟ فظهر لي أن العلم اليقيني هو الذي ينكشف فيه المعلوم انكشافاً لا يبقى معه ريب ، ولا يقارنه إمكان الغلط والوهم ، ولا يتسع القلب لتقدير ذلك ؛ بل الأمان من الخطأ ينبغي أن يكون مقارناً لليقين مقارنة لو تحدى بإظهار بطلانه مثلاً من يقلب الحجر ذهباً والعصا ثعباناً ، لم يورث ذلك شكاً وإنكاراً ؛ فإني إذا علمت أن العشرة أكثر من الثلاثة ، فلو قال لي قائل: لا ، بل الثلاثة أكثر [ من العشرة ] بدليل أني أقلب هذه العصا ثعباناً ، وقلبها ، وش...more
Timothy Matias
Rene’ Descartes’ “Discourse on the Method” is one of the most difficult books for me to review, in that it is half inspiring to me, and half disappointing; what starts out as a brilliant doubting methodology, eliminating whatever can be doubted until there is nothing left than can be by any conjecture or hypothesis be reasonably doubted- arrive at a basic, fundamental truth, providing a firm rational foundation from other truths can be derived. Unfortunately, once Descartes discovers this truth,...more
Shannon Thompson
In Discourse on Method, Rene Descartes discusses the philosophical and psychological aspects of being human, and I think that’s why this writing is easily accessible and relatable throughout the ages. Since there is a discussion on our nature, Descartes allows readers from his day and modern day to relate to one another and how they try to psychologically make sense of their life meaning. Descartes writes, “what we thus see or imagine is in reality existent; but it plainly tells us that all our...more
Fascinating book. Even though this book is old now you can still follow Descartes remarkable clarity of thought. Descartes was truly a great thinker in that he aimed in getting the maximum amount of clarity in his work that he could. This book can be slightly confusing at times due to the views of those times and the different sentence structuring but it is generally quite intelligible what Descartes is trying to say.

Descartes breaks down the human experience to its very basics, and in doing so...more
Annelise L'Estrange
Descartes has some pretty good ideias, but it's a shame that he looses himself too much on them. I mean, sometimes appears that he simply forgot what he was alking about and suddenly changes the subject D:

Anyway, still a good and relaxing book until you get on the biology lessons xD

Sorry Descartes, but my high school drained all my desire for this kind of knowledge ;---;
Erik Graff
Oct 15, 2013 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Descartes fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: philosophy
Despite the title, this editions contains more than the Discourse, the other selections being given in the description appended. I read this volume to supplement the Descartes readings for a course entitled "History of Classical Modern Philosophy" taken at Loyola University Chicago during the first semester of 1980/81.
Though I cannot deny the heavy influence Descartes' method had on the development of the modern period science, that it - so to speak - paved the way for the science, I cannot overlook some of the rather grievous ramifications it had on all of our understanding of the world.

One of them is the strengthening of the notion of privileged position of humans above all other beings (also explicitly explained in Part V). Also the unshakable faith in man's ability to discover truths about the world usin...more
I have to admit that I was very biased when I've started to read this. I was somehow relating it to Kant's Criticism of the Pure Reason, which was a traumatizing reading experience. Instead I found myself in front of a reasonable man with reasonable ideas. Even if I've read it in old French, which did not ease things. That is if we discard the proof of God's existence - but that relates to my inner beliefs, such as 'God cannot be demonstrated'. This aside, I enjoyed this writting, even if I was...more
Fascinating text with interesting theories, and not hard to read. Part four definitely the most relevant. Part one and two felt like introduction and five and six like conclusion. However, I had to keep reminding myself that it was published in 1637 to not get angry at the outrageous theories on God and animals. Also, Descartes sounds like a massive megalomaniac. The text serves as a good introduction to the work of Descartes, but I am not sure I will read much more of it. Although his ideas on...more
Abdulrahman Farouk
كتاب رائع في كل شيء، في تقديمه، وترجمته، وبالطبع في النّص القليل الكلمات كبير المعاني.
لا أستطيع كتابة المزيد عنه.. لكنني بالتأكيد سأرشحه لكل من سألني يوماً عن "ماذا يقرأ"
Feb 09, 2014 April rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to April by: Turing test wikipedia article
I was really enjoying it up until the very confusing "proof" of God's existence. I did some further research on it that clarified a few things, but it was rather difficult to follow logically.

There was an odd, very detailed account of the workings of the heart and blood flow at another point.

Other than those weird parts, it was an interesting read.

This is one of the passages that stood out to me:
"...there is seldom so much perfection in works composed of many separate parts, upon which differen...more
Evaluating a work like this one, for me, involves considering how much it matters whether I agree or disagree with the ideas presented. I couldn't esteem something while disapproving of it, or flatter an opinion merely because it flattered mine. While I admire Descartes' method, therefore, I admire his Discourse on the method for its effectiveness, and its significance to human thought. The treatise is both an evocation of Aristotelian precedent and a flash-forward to modern science. It's innova...more
Maan Kawas
A good and important book by the great French philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes, which can be considered a landmark and an influential achievement in the history of modern philosophy! The book takes the form of an autobiographical treatise in which Descartes describes a method he found which helped him guide his reason in his quest for truth and research. Descartes states that he was after truth, and that he sought certainty, as most of the things and beliefs he found were subject to...more
Puji Lestari
Discourse On Method merupakan karyanya yang paling terkenal, ditulis dalam bahasa Perancis dan di dalamnya berisi tiga esai. Buku ini menceritakan tentang penemuan-penemuannya yang diperoleh melalui metode ciptaannya sendiri, misalnya mengenai optik, meteorologi, dan geometri.

Pola pikir Descartes ini cukup unik. Ia meneliti pendapat-pendapat yang keliru, padahal sudah dipercaya oleh khalayak. Filosofinya dimulai dari keraguan, ia meragukan apa saja, bahkan yang dikatakan oleh gurunya sekalipun....more
Benjamin Plaggenborg
Obligatory reading never does a book justice, so you may take this review with a grain of salt.

The book's central message is that of Descartes' brand of critical thinking. According to his account he grew so disillusioned by his education that he set out to abandon it all and try to build a set of knowledge on solid foundations. In short, he won't accept any claim if its truth isn't glaringly obvious to him. He gets going with his "I think, therefore I am." So far so good. However, it doesn't ta...more
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الكتاب 1 4 Feb 11, 2014 03:05PM  
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  • Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology
  • Leibniz: Philosophical Essays
  • Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking
  • On The Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres
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René Descartes, also known as Renatus Cartesius (Latinized form), was a highly influential French philosopher, mathematician, scientist, and writer. He has been dubbed the "Father of Modern Philosophy," and much of subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which continue to be studied closely. His influence in mathematics is also apparent, the Cartesian coordinate system that is...more
More about René Descartes...
Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy Meditations on First Philosophy The Philosophical Writings of Descartes (Volume I) Selected Philosophical Writings Meditations and Other Metaphysical Writings

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“And thus, the actions of life often not allowing any delay, it is a truth very certain that, when it is not in our power to determine the most true opinions we ought to follow the most probable.” 169 likes
“At last I will devote myself sincerely and without reservation to the general demolition of my opinions.” 29 likes
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