I have just read Descartes‘ “Principles of Philosophy” – famous for “Cogito ergo sum“. I have read commentaries on Descartes before, but never the original (or at least a translation1, I don’t read Latin!). Now-a-days “Cartesian thinking” is often used in a derogatory way, symbolising a narrow, reductionist and simplistic world-view. However, reading “Principles” in full reveals a man with a rich and deep insight of which his rational and analytic philosophy forms a part.
- René Descartes, 1644, Principles of Philosophy, trans. George MacDonald Ross, 1998–1999[back]