The foundations of modern skepticism and objective thinking are thought to be rooted in the philosophy of Rene Descartes, the French mathematician, philosopher and writer.
His theories also led to the emancipation of humanity from the doctrine that the Church is the sole authority over Man and led to a more autonomous idea of the human condition. It is important to remember that Rene Descartes was writing at a time of great scientific discoveries which were in conflict with the Church. Meditations on First Philosophy follows the tradition of St Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises. Buy, download and read Meditations on the First Philosophy (eBook) by Rene Descartes today! This great sixteenth century thinker also gave us theories on mind-body dualism and the concept of ethics as the highest form of science. He also wrote extensively on subjects as diverse as music, the search for truth, geometry, discourse as a method of scientific investigation, philosophy, biology and psychology. The original Latin title also had the subtitle: In Which the Existence of God and the Immortality of the Soul are Demonstrated.

Descartes' Meditations follows a new yet cautious approach which would not be in direct confrontation with the powerful Catholic Church. He was a teacher and counselor to several heads of state in Europe and guided them in their political and ethical actions. In Meditations, Descartes seeks to go beyond Aristotle's philosophy which dominated Western thinking till then.
Through Mersenne, Descartes solicited criticism of his Meditations from amongst the most learned people of his day, including Antoine Arnauld, Peirre Gassendi, and Thomas Hobbes. His most famous maxim, “I think, therefore I am” became the guiding principle of modern Western thought.
In each one, Descartes abandons all belief in things that are not absolutely certain and then tries to replace these beliefs with those that are more certain. Here, the Greek philosopher posited that all knowledge comes via the senses, hence the outside world is but a mirror image of our inner thoughts.
The first edition of the Meditations was published in Latin in 1641 with six sets of objections and his replies.

In the First Meditation, Descartes provides bizarre examples of our thoughts and questions whether we can assume that reality in any way resembles these.
A second edition published in 1642 also included a seventh set of objections and replies as well as a letter to Father Dinet in which Descartes defended his system against charges of unorthodoxy. It is in the metaphysics of Descartes that, for the first time, the being is defined as the objectness of representation, and truth as the certainty of representation. The title of his main work reads Meditationes de prima philosophia, Meditations on First Philosophy. The whole of modern metaphysics, Nietzsche included, maintains itself within the interpretation of the being and truth opened up by Descartes.

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