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A Beginner's Guide to Descartes's Meditations

ISBN: 978-1-4051-5854-1
160 pages
December 2007, Wiley-Blackwell
A Beginner
A concise and readable guide to Descartes's Meditations geared toward beginner philosophy students (at A-level, or on undergraduate degree courses) and general readers.

* Offers clear explanations of the central themes and ideas, terminology, and arguments in the Meditations

* Features in-depth discussion of Descartes' correspondence with his contemporaries

* Illustrates arguments and ideas with useful tables, diagrams, and images

* Includes a glossary of difficult terms as well as helpful biographical and historical information

* Includes references to further readings, films, and literature that contain similar philosophical themes

* Will form part of a series of Guides designed specifically for A-level philosophy students by an experienced teacher and founder of the popular website Philosophy Online
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List of Illustrations and Tables.

Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

1. Background.

2. Explanation and Summary of Main Arguments.

Introduction.

Meditation I: About the Things We May Doubt.

Meditation II: Of the Nature of the Human Mind; and that it is Easier to Know than the Body.

Meditation III: Of God; that He Exists.

Meditation IV: Of Truth and Error.

Meditation V: Of the Essence of Material Things; and, Once More of God, that He Exists.

Meditation VI: Of the Existence of Material Things, and of the Real Distinction between the Soul and the Body of Man.

3. Critical Themes.

Introduction.

Objections and Replies.

Certainty and Doubt.

Dualism.

The Existence of God.

Rationalism vs. Empiricism.

Foundationalism and the Cartesian Circle.

Notes.

Appendix A: Overview of the Meditations.

Appendix B: Selected Summaries of Objections and Replies.

Glossary.

Bibliography and Suggested Reading.

Index
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Gareth Southwell taught at Swansea College of Further Education between 1998 and 2005, where he also developed online learning materials and educational websites. In his spare time, he developed PhilosophyOnline, the popular resource for both teachers and students. A graduate in English and Philosophy from Swansea University, Southwell is an assistant examiner for AQA, and is about to complete a PhD in philosophy. He also works as a freelance illustrator and has regularly published caricatures in The Philosophers' Magazine.
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  • Provides a concise, readable summary of the text of the Meditations
  • Offers clear explanations of the central themes and ideas, terminology, and arguments
  • Features in-depth discussion of Descartes’ correspondence with his contemporaries
  • Includes a glossary of difficult terms as well as helpful biographical and historical information
  • Illustrates arguments and ideas with useful tables, diagrams, and images
  • Includes references to further readings, films, and literature that contain similar philosophical themes
  • Will form part of a series of Guides designed specifically for A-level philosophy students by an experienced teacher and founder of the popular website Philosophy Online
See More
"As the costs of textbooks continue to soar without surcease we should be grateful to Southwell and Blackwell Publishing for producing such a highly effective teaching tool for just under twenty dollars." (International Philosophical Quarterly, 2010)

"[Readers] will find the book an entertaining, unfussy explanation of Descartes's philosophy." (The Philosopher, Spring 2008)
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A Beginner's Guide to Descartes's Meditations (US $94.95)

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