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Descartes: A Very Short Introduction

Tom Sorell

12 October 2000

ISBN: 9780192854094

128 pages

In Stock

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99



René Descartes (1596-1650) had a remarkably short working life, and his output was small, yet his contributions to philosophy and science have endured to the present day. In this book Tom Sorell shows that Descartes was, above all, an advocate and practitioner of a new mathematical approach to physics, and that he developed his metaphysics to support his programme in the sciences.

  • The best introduction to Descartes aimed at non-specialists
  • Descartes is considered the founder of modern philosophy, and his work is studied in all undergraduate philosophy courses
  • He is best known for the statement 'Cogito, ergo sum' ('I think, therefore I am')
  • Takes account of Descartes's scientific work as well as his philosophy, including his investigations into physics, mathematics, psychology, and optics

About the Author(s)

Tom Sorell, Professor of Philosophy, University of Essex


Sorell's account well portrays the intensely personal character of Descartes's thought, and in doing so tells us much about the thinker himself. The pages ... devoted to the Meditations surely constitute the best available introductory sketch of Descartes's classic. - Times Higher Education Supplement

concise and lucid ... it radiates authority - J. V. Field, Mathematical Reviews

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