Matter Matters: Metaphysics and Methodology in the Early Modern Period

- Kurt Smith. Matter Matters: Metaphysics and Methodology in the Early Modern Period. Oxford University Press. 2010. 304pp.
From the publisher: Why is there a material world? Why is it fundamentally mathematical? Matter Matters explores a seventeenth-century answer to these questions as it emerged from the works of Descartes and Leibniz. The “mathematization” of the… More

Descartes and the Puzzle of Sensory Representation

- Raffaella De Rosa. Descartes and the Puzzle of Sensory Representation. Oxford University Press. 2010. 208pp.
From the publisher: While much has been written on Descartes’ theory of mind and ideas, no systematic study of his theory of sensory representation and misrepresentation is currently available in the literature. Descartes and the Puzzle of Sensory… More

Descartes’s Changing Mind

- Peter Machamer;  J.E. McGuire. Descartes's Changing Mind, Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2009.
From the publisher: Descartes’s works are often treated as a unified, unchanging whole. But in Descartes’s Changing Mind, Peter Machamer and J. E. McGuire argue that the philosopher’s views, particularly in natural philosophy, actually… More

A Companion to Descartes

- Janet Broughton; John Carriero (editors), A Companion to Descartes, Oxford: Blackwell, 2007, 560pp.
From the publisher: A collection of more than 30 specially commissioned essays, this volume surveys the work of the 17th-century philosopher-scientist commonly regarded as the founder of modern philosophy, while integrating unique essays detailing the context… More

A Companion to Rationalism

- Alan Nelson (editor). A Companion to Rationalism, Oxford: Blackwell. 2006.
From the publisher: This book is a wide-ranging examination of rationalist thought in philosophy from ancient times to the present day. Written by a superbly qualified cast of philosophers Critically analyses the concept of rationalism Focuses principally on… More

The Good Life in the Scientific Revolution: Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz, and the Cultivation of Virtue

- Matthew L. Jones. The Good Life in the Scientific Revolution: Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz, and the Cultivation of Virtue. University of Chicago Press. 2006. 384pp.
From the publisher: Amid the unrest, dislocation, and uncertainty of seventeenth-century Europe, readers seeking consolation and assurance turned to philosophical and scientific books that offered ways of conquering fears and training the mind—guidance for… More

The Blackwell Guide to Descartes’ Meditations

- Stephen Gaukroger (editor). The Blackwell Guide to Descartes' Meditations. Blackwell. 2006. 288pp.
From the publisher: Consisting of twelve newly commissioned essays and enhanced by William Molyneux’s famous early translation of the Meditations, this volume touches on all the major themes of one of the most influential texts in the history of philosophy.… More

Descartes and the Passionate Mind

- Deborah, Brown, Descartes and the Passionate Mind, Cambridge University Press, 2006, 244pp.
From the publisher: Descartes is often accused of having fragmented the human being into two independent substances, mind and body, with no clear strategy for explaining the apparent unity of human experience. Deborah Brown argues that, contrary to this view,… More

Descartes Reinvented

- Tom Sorell. Descartes Reinvented. Cambridge University Press. 2005. 180pp.
From the publisher: Thomas Sorell seeks to rehabilitate views that are highly unpopular in analytic philosophy and often instantly dismissed. His book serves as an interpretation, if not outright revision, of unreconstructed Cartesianism and responds directly… More

Descartes and Cartesianism

- Nathan D. Smith; Jason P. Taylor (editors). Descartes and Cartesianism. Cambridge Scholars Press. 2005. 228pp.
From the publisher: Descartes is well known for his decisive and spectacular break with the philosophical tradition. Indeed, on account of that break, he is frequently reputed to be the father of modern philosophy. This reputation, in an important sense,… More

Receptions of Descartes: Cartesianism and Anti-Cartesianism in Early Modern Europe

- Tad M. Schmaltz (editor). Receptions of Descartes: Cartesianism and Anti-Cartesianism in Early Modern Europe. Routledge. 2005. 251pp.
From the publisher: Receptions of Descartes is a collection of work by an international group of authors that focuses on the various ways in which Descartes was interpreted, defended and criticized in early modern Europe. The book is divided into five… More

The Life of Rene Descartes and Its Place in His Times

- A. C. Grayling. Descartes: The Life of Rene Descartes and Its Place in His Times. Free Press. 2005. 368pp.
From the publisher: Scientist, mathematician, traveller, soldier — and spy — Rene Descartes has been called the ‘father of modern philosophy’. Born in 1596 into an era still dominated by the medieval mindset, he was one of the chief… More

Descartes’s Theory of Mind

- Desmond Clarke. Descartes's Theory of Mind. Oxford University Press. 2005. 280pp.
From the publisher: Descartes is possibly the most famous of all writers on the mind, but his theory of mind has been almost universally misunderstood, because his philosophy has not been seen in the context of his scientific work. Desmond Clarke offers a… More

Descartes and the Hyperbolic Quest: Lens Making Machines and Their Significance in the Seventeenth Century

- D. Graham Burnett. Descartes and the Hyperbolic Quest: Lens Making Machines and Their Significance in the Seventeenth Century. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2005. 152pp.
From the publisher: With this alluring suggestion, René Descartes invited a young instrument maker to join him on an unprecedented and secret project that promised to revolutionize early modern astronomy. Descartes believed he had conceived a new kind of… More

What Am I? Descartes and the Mind-Body Problem

- Joseph Almog.  What Am I? Descartes and the Mind-Body Problem. Oxford University Press. 2005. 160pp.
From the publisher: In his Meditations, René Descartes asks, “what am I?” His initial answer is “a man.” But he soon discards it: “But what is a man? Shall I say ‘a rational animal’? No: for then I should inquire… More

The “teaching of nature” in Descartes’ Soul Doctrine

- Richard Kennington.  “The “teaching of nature” in Descartes’ Soul Doctrine,” On Modern Origins: Essays in Early Modern Philosophy, ed. P. Kraus and F. Hunt. Lexington Books. 2004.
Excerpt: Descartes initiated the modern interpretation of the soul in the Meditations, as is generally conceded. Of all Cartesian doctrines,his account of the soul has received the least examination. One reason for this neglect is that the major changes he… More

Cartesianism and Eternal Truths

- Richard Kennington.  “Cartesianism and Eternal Truths,” On Modern Origins: Essays in Early Modern Philosophy, ed. P. Kraus and F. Hunt. Lexington Books. 2004.
Excerpt: It has long been recognized that the metaphysics of the Meditations is in strong tension with a rival Cartesian doctrine. This is the doctrine of the divine creation of eternal truths. In the Meditations the intention to establish foundations of the… More

The Finitude of Descartes’ Evil Genius

- Richard Kennington.  “The Finitude of Descartes’ Evil Genius,” On Modern Origins: Essays in Early Modern Philosophy, ed. P. Kraus and F. Hunt. Lexington Books. 2004.
Excerpt: At the present stage of Cartesian studies, inquiry into the nature of Cartesian doubt remains impeded by the familiar view that it is intended by Descartes to be “universal doubt.” The conclusive evidence that doubt is intended to be… More

Descartes’ Olympica

- Richard Kennington.  “Descartes’ Olympica,” On Modern Origins: Essays in Early Modern Philosophy, ed. P. Kraus and F. Hunt. Lexington Books. 2004.
Excerpt: The Olympica”–Decartes’ youthful account of dreams and their interpretations–is believed to be the one writing in which ‘the founder of modern rationalism’ claims a divine inspiration for his philosophy. According… More

Descartes’s Meditations

- Catherine Wilson. Descartes's Meditations. Cambridge University Press. 2003. 284pp.
From the publisher: This new introduction to a philosophical classic draws on the reinterpretations of Descartes’ thought of the past twenty-five years. Catherine Wilson examines the arguments of Descartes’ famous Meditations, revealing how he… More

Was Descartes’s Physics Mathematical?

- Kurt Smith. “Was Descartes's Physics Mathematical?” History of Philosophy Quarterly, 20 (3): 245–256. 2003.
Extract: One aim of a mathematical physics is to produce equations. Descartes’s physics does not, and some will even argue can not, produce mathematical equations?at least, there is no systematic procedure for doing so. Any equations that he does… More

Descartes’s Mathematical Thought

- Chikara Sasaki. Descartes's Mathematical Thought. Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2003. 496pp.
From the publisher: Covering both the history of mathematics and of philosophy, Descartes’s Mathematical Thought reconstructs the intellectual career of Descartes most comprehensively and originally in a global perspective including the history of early… More

Descartes’ Cogito: Saved from the Great Shipwreck

- Husain Sarkar. Descartes' Cogito: Saved from the Great Shipwreck. Cambridge University Press. 2003. 326pp.
From the publisher: Perhaps the most famous proposition in the history of philosophy is Descartes’ cogito “I think therefore I am”. Husain Sarkar claims in this provocative new interpretation of Descartes that the ancient tradition of… More

Descartes’s Concept of Mind

- Lilli Alanen, Descartes's Concept of Mind, Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 2003.  384pp.
From the publisher: Descartes’s concept of the mind, as distinct from the body with which it forms a union, set the agenda for much of Western philosophy’s subsequent reflection on human nature and thought. This is the first book to give an… More

Cogito, Ergo Sum: The Life of René Descartes

- Richard Watson. Cogito, Ergo Sum: The Life of René Descartes. David R. Godine Publisher. 2002. 375pp.
From the publisher: This is the first biography of Rene Descartes published since 1920 to be based on extensive original archival research. It is also explicitly the life of Descartes, in the flesh and blood, not a compendium of technical analyses of… More

Radical Cartesianism: The French Reception of Descartes

- Tad M. Schmaltz. Radical Cartesianism: The French Reception of Descartes. Cambridge University Press. 2002. 302pp.
From the publisher: This is the first book-length study of two of Descartes’s most innovative successors; Robert Desgabets and Pierre-Sylvain Regis; and of their highly original contributions to Cartesianism. Relating their work to that of fellow… More

Descartes and Augustine

- Stephen Menn. Descartes and Augustine. Cambridge University Press. 2002. 432pp.
From the publisher: This book is the first systematic study of Descartes’ relationship to Augustine. It offers a complete reevaluation of Descartes’ thought and as such will be of major importance to all historians of medieval, neo-Platonic, or… More

Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Descartes and the Meditations

- Gary Hatfield. Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Descartes and the Meditations. Routledge. 2002. 384pp.
From the publisher: Rene Descartes is generally accepted as the “father of modern philosophy”, and his Meditations is perhaps the most famous philosophical text ever written. In this Routledge Philosophy GuideBook, Gary Hatfield guides the reader… More

Descartes Embodied: Reading Cartesian Philosophy through Cartesian Science

- Daniel Garber. Descartes Embodied: Reading Cartesian Philosophy through Cartesian Science. Cambridge University Press. 2001. 352pp.
From the publisher: This volume collects some of the seminal essays on Descartes by Daniel Garber, one of the preeminent scholars of early-modern philosophy. A central theme unifying the volume is the interconnection between Descartes’s philosophical… More

Spirits and Clocks: Machine and Organism in Descartes

- Dennis Des Chene. Spirits and Clocks: Machine and Organism in Descartes. Cornell University Press. 2001.
From the publisher: Although the basis of modern biology is Cartesian, Descartes’s theories of biology have been more often ridiculed than studied. Yet, Dennis Des Chene demonstrates, the themes, arguments, and vocabulary of his mechanistic biology… More

Descartes: Belief, Skepticism, and Virtue

- Richard Davies. Descartes: Belief, Skepticism, and Virtue. Routledge. 2001. 371pp.
From the publisher: Descartes is often regarded as the founder of modern philosophy, and is credited with placing at centre stage the question of what we know and how we know it. Descartes: Belief, Scepticism and Virtue seeks to reinsert his work and thought… More

Cartesian Metaphysics: The Scholastic Origins of Modern Philosophy

- Jorge Secada. Cartesian Metaphysics: The Late Scholastic Origins of Modern Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. 2000. 333pp.
From the publisher: This is the first book-length study of Decartes’ metaphysics to place it in its immediate historical context, the Late Scholastic philosophy of thinkers such as Suárez against which Descartes reacted. Jorge Secada views Cartesian… More

Descartes and the Possibility of Science

- Peter A. Schouls. Descartes and the Possibility of Science. Cornell University Press. 2000. 171pp.
From the publisher: This new book describes the intellectual structure of modern science as a body of knowledge produced by the Cartesian method. For Descartes, science was possible only because of certain features of the very nature of human beings. Peter A.… More

Cartesian Theodicy: Descartes’ Quest for Certitude

- Zbigniew Janowski. Cartesian Theodicy: Descartes' Quest for Certitude. Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2000. 181pp.
From the publisher: Almost all interpreters of Cartesian philosophy have hitherto focused on the epistemological aspect of Descartes’ thought. In his Cartesian Theodicy, Janowski demonstrates that Descartes’ epistemological problems are merely… More

Descartes: His Life and Thought

- Genevieve Rodis-Lewis. Descartes: His Life and Thought, Translated by Jane Marie Todd. Cornell University Press. 1999. 288pp.
From the publisher: Geneviéve Rodis-Lewis is uniquely qualified to celebrate René Descartes. This major intellectual biography illuminates the personal and historical events of Descartes’s life, from his birth and early years in France to his death in… More

Insight and Inference: Descartes’s Founding Principle and Modern Philosophy

- Murray Miles. Insight and Inference: Descartes's Founding Principle and Modern Philosophy. University of Toronto Press. 1999. 564pp.
From the publisher: In this major re-examination of Descartes’s founding principle, cogito, ergo sum, Murray Miles presents a portrait of Descartes as the Father of Modern Philosophy that is very different from the standard one. Viewing Descartes in… More

On Descartes’ Metaphysical Prism: The Constitution and the Limits of Onto-theo-logy in Cartesian Thought

- Jean-Luc Marion. On Descartes' Metaphysical Prism: The Constitution and the Limits of Onto-theo-logy in Cartesian Thought, Translated by Jeffrey L. Kosky. University of Chicago Press. 1999. 370pp.
From the publisher: Does Descartes belong to metaphysics? What do we mean when we say “metaphysics”? These questions form the point of departure for Jean-Luc Marion’s groundbreaking study of Cartesian thought. Analyses of Descartes’… More

Descartes on the Human Soul: Philosophy and the Demands of Christian Doctrine

- C. F. Fowler. Descartes on the Human Soul: Philosophy and the Demands of Christian Doctrine. Kluwer Academic Publishers. 1999. 438pp.
From the publisher: The author’s aim of providing an understanding of the development, content and presentation of two aspects of Descartes’ philosophy of the human soul – immortality and body-soul union – has been achieved and… More

Descartes and Method: A Search for a Method in Meditations

- Daniel E. Flage; Clarence A. Bonnen. Descartes and Method: A Search for a Method in Meditations. Routledge. 1999. 306pp.
From the publisher Rene Descartes credited his success in philosophy, mathematics, and physics to the discovery of a universal method of inquiry, but he provided no systematic description of his method. Descartes and Method carefully examines Descartes’… More

Feminist Interpretations of René Descartes

- Susan Bordo (editor). Feminist Interpretations of René Descartes. Penn State Press, 1999. 348pp.
From the publisher: Contributors are Susan Bordo, Stanley Clarke, Erica Harth, Leslie Heywood, Luce Irigaray, Genevieve Lloyd, Mario Moussa, Eileen O’Neill, Adrianna Paliyenko, Ruth Perry, Mario Sáenz, Karl Stern, Thomas Wartenberg, and James Winders.

Descartes and the Last Scholastics

- Roger Ariew, Descartes and the Last Scholastics. Cornell University Press. 1999. 230pp.
From the publisher: The ongoing renaissance in Descartes studies has been characterized by an attempt to understand the philosopher’s texts against his own intellectual background. Roger Ariew here argues that Cartesian philosophy should be regarded as… More

Descartes’s Dualism

- Marleen Rozemond. Descartes's Dualism. Harvard University Press. 1998. 249pp.  
From the publisher: Descartes, an acknowledged founder of modern philosophy, is identified particularly with mind-body dualism–the view that the mind is an incorporeal entity. But this view was not entirely original with Descartes, and in fact to a… More

The Light of the Soul: Theories of Ideas in Leibniz, Malebranche, and Descartes

- Nicholas Jolley. The Light of the Soul: Theories of Ideas in Leibniz, Malebranche, and Descartes. Oxford University Press. 1998. 209pp.
From the publisher: The concept of an “idea” played a central role in 17th-century theories of mind and knowledge, but philosophers were divided over the nature of ideas. This book examines an important, but little-known, debate on this question… More

The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy

- Daniel Garber and Michael Ayers (editors) The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, 2 vols., Cambridge University Press. 1998.
From the publisher: The Cambridge History of 17th Century Philosophy offers a uniquely comprehensive and authoritative overview of early-modern philosophy written by an international team of specialists. As with previous Cambridge histories of philosophy the… More


- Marjorie Grene. Descartes. Hackett Publishing. 1998. 225pp.
From the publisher: This essential work is made up of eight interrelated essays grouped to elucidate two major themes – Descartes’ role in the dilemma of modern philosophy, and the relation of his thought to that of his contemporaries.


- John Cottingham (editor). Descartes. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1998. 336pp.
From the publisher: This volume brings together some of the best articles on Descartes published in the last fifty years. Edited by the renowned Descartes specialist John Cottingham, the selection covers the full range of Descartes’s thought, including… More

Descartes’ Meditations: Background Source Materials

- Roger Ariew; John Cottingham; Tom Sorell (editors), Descartes'  Meditations: Background Source Materials. Cambridge University Press, 1998. 292pp.
From the publisher: This unique collection of background material to Descartes’ Meditations has been translated from the original French and Latin. The texts gathered here illustrate the kinds of principles, assumptions, and philosophical methods that… More

Studies in Seventeenth-Century European Philosophy

- M.A Stewart (editor).  Studies in Seventeenth-Century European Philosophy (Oxford Studies in the History of Philosophy: Volume 2). Clarendon Press. 1997.
From the publisher: This is a collection of new, specially written essays on the flowering of modern philosophy on the continent of Europe. The eight leading contributors focus on the work of Descartes, later Cartesians, Leibniz, and Bayle, reassessing the… More

Descartes’s Meditations: Critical Essays

- Vere Chappel (editor). Descartes's Meditations: Critical Essays.  Rowan & Littlefield. 1997. 272pp.
From the publisher: This collection of recent articles by leading scholars is designed to illuminate one of the greatest and most influential philosophical books of all time. It includes incisive commentary on every major theme and argument in the… More

Descartes: An Intellectual Biography

- Stephen Gaukroger. Descartes: An Intellectual Biography. Clarendon Press. 1995. 520pp.
From the publisher: René Descartes’s insights into the nature of knowledge and the mind have inspired awe and debate through the centuries. But while philosophers have sought to understand the ramifications of his theories, they have paid much less… More

Descartes and His Contemporaries: Meditations, Objections, and Replies

- Robert Ariew; Marjorie Grene (editors). Descartes and His Contemporaries: Meditations, Objections, and Replies. University of Chicago Press. 1995. 261pp
From the publisher: Before publishing his landmark Meditations in 1641, Rene Descartes sent his manuscript to many leading thinkers to solicit their objections to his arguments. He included these objections, along with his own detailed replies, as part of the… More

Divine Will and the Mechanical Philosophy: Gassendi and Descartes on Contingency and Necessity in the Created World

- Margaret J. Osler. Divine Will and the Mechanical Philosophy: Gassendi and Descartes on Contingency and Necessity in the Created World. Cambridge University Press. 1994. 284pp.
From the publisher: The difference between Pierre Gassendi’s (1592-1655) and René Descartes’ (1596-1650) versions of the mechanical philosophy directly reflected the differences in their theological presuppositions. Gassendi described a world… More

Reason, Will, and Sensation: Studies in Descartes’s Metaphysics

- John Cottingham (editor). Reason, Will, and Sensation: Studies in Descartes's Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. 1994. 333pp.
From the publisher: This collection of fourteen essays, all published here for the first time, offers a stimulating reassessment of the central theme of Descartes’s metaphysics. The first section examines Descartes’s place in the history of… More

The Magic of Numbers and Motion: The Scientific Career of René Descartes

- William R. Shea. The Magic of Numbers and Motion: The Scientific Career of Rene Descartes. Watson. 1993. 416pp.
Excerpt: After his untimely death in Stockholm on 11 February 1650, Descartes’ private papers were handed over to the French ambassador, Pierre Chanut, who shipped them to his brother-in-law, Claude Clerselier, in France.  The cargo reached Rouen… More

Essays on the Philosophy and Science of Rene Descartes

- Stephen Voss (editor). Essays on the Philosophy and Science of Rene Descartes. Oxford University Press. 1993. 368pp.
From the publisher: A major contribution to Descartes studies, this book provides a panorama of cutting-edge scholarship ranging widely over Descartes’s own primary concerns: metaphysics, physics, and its applications. It is at once a tool for scholars… More

Descartes: An Analytical and Historical Introduction

- Georges Dicker. Descartes: An Analytical and Historical Introduction. Oxford University Press. 1993. 248pp.
From the publisher: A solid grasp of the main themes and arguments of the seventeenth century philosopher Rene Descartes is an essential tool towards understanding modern thought, and a necessary entree to the work of the empiricists and Immanuel Kant, and to… More

A Descartes Dictionary

- John Cottingham. A Descartes Dictionary. Blackwell. 1993. 187pp.
From the publisher: To confront the philosophical system of Rene Descartes is to contemplate a magnificently laid out map of human cognitive endeavour. In following Descartes arguments, the reader is drawn into some of the most fundamental and challenging… More

Descartes’ life and the development of his philosophy

- Genevieve Rodis-Lewis. “Descartes' life and the development of his philosophy,” in The Cambridge Companion to Descartes, edited by John Cottingham. Cambridge University Press, pp. 21–57. 1992.
Extract: “I resolved one day to . . . use all the powers of my mind in choosing the paths I should follow” (Discourse Part I: AT VI 10: CSM I 116). Thus Descartes introduces his account of his celebrated first solitary retreat during the winter of… More

Descartes’ Metaphysical Physics

- Daniel Garber. Descartes' Metaphysical Physics. University of Chicago Press. 1992. 404pp.
From the publisher: In this first book-length treatment of Descartes’ important and influential natural philosophy, Daniel Garber is principally concerned with Descartes’ accounts of matter and motion—the joint between Descartes’… More

The Cambridge Companion to Descartes

- John Cottingham (editor). The Cambridge Companion to Descartes. Cambridge University Press.1992. 441pp.
From the publisher: Descartes occupies a position of pivotal importance as one of the founding fathers of modern philosophy; he is, perhaps the most widely studied of all philosophers. In this authoritative collection an international team of leading scholars… More

Descartes and Scholasticism: the intellectual background to Descartes’ thought

- Roger Ariew, “Descartes and Scholasticism: the intellectual background to Descartes' thought,” in The Cambridge Companion to Descartes, edited by John Cottingham. Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp. 58–90.
Excerpt: The Cartesian system is standardly seen, as indeed it was in Descartes’ own day, as a reaction against the scholastic philosophy that still dominated the intellectual climate in early seventeenth-century Europe. But it is not sufficient, when… More

Descartes on Sensible Qualities

- Jill Buroker, “Descartes On Sensible Qualities,” Journal Of The History Of Philosophy, XXIX (4), 1991: 585–611.
Excerpt: The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries can be understood in part as attempting to overthrow the Aristotelian “qualitative” physics by building a rational foundation for a new, quantitative, mechanistic physics. This project highlighted… More

Descartes and the Resilience of Rhetoric: Varieties of Cartesian Rhetorical Theory

- Thomas M. Carr, Jr. Descartes and the Resilience of Rhetoric: Varieties of Cartesian Rhetorical Theory. Southern Illinois University Press, 1990. 212pp.
From the publisher: A careful analysis of the rhetorical thought of René Descartes and of a distinguished group of post-Cartesians. Covering a unique range of authors, including Bernard Lamy and Nicolas Malebranche, Carr attacks the idea, which has become… More

Descartes and the Enlightenment

- Peter A. Schouls. Descartes and the Enlightenment. McGill-Queen's University Press. 1989. 194pp.
From the publisher: Schouls limits himself to a discussion of these three concepts in order to escape facile and vague generalizations. For the same reason, in relating Descartes to eighteenth-century thinkers, Schouls limits his attention to a single part of… More


- Tom Sorell. Descartes.  Oxford University Press. 1987. 120pp.
From the publisher: Rene Descartes had a remarkably short working life, yet his contribution to philosophy and physics have endured to this day. He is perhaps best known for his statement, “Cogito, ergo sum,” the cornerstone of his metaphysics.… More

René Descartes

- Richard Kennington.  “René Descartes,” in History of Political Philosophy, ed. Strauss and Cropsey (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987).
Excerpt: Descartes has long been celebrated as “the founder of modern philosophy,” but never of modern political philosophy. His epochal beginning appears to stand in splendid isolation from the older modern political tradition founded by… More

Essays on Descartes’ Meditations

- Emelie Oksenberg Rorty (editor). Essays on Descartes' Meditations. University of California Press. 1986. 534pp.
From the publisher: The essays in this volume form a commentary on Descartes’ Meditations. Following the sequence of the meditational stages, the authors analyze the function of each stage in transforming the reader, to realize his essential nature as a… More

Descartes: The Probable and the Certain

- M. Glouberman. Descartes: The Probable and the Certain. Rodopi. 1986. 374pp.
From the publisher: Glouberman presents Descartes as trying to establish the distinction between probable and certain knowledge primarily in the wax example. Descartes assumes that there is a necessary connection between the type of cognitive faculty a… More

A History of Mathematics

- Carl B. Boyer, A History of Mathematics, Princeton University Press, 1985, 688pp.
From the publisher: For more than forty years, A History of Mathematics has been the reference of choice for those looking to learn about the fascinating history of humankind’s relationship with numbers, shapes, and patterns. This revised edition features… More

Descartes’ Philosophy Interpreted According to the Order of Reasons

- Martial Gueroult. Descartes' Philosophy Interpreted According to the Order of Reasons, 2 vols., translated by Roger Ariew. University of Minnesota Press. 1984.
Excerpt: There is, in Descartes’s writings, a seminal idea that inspires his whole enterprise, which is expressed as early as 1628 in the Rules for the Direction of the Mind: it is that knowledge has impassable limits, founded on the limits of our… More

Descartes’ Medical Philosophy: The Organic Solution to the Mind-Body Problem

- Richard B. Carter. Descartes' Medical Philosophy: The Organic Solution to the Mind-Body Problem. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983. 301pp.
Excerpt: The philosophy of the present age is a philosophy that supports two individual and, at first sight, distinct, freedoms.  One freedom is positive and the other is negative.  The positive freedom is the freedom of each individual to pursue personal… More


- Margaret Wilson. Descartes. Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1978. 276pp.
From the publisher: One of the most significant studies of Descartes in recent times. It concentrates on the Meditations to show Descartes’ philosophy in the context of his overall scientific objectives, not all of them fully explicit in the texts.

Descartes: The Project of Pure Enquiry

- Bernard Williams. Descartes: The Project of Pure Enquiry. Penguin Books. 1978. 328pp.
From the publisher: Descartes has often been called the ‘father of modern philosophy’.His attempts to find foundations for knowledge, and to reconcile the existence of the soul with the emerging science of his time, are among the most influential… More

Descartes and the Mastery of Nature

- Richard Kennington.  “Descartes and the Mastery of Nature,” Organism, Medicine and Metaphysics, ed. S. F. Spicker D. Reidel. 1978.
Extract” The common judgment is that Francis Bacon is the originator of the concept of “mastery of nature,” which is so indispensable in the technological crisis of this century. Attempts to trace the Baconian concept to anterior origins in… More

Descartes against the Skeptics

- E. M. Curley. Descartes against the Skeptics. Harvard University Press. 1978. 242pp.
From the publisher: E. M. Curley is known for his skill at lucid exposition and cogent analysis of seventeenth-century philosophy. In this book he turns to Descartes, who remains a central figure in the Western philosophical tradition. While dealing with most… More

The Origin of Subjectivity: An Essay on Descartes

- Desmond M. Clarke. Descartes' Philosophy of Science. Manchester University Press. 1982. 249pp.
From the publisher: This major new study of Descartes explores a number of key issues, including his use of experience and reason in science; the metaphysical foundations of Cartesian science; The Cartesian concept of explanation and proof; and an empiricist… More

The Origin of Subjectivity: An Essay on Descartes

- Hiram Caton. The Origin of Subjectivity: An Essay on Descartes. Yale University Press. 1973. 248pp.
Extract: Since the present study on occasion strays from the well-marked thoroughfares of interpretation, some anticipatory indications of what the reader might expect.  Since the term “subjectivity” has been introduced to make good a deficiency of … More

Descartes: A Study Of His Philosophy

- Anthony Kenny. Descartes: A Study of His Philosophy.  Thoemmes Press. 1968. 242pp.
Excerpt: Rene Descartes was thirty-two years younger than Shakespeare and forty-six years older than Newton.  He was born in 1596 in the village in Touraine that is now called La Haye-Descartes.  His mother died when he was a year old, leaving him “a… More

Descartes: A Collection of Critical Essays

- Willis Doney (editor). Descartes: A Collection of Critical Essays. Doubleday. 1967. 386pp.
Excerpt: With two exceptions, the studies of Descartes and Cartesian problems that are assembled here were written in English or by British or American philosophers. All of them were written after 1925, most of them fairly recently, and some have not been… More

Diderot and Descartes: A Study of Scientific Naturalism in the Enlightenment

- Aram Vartanian. Diderot and Descartes: A Study of Scientific Naturalism in the Enlightenment. Princeton University Press. 1953. 336pp.
Excerpt: The point of departure of the present study is the truism that Descartes’s philosophy, despite the spiritualist metaphysics on which it was claimed to rest, concealed the incipient germs of modern naturalism.  Depending on whether its explicit… More

The Method of Descartes: A Study of the Regulae

- L. J. Beck. The Method of Descartes: A Study of the Regulae. Clarendon Press. 1952. 316pp.
Excerpt: Nowhere in his writings has Descartes given a more lucid and emphatic account of his conception of philosophy than in the “author’s letter to the translator” which serves as preface to the French translation of the Principia… More

The Scientific Work of Rene Descartes

- J. F. Scott. The Scientific Work of Rene Descartes. Taylor & Francis. 1952. 211pp.
Excerpt: The seventeenth century was a period which will ever remain resplendent in the history of science, for truly, no century starting from so little achieved so much.  It was an age of intellectual freedom, of independent thought, an age in which the… More

Descartes and the Modern Mind

- Albert G. A. Balz. Descartes and the Modern Mind. Yale University Press. 1952. 492pp.
Excerpt: The father of modern philosophy, as Rene Descartes is frequently called, once expressed the hope that his philosophy would be received “even among the Turks.”  As this book undertakes to make clear, there is a sense in which his… More


- S. V. Keeling. Descartes. Ernest Benn. 1934. 282pp.
Excerpt: A great philosophy must first and chiefly be sought in the philosopher’s writings, not in those of another. So of all things I hope least that this book may prove a safe substitute for a first-hand study of Descartes’s own works. What… More

La Vie de M. Descartes

- Adrien Baillet, La Vie de M. Descartes (2 vols.), Paris, 1691.
Excerpt: Je sçai qu’ il en est presque des philosophes comme des saints de l’ eglise de Dieu : et que les uns non plus que les autres n’ ont souvent rien à emprunter de leur famille. On peut dire même que les personnes du siecle qui… More