1 - 2 - Preface to the reader

1 - 2 - Preface to the reader - Preface to the reader The...

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Preface to the reader The French version of 1647 does not translate this preface, but substitutes a brief forward, Le Libraire au Lectueur (“The Publisher to the Reader”), which is probably not by Descartes. I briefly touched on the topics of God and the human mind in my Discourse on the method of rightly conducting reason and seeking the truth in the sciences , which was published in French in 1637. My purpose there was not to provide a full treatment, but merely to offer a sample, and learn fmo the views of my readers how I should handle these topics at a later date. The issues seemed to me of such great importance that I considered they ought to be dealt with more than once; and the route which I follow in explaining them is so untrodden and so remote from the normal way, that I thought it would not be helpful to give a full account of it in a book written in French and designed to be ready by all and sundry, in case weaker intellects might believe that they ought to set out on the same path. In the Discourse I asked anyone who found anything worth criticizing in what I had written to be kind enough to point it out to me (See Discourse , part 6). In the case of my remarks concerning God and the soul, only two objections worth mentioning were put to me, which I shall now briefly answer before embarking on a more precise elucidation of these topics. The first objection is this. From that fact that the human mind, when directed towards itself, does not perceive itself to be anything other than a thinking thing, it does not follow that its nature or essence consists only in its being a thinking thing, where the word “only” excludes everything else that could
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This note was uploaded on 06/25/2008 for the course PHIL 21 taught by Professor Hsu during the Winter '08 term at UCLA.

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1 - 2 - Preface to the reader - Preface to the reader The...

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