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Fundamental Descartes: A Practical Guide to the Method and Meditations

M. James Ziccardi

Copyright 2012 by M. James Ziccardi

Smashwords Edition

Section 1 - Notes on the Text

With regard to quotations, content found within square brackets [] is mine; content found within parentheses () is Descartes’.

Sections in bold type or that are underlined are intended by me to highlight critical points.

Section 2 - Introduction

It is customary to divide Western Philosophy into three principal eras: the Ancient, which began in pre-Socratic Greece and lasted until the fall of the Roman Empire; the Medieval, which lasted from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance, and which encompasses the whole of the Middle Ages; and the Modern, which began with the Renaissance and continues to this day. It is widely regarded that this last era, the Modern, was inaugurated through the writings of French philosopher, scientist, and mathematician, René Descartes. His tremendous achievements in all of these fields have earned him the respect of all who would follow him - so much so that Descartes is commonly referred to as both the father of modern philosophy and the father of modern mathematics; some even consider him to be the father of modern science – a title he would have been proud to accept, since Descartes often thought of himself as a scientist above all else.

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