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Descartes: A Very Short Introduction | [Tom Sorell]

Descartes: A Very Short Introduction

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. He is perhaps best known for his statement "Cogito, ergo sum". By a mixture of "intuition" and "deduction" Descartes derived from the "cogito" principle first the existence of a material world. But Descartes did not intend the metaphysics to stand apart from his scientific work, which included important investigations into physics, mathematics, psychology, and optics.
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Publisher's Summary

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. He is perhaps best known for his statement "Cogito, ergo sum". By a mixture of "intuition" and "deduction" Descartes derived from the "cogito" principle first the existence of a material world.

But Descartes did not intend the metaphysics to stand apart from his scientific work, which included important investigations into physics, mathematics, psychology, and optics. In this book Tom Sorrell 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 program in the sciences.

In a hurry? Listen to more Very Short Introductions.

©1987 Tom Sorell (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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    Tim 01-04-15
    Tim 01-04-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Good summary; Overly dramatic narration"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would only recommend this book to you if you are determined to learn a lot about Descartes. The text itself is okay, but the reader's performance aggressively distracts from the author's train of thought. It's hard to listen to this audiobook.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator attempts to inject strong emotions into practically every sentence, and it distracts from the text. I don't get the impression that the narrator was actually following Sorrell's train of thought.

    Even worse, every time the text quotes Descartes verbatim, the narrator adopts a comically stiff and somewhat aggressive tone of voice, as if the performer were imitating a boastful eight-year-old boy. This switch in tone is so jarring that I never actually hear Descartes' words, I only hear the narrator's raspy voice and wonder what on earth is the point of such a performance. Does Edelman think that Descartes was angry all the time?

    As the listener, it is very hard to keep my attention focused on Sorell, because Edelman's performance is so distracting.


    Any additional comments?

    The price of this audiobook is too high given the short length.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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