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Publisher's Summary

Rene Descartes spent most of his childhood in solitude, a situation that also came to characterize his adult life. Fortunately, these countless lonely hours helped Descartes produce the declaration that changed all philosophy: "I think, therefore I am." Eventually convincing himself to doubt and disregard sensory knowledge, Descartes found he could prove his existence through his thoughts. This internal information, he believed, was the true reality and external forces were hopelessly deceiving.

In Descartes in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Descartes' life and ideas and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the world.

©1996 Paul Strathern (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks

What listeners say about Descartes in 90 Minutes

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  • Overall
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Great listening !

loved the narrative some witty moments and facts.shall listen again one of my favorite from the series

1 person found this helpful

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The title says it all

One should not expect too much understanding from just 90 minutes of exposure to anything. The story gives little insight Into Its subject either as a person as a mathematician or as a philosopher.

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short and to the point, but good

listening to this is like watching the highlights reel in the news. it had all the main points without any filler.

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Explanation of "I think therefore I exist..." not

correct. As is, it implies that mere thinking proves existence. Descartes asserted that incorporeal being is not possible by using a thought experiment much like Einstein's. Only some physical beings have the faculty of mind. An incorporeal being without a physical existence has not been shown to exist. This is known as rational atheism.

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worth another gander!

This book was a great quick read. I am going to have to read it again. Descartes is profoundly interesting. I will be sure to finish more of Paul Strathern's work to get a nice overview of the lives of many influential philosophers.

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In 90 Minutes Series overview

If you could sum up Descartes in 90 Minutes in three words, what would they be?
aka Cliff Notes

Would you recommend Descartes in 90 Minutes to your friends? Why or why not?
Yes - I've listened to each book in the series about a major philosopher that is available on Audible. Strathern's books don't have the analytical depth found in Will Durant's "The Story of Philosophy" books, but he does a good job summarizing each philosopher's biography, major philosophical points, and criticisms. Additionally, Strathern's breadth is broader than Durant's in that he covers a greater number of philosophers. I believe that the time spent listening to these books has been well-spent.

My reviews for each book in the series about a philosopher are identical.

What about Robert Whitfield’s performance did you like?
Voice is clear, well-modulated, and easily understood, even at 1 1/2 speed.

2 people found this helpful