Descartes' maxim "Cogito ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am) may be one of the most famous phrases of philosophy, but the French philosopher is also a source of great controversy. This overview of Descartes' life and philosophy from McGill University Professor of Philosophy Harry M. Bracken sheds light on the great thinker's work, providing an historical background, the basics of his philosophy, and the reasons why he is the brunt of so much criticism. Throughout, Richard Aspel's charismatic and lively delivery keeps listeners attentive, enhancing this compelling profile of the champion of rationalism.
The father of modern philosophy, Descartes is still one of the most widely discussed philosophers today. Putting rationalism above all else, he sought to base all knowledge of the world on a single idea: "I think, therefore I am."
This introduction expertly summarises his thoughts on the dualism of mind and body, his proofs for God’s existence, and his responses to scepticism. Explaining how his life informed his philosophy, Bracken demonstrates the philosopher’s enduring significance.