Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy
Spanish language resources

Descartes: Discourse on Method

Frans_Hals_-_Portret_van_René_DescartesThe Discourse on Method (French: Discours de la méthode) by René Descartes was published in French in Leiden in 1637, alongside essays on optics, meteorology and geometry. It offered the an autobiographical of Descartes skeptical method and the positive metaphysical conclusions that he would later develop more fully in the Meditations. Notable among these is the first formulation of the famous 'Cogito', the principle that 'I think therefore I am' and cannot doubt my own existence.

Of the accompanying scientific essays, that on geometry is notable for introducing Cartesian co-ordinates.

The Discourse on Method at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Bartleby: Discourse on Method. English translation. Harvard Classics, Volume 34, Part 1. HTML format.

Gallica: Discours de la méthode pour bien conduire sa raison et chercher la vérité dans les sciences , plus la dioptrique, les météores et la géométrie qui sont des essais de cette méthode. French text. Image file format.

Gutenberg: Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences, translated by John Veitch. Multiple formats. 

Gutenberg: Discours de la méthode. French text. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Rules for the Direction of the Mind, Discourse on the Method, Meditations on First Philosophy, Objections against the Meditations and Replies, The Geometry, by René Descartes. The Ethics, by Benedict De Spinoza. Great Books of the Western World, no 31 (1925). Multiple formats.

Liberty Fund: The Method, Meditations and Philosophy of Descartes, translated by John Veitch. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): Discourse on Method. EPUB, HTML and MOBI formats.

Wikisource: French text and English translation. HTML and other formats.

Zulu Ebooks: Discours de la méthode. French text. PDF format.

Other Resources

BBC Radio 4 In Our Time: Cogito Ergo Sum. Melvyn Bragg with Susan James, John Cottingham and Stephen Mulhall.

Columbia College: Historical Context for Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy by Descartes, by Daniel Leonard.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: René Descartes

Librivox: Discourse on Method

PhilPapers: René Descartes - search philosophy papers. Includes open source option.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Rene Descartes - Descartes' Life and Works - Descartes' Epistemology - Descartes' Modal Metaphysics - Descartes' Ontological Argument - Descartes' Theory of Ideas

Wikipedia: Discourse on the Method.

Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy

Sextus Empiricus: Outlines of Pyrrhonism

Montaigne: Essays - An important precedent for Descartes' sceptical method.

Hobbes: Leviathan - A major philosophical work by one of Descartes' key correspondents.

John Aubrey:Brief Lives - includes a short life of Descartes.

French Language resources 


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