"It is always a sign of the greatness of a productive achievement when it can let issue from itself the demand that it should be understood better than it understands itself." - Heidegger ("Basic Problems of Phenomenology")
By popular request we will read Descartes "Meditations," one of the most well known works of philosophy. As a preamble, we will first work with his "Discourse on Method," published several years earlier.
We will round off these two essays with selections from the "Objections and Replies" to the Meditations (the correspondence between Descartes and Hobbes is not to be missed).
This is week five of the below outline. We will continue our slow read through the text picking up at the fourth Meditation. We will also cover the fifth and sixth Meditations as time permits. Feel free to join us if you are new to the text.
This meetup will cover multiple weeks. Tentative outline:
wk 1-2 "Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking for Truth in the Sciences"
wk 3-5 "Meditations on the First Philosophy in which the Existence of God and the Distinction between Mind and Body Are Demonstrated"
wk 6 "Objections Urged by Certain Men of Learning against the Preceding Meditations; with the Author's Replies"
If you've never read Descartes come engage with one of the seminal thinkers in philosophy. If you've read the Meditations before, come engage again. After all, the mind/body problem - some things never get old.
Any translation is fine, but for reading purposes we will use the Veitch translation, available here:
We will do a close read of the text as a means to engage with the ideas through group discussion. No prior knowledge is assumed, and newcomers are welcome.