The most comprehensive collection on Descartes' scientific writings ever published, this volume offers a detailed reassessment of his scientific work and its bearing on his philosophy. Written by some of the world's leading scholars, the book focuses on Descartes as a pioneer of the mechanical philosophy, and practitioner of mathematics, mechanics, optics, anatomy, physiology and psycho-physiology. The collection looks at Decartes' work in the sciences as an aspect of his natural-philosophical agenda. Among the key topics examined are: * the central place of medicine in Descartes' overall project * the connections between his investigations of specific psychological capacities and his ethics of self-government * the debates and controversies into which he and his followers were drawn, and their role in shaping Cartesian natural philosophy By placing natural philosophy, rather than a skeptically-driven epistemology, at the centre of Descartes' concerns, this book subjects many central themes in Cartesian philosophy to fundamental reassessment. It will therefore be of vital interest to all historians of philosophy or science.
Peter Anstey, University of Sydney Jean-Robert Armogathe, Ecole Practique des Hautes Etudes Gordon Baker, St. John's College, Oxford David Behan, Agnes Scott College