Meditations on First Philosophy and Discourse on the Method (unabridged)

Audio Sample

René Descartes

Meditations on First Philosophy and Discourse on the Method

Read by Mark Meadows


Plagued with doubt and uncertainty in sensory knowledge, Descartes is struck with the idea that everything he knows is false. He considers the possibility that he has been deceived by an ‘evil demon’ and is left with nothing to lean on, until he arrives at the phrase ‘cogito ergo sum’ (‘I think, therefore I am’). Clinging to this, he proceeds to reconstruct his doubted world and redefine his understanding. Among the most quoted philosophical works in history, Meditations on First Philosophy and Discourse on the Method together display the full workings of Descartes’ sceptical method and the formation of his famous phrase. Meditations sees him apply the method in a quest to find indisputable knowledge, while Discourse is his exposition of the technique.

  • Running Time: 5 h 33 m

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    Digital ISBN:978-1-78198-208-2
    Cat. no.:NA0343
    Download size:122 MB
    Produced by:Chatterbox Audio
    Edited by:Chatterbox Audio
    Translated by:Elizabeth Haldane and John Veitch (updated)
    Released:January 2019
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In these two short works from the mid-1600s, Descartes engages skepticism to establish a basis for philosophy. The books are personal only in the sense that Descartes begins by examining himself, but narrator Mark Meadows humanises them by giving Descartes a distinct persona. He comes across as curious, intelligent, always questioning, earnest but not self-important, open to doubt, and unassuming yet confident in his methods and their results. Meadows’s Descartes is someone who gives careful weight to each phrase, as if thinking it out as he speaks, which helps elucidate the meaning. Still, the text is not simple and may require relistening. But Meadows’s skill and sensitivity enliven and enrich the text, providing an unusual and engaging take on these works so important in the history of philosophy.

W.M., AudioFile

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