Selections from the Principles of Philosophy

Read by Foon

(4.6 stars; 20 reviews)

The Principles of Philosophy, originally published in Latin in 1644, and translated to French in 1647, sets forth the principles of nature--the Laws of Physics--as Descartes viewed them. The book provides a systematic statement of natural philosophy and metaphysics, and represents the first truly comprehensive, mechanistic account of the universe.

The Selections from the Principles of Philosophy contains the whole of the first part of the book ("Of the Principles of Human Knowledge"), as well as selections from the second ("Of the Principles of Material Things"), third ("Of the Visible World"), and fourth part ("Of the Earth") of the book. (Foon) (2 hr 43 min)


good book well read

(5 stars)

You might be turned off by the fact that it’s only selections, but the first part is included in full, and that part is the most interesting one to modern readers of Descartes, since it covers the epistemology and metaphysics – i.e., the content covered by the Meditations. There is some decent coverage of his physical theories too. Good selection and the reading was clear.

Enjoyable, nice learning what views were being explored in 1800s

(4 stars)

Some bits of it I found my attention wandering simply because some of this stuff is common knowledge for philosophy buffs, but I enjoyed it all the same and extracted a good few quotes from it. The pronunciation was fine, albeit a little jarring from the North American viewpoint.