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Summary

Philosophy for busy people. Listen to this succinct account of the philosophy of Descartes in just one hour.

Descartes was the first modern philosopher. His scepticism led him to doubt all certainties, until finally he arrived at his famous maxim 'I think therefore I am'. He would also apply his rationalism with great effect in science and mathematics, conceiving a scheme for scientific method and inventing Cartesian co-ordinates in geometry.

Descartes: Philosophy in an Hour an audiobook with an expert account of Descartes’ life and philosophical ideas - entertainingly written and above all easy listening. Also included are selections from Descartes’ work, suggested further reading, and chronologies that place Descartes in the context of the broader scheme of philosophy.

©2012 Paul Strathern (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

”Well-written, clear and informed, they have a breezy wit about them...I find them hard to stop reading.” (New York Times)

”Witty, illuminating, and blessedly concise” (Wall Street Journal)

”Each of these little books is witty and dramatic and creates a sense of time, place, and character...I cannot think of a better way to introduce oneself and one's friends to Western civilization.” (Boston Globe)

”A godsend in this era of the short attention span.” (New York Times)

What listeners say about Descartes: Philosophy in an Hour

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Lacking philosophy

In my view and as others have said, it reads as a biography rather than a summary/explanation of Decartes thinking

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Biography

This is a description of Descartes life, rather than a description of his philosophy. As a biography it’s interesting.

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Not much philosophy...

I've listened to a lot of this series and this is the first time I've been disappointed. It's fine as a potted biography of Descartes, but there isn't actually much discussion of his philosophy. Generally, I like the author's wry, slightly tongue-in-cheek approach to his subjects, but this one contains just a few too many smart-alec comments for my liking. Overall, though, 'Philosophy in an Hour' is an excellent series...

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Excellent

Like all other works by Paul Strathern this brief introduction to the life and the work of Descartes is excellently put. Enough food for thought.

I recommend it for students and instructors of philosophy.

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unsave

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Tried to download this onto my phone. I bought it and the transaction came through, I pressed download... but it just disappeared... so i logged onto my account via my laptop, and my virus protection said the file was harmful.
Disappointing.

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  • Sarnchai Viriyachat
  • 03-12-18

Not what I expected but never the less enjoyable

I think the title does not describe what it is exactly.
It is perhaps more exact to call it philosopher's biography.
The philosophy part where the argument is put forth and become an object of analysis is thin so thin that it could fit half of a small page.
However as a biography it succeed.
The story is enjoyable and would be useful in providing context to the philosophical work.
I would say that it is well worth the money but I also have to say that if one is looking for an analysis or summary of philosophical concept one should avoid this product.